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What Do People Think About the Common Core?



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A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll asks.

First, though, the poll asks people whether they’ve heard of Common Core. Forty-seven percent say no, 30 percent say they have heard about it “some,” and 22 percent say they have heard “a lot.”

Next the pollsters provide this description:

Just to make sure that everyone has the same information let me describe the Common Core standards in a bit more detail. The Common Core standards are a new set of education standards for English and math that have been set to internationally competitive levels and would be used in every state for students in grades K through 12.

Based on this information, do you support or oppose the adoption and implementation of the Common Core standards in your state?

The results:

Strongly support ………………………….. 27 
Somewhat support ……………………….. 32 
Somewhat oppose ……………………….. 11 
Strongly oppose …………………………… 20 
Not sure ……………………………………. 10

The description seems to me tendentious. Opponents of Common Core generally deny that the standards are high. But even if that weren’t a disputed point, the question implicitly gives the argument for the standards (they “have been set to internationally competitive levels”) and gives the counter-arguments no air time. And it’s presenting this one-sided view of the standards to a population that is coming at them without much background knowledge.

I’m not criticizing this poll because I’m a hard-core opponent of Common Core; I’m not one. But it doesn’t seem to me this poll shows more than that most people are not familiar with the controversy and that Common Core can be made to sound good.

Update: The WSJ writes up these results, emphasizing that even conservatives have mixed views on Common Core but not providing the question wording.



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