RELEASE: Goals of the Common Core Are as American as Apple Pie, But Misinformation Remains Widespread, New PPP Poll Reveals

New PPP Poll Shows that the Development and Aims of the Common Core Are More Popular Than Baseball, Kittens, and Bacon—But Misinformation About the Common Core Pervades

Washington, D.C. — A new poll from Public Policy Polling, or PPP, and commissioned by the Center for American Progress reveals that the goals of the Common Core are as American as apple pie—polling even better than baseball, kittens, and bacon—but that misinformation about the Common Core remains widespread. The PPP survey, which was conducted this month among 675 registered voters, shows overwhelming support for the underlying fundamentals and principles of the Common Core State Standards. Key takeaways from the survey include:

  • 90 percent of voters agree that we should raise our nation’s academic standards so that the United States can be more competitive with other countries, with 71 percent strongly agreeing with this statement
  • 82 percent of voters agree that the United States should develop academic standards with the input of teachers, school districts, and states, with 65 percent strongly agreeing with this statement
  • 79 percent of voters agree that we should create a set of high-quality academic standards or goals in English and math and let communities develop their own curricula and strategies, with 52 percent strongly agreeing with this statement
  • 78 percent of voters approve of annual tests in English and math to see if their schools are adequately serving their populations.

“Parents across the United States all want their children to succeed in school and to be ready for the challenges of college or career. That’s why the fundamentals of the Common Core—stronger academic standards in English and math—are popular with voters across America,” said Catherine Brown, Vice President of Education Policy at CAP. “Unfortunately, opponents of the Common Core have embarked on misinformation campaigns in order to create widespread confusion among voters or to score political points. As back-to-school season approaches, it’s important for parents to get the real facts about the Common Core.”

“These survey results show that the goals of the Common Core are quite popular when tested piece by piece,” said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling. “People aren’t exactly sure what’s in the Common Core, but when asked about its provisions, they wholeheartedly support them across demographic lines.”

While the development and aims of the Common Core remain popular among voters, the PPP poll shows that misinformation about the Common Core remains widespread:

  • Although the Common Core State Standards were developed by educators in tandem with a bipartisan group of governors, the PPP poll shows that a majority of registered voters think that the U.S. Department of Education or U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote the standards.
  • Just 4 percent of voters know that teachers helped develop the Common Core, with only 14 percent of voters aware that state governors were involved in the development of the Common Core.
  • Nearly half of voters think that the Common Core prescribes a specific curriculum, and 22 percent are unsure.
  • 72 percent of voters believe that standardized tests take up more time than they actually do. A recent CAP report showed that students spend, on average, 1.6 percent of instructional time or less taking tests.

The PPP poll also shows support for a progressive approach to funding the public school system in the United States, with a majority of voters believing the federal government should do more to fund public schools in their communities. A majority of voters also think raising taxes on the wealthy is a better strategy to close state budget gaps than cutting education.

Click here to read PPP’s polling memo and click here to read the full polling results.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6331.