New Poll: Opposition to Common Core Surges

yes_no_maybeRecently released poll results from EducationNext have confirmed what has been clear for some time: support for the Common Core is at an all-time low (H/T: Brookings).

The survey of 4,000 respondents found that 49 percent of the general public supports the standards, 4 points lower than last year’s poll and 16 points lower than 2013.  Additionally, 35 percent said they oppose the standards, up 11 points from last year and 22 points from 2013.  (The poll likely overstates support for Common Core as well, since it oversampled African-Americans and Hispanics, two demographics more likely to support Common Core than the rest of the population.)

Opposition was more pronounced among certain groups surveyed.  Republicans, unsurprisingly, were more likely to disapprove of Common Core, with half of GOP respondents opposing it versus only 37 percent support.  More importantly, half of teachers polled also opposed the standards, outpacing the 40 percent who support them.  Opposition has grown a staggering 38 points among teachers since 2013, suggesting that the more teachers have experienced of Common Core, the less they like it.

All the groups surveyed have seen a decrease in support for national standards, however, and as EducationNext points out, this is likely not due to the Common Core name only:

The latest decline in support for these standards does not arise simply from a politically tainted Common Core “brand.” Among a second group of respondents who answered the same question but without the phrase “Common Core,” support for the use of shared standards across the states slid from 68% in 2014 to 54% in 2015.

It is interesting to note that this year’s difference between those favoring the Common Core standards (49%) and those favoring generic standards (54%) is just 5 percentage points. In 2014, that differential was 15 points. Why? It may be that the debate over national standards has been so energetic over the past year that the public now is more aware of the issue, whether or not the phrase “Common Core” is mentioned.

This means that Jeb Bush’s strategy of merely not mentioning “Common Core” simply won’t cut it.  Candidates need to disavow the entire misguided Common Core project of federally imposed standards now, or else they risk losing significant support themselves.

Paul Dupont is a legislative assistant for American Principles in Action.