Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Common Core Opponents Winning, Polls Show

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As the grassroots uprising against the Obama administration-pushed nationalization of schools continues to grow, public sentiment is quickly turning against the widely criticized Common Core standards — especially among parents with school-age children. Indeed, since just November of last year, the shallow “support” that did exist for the controversial education scheme has plunged dramatically, a new survey showed. Other polls found similar results. 

The latest nationwide public opinion data on national standards, released by Rasmussen Reports on June 26, represents another devastating blow to Common Core proponents — primarily Big Business, special interests, and the Obama administration. Despite pouring billions of dollars in taxpayer and special-interest funding into deceptive marketing gimmicks and propaganda to build support for Obama’s education “reform” schemes, opposition to Common Core continues to surge as awareness spreads.

Among parents of elementary and secondary school-age children, for example, only about one third of those surveyed support even the concept of national standards to begin with. Almost half opposed the idea of national school standards, and about 20 percent said they were not sure. Support was higher among respondents who did not have school-age children, presumably because they were less likely to follow education news.

The trends are significant, too. In November, over half of those polled supported the nationalization of school standards. In a period of just over six months, then, backing for national education standards suffered a stunning 18-point decline. On the other hand, opposition to national standards among parents of school-age children soared from 32 percent late last year to 47 percent in June. About the same percentage as before remained undecided.

Among Republicans, whose representatives control the U.S. House of Representatives and most state legislatures, the news was even more devastating for Common Core proponents. Just one third of self-identified GOP voters supported national standards, while 45 percent opposed them and 22 percent were unsure. A strong plurality of independents also opposed national education standards. Only among Democrats did a majority — 56 percent — support nationalized school standards.  

Asked about Common Core itself, the public was also becoming increasingly skeptical. Among adults generally, around 40 percent thought Common Core was somewhat or very likely to improve student achievement. By contrast, 44 percent said the national standards, pushed on state governments by bribes from the Obama administration, were either somewhat or very unlikely to improve student achievement. Some 17 percent were not sure.

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Breaking the numbers down further, less than one third of Republicans thought Common Core would improve education, while 55 percent did not. A separate poll released last week by Pew Research revealed that conservatives of all stripes reject the national standards by a more than two-to-one margin, putting establishment GOP bigwigs such as Jeb Bush firmly on the fringe.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Rasmussen found that only 28 percent thought the national standards were likely to achieve better student outcomes, compared with over half who did not think they would. More than 50 percent of parents with school-age kids at home did not believe the standards would improve education, while some 37 percent thought it was likely.

Perhaps not surprisingly, opposition to the national standards was most intense among Americans who follow news about Common Core closely. Indeed, almost two thirds of respondents who said they closely follow media reports on the standards thought they were unlikely to improve education. Those most positive about the scheme were those who paid less attention to Common Core news.   

On the question of what level of government should set standards for government schools, Americans overwhelmingly reject federal intrusion. Less than one fourth of respondents thought the federal government should set standards. By contrast, 27 percent thought local government should set standards while almost 40 percent thought the state should be responsible. Just over one in ten were unsure. Only 10 percent of Republicans and less than one third of Democrats view school standards as a federal responsibility.

Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of respondents in the Rasmussen poll said there was too much emphasis on standardized tests. Only 17 percent said there was not enough, while 15 percent thought the balance was about right.  

Even in establishment stronghold states, Common Core is quickly becoming toxic among voters. In New York, for example, where state Rep. Al Graf lambasted the standards as “child abuse,” a stunning 82 percent of voters want to ditch Common Core, according to a recent poll by the Times Union of Albany and Siena College Upstate Education.  

In California, meanwhile, a new PACE/USC Rossier Poll revealed that 44 percent of voters held a negative view of Common Core, while 38 percent had a positive impression of the standards. When asked to choose between two statements, 41 percent said California should not implement Common Core because it represents a “Washington D.C.-based, one-size-fits-all approach” to education.

On the other hand, just 32 percent of voters thought the state should adopt the standards because they supposedly provide a “clear, consistent understanding of what students are expected to learn.” Of course, education experts — even the subject-matter specialists selected to review the standards on the Common Core Validation Committee — rejected the standards because they did no such thing.   

Pollsters warned that the findings are bad news for proponents of the scheme. “In a strongly Democratic state that has seen relatively few implementation issues, this points to a real messaging problem for advocates of the Common Core,” said Common Core expert Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor of education at the USC Rossier School.

Like the nationwide data, the latest numbers in California represent a dramatic shift in public opinion from last year, when 36 percent of voters thought the state should adopt Common Core against just 25 percent who were opposed. It appears clear now that as the public learns about the Obama administration’s nationalization of education — and understands more of the details — voters become increasingly hostile to the scheme. New York, where implementation is further along, offers the perfect example.  

So far, the only polls that have been able to manufacture some semblance of public “support” for the standards have been widely ridiculed by experts for misleading respondents with inaccurate pro-Common Core propaganda prior to asking questions. Other bad news for Common Core proponents is the fact that among opponents of the scheme, the outrage is intense, motivating activists and mobilizing parents and teachers to do something. Among “supporters,” the “support” is lukewarm at best.

If current trends continue, the pro-Common Core establishment — Big Business, the Obama administration, special interests hoping to profit, billionaire population-control zealot Bill Gates, radical “education experts,” and more — is likely to find itself increasingly marginalized. Already, all across America, the tide has shifted in favor of those who support local control over education, proper schooling, and more.

In recent months, for example, four states that accepted bribes from Obama to impose Common Core — Oklahoma, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Indiana — have officially rejected the scheme. While analysts and experts have cautioned that in states such as Indiana, Common Core was largely kept in place under a new name, activists vowed to keep fighting. Some states such as Texas, Alaska, and Virginia never imposed Common Core at all, and dozens of others are working to kill the scheme. Numerous states have also withdrawn from the federally funded tests, which experts say is crucial to the whole plot.

As awareness about the dangers of Common Core spreads — reduced critical-thinking skills, loss of local and state control over education, poor-quality standards, massive costs to taxpayers, federal intrusion in the classroom, a widely lambasted federally funded testing regime, the Orwellian data-mining component, the dumbing down of children, and more — opposition will continue to grow. Indeed, the standards have even become a punchline for popular comedians. Parents and teachers nationwide are in open revolt, too.

Whether the accelerating tsunami of opposition to Common Core will be enough to stop the establishment’s radical nationalization and even globalization of education, though, depends largely on how hard Americans are willing to fight for their children. The stakes could not be higher.

 

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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