Annual Poll Shows Stable Opinions on Common Core & Drop in Charter Support
August 18, 2017

The results of the 11th annual Education Next opinion poll on school reform have many in the sector celebrating stable opinions on Common Core and re-evaluating public perception of charter schools.

The survey, which included more than 4,200 respondents in May and June of this year, drills down on ten major topics, including school choice, Common Core, federalism, teacher policies, the Trump effect, immigration, technology, and more.

Among the most significant data—support for charter schools dropped by 12 percentage points between 2016 and 2017, and as researcher Marty West speculates, the reason for the decline may extend beyond the politics of the current presidential administration. Mike Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, explored various reasons in his weekly podcast.

Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, responded to the poll with this statement: “We are grateful for the report’s contributions to understanding where our vast country stands on education, and are mindful that the opinions about charter schools that matter most are the opinions of parents and students who have chosen charter schools.”

In a recent post on their website, “For Many Reasons, Parents and Students Choose Public Charter Schools,” the Foundation for Excellence in Education uses compelling data points to build a case for charter schools, highlighting that more students than ever before are enrolled in charter schools.

Opinions of Common Core Remain Stable

As Mike Petrilli wrote in an article for Education Next, “Support for common standards has rebounded, with proponents outnumbering opponents three to one.” Survey results show numbers virtually unchanged from last year: 41 percent of respondents support the standards, while 38 percent oppose.

When using a general description of the Common Core instead of its name, support for the standards is significantly higher at 61 percent.

The Collaborative for Student Success responded to the survey on their website, digging in to the language used in the survey questions related to both standards and assessments. Jim Cowen, Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, summarized the poll results: “People understand that it’s time to stop fighting about what label we put on a state’s standards and get on with implementation for all students.”

The complete results of the survey are available here. Education Next will also host an event on Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C., and via live webcast to further break down the results.

Ashley Schmidt

Ashley is PIE Network's Digital Strategy Director

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