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Americans vote no to Common Core but yes to tougher standards
No Caption - photo by Omar Etman
Two separate polls revealed Americans want more rigorous standards, just not by way of the Common Core.

For the first time, the majority of the general public does not support Common Core, a poll by EducationNext found. Meanwhile, 90 percent of voters agree that we should raise our nations academic standards so that the United States can be more competitive with other countries, the other poll, commissioned by the Center for American Progress, concluded.

For education officials, locally and nationally, the conflict in how to raise those standards poses a big hurdle.

The CAP poll found 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.

Think Progress, CAPs in-house media outlet, attributed the negative perception of Common Core to politics. As political opposition to Common Core has grown, misinformation has spread in terms of how the standards were created, what is in the standards and how they are implemented, Think Progress reported.

Politicians around the country are stoking the anti-Common Core fire. Of the 17 GOP candidates, only Jeb Bush and John Katich support the federal standards. Among Democrats, 57 percent support Common Core, according to the EducationNext poll.

The poll, which surveyed 4,000 people, found that only 49 percent of all people support Common Core, down from 65 percent in 2013. Among teachers, 40 percent support the federal standards, a big drop from 76 percent two years ago.

It also found that 66 percent of parents support testing, while teachers were almost evenly split on the issue. But most teachers and parents agree that students should not be permitted to opt-out of testing.

Last week, The New York Times reported that the proportion of students who opted out of state exams in New York this year quadrupled from last year, from 5 percent to 20 percent. That amounts to more than 200,000 kids. Its an anti-test rallying cry, and because the tests have changed to match Common Core standards, its also a revolt against the federal governments education policy, according to the Times.

Of the 80 percent of students who sat for the exams, 31 percent passed reading tests and 38 percent math tests, the Times reported.

The situation in New York is being played out across the country, most recently in North Carolina, where a panel of education experts is devising a plan to get the state out of Common Core, likely by December. The committee announced on Monday that the federal standards will require a major overhaul, according to a local TV news state WRAL. The panel seems poised to implement stricter standards, a peculiar choice since critics of the existing standards think theyre already tough enough.
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