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Poll finds that Californians largely support Common Core State Standards

MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2014 10:25 AM

A majority of states have implemented the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and many now wonder whether the general public is happy about it. A poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California found that a majority of state residents (69 percent) support the use of the Standards in schools. In fact, the positive reception of the Common Core is similar across party lines, with 72 percent of California Democrats and 60 percent of Republicans in favor of the changes.

Education and funding
The poll also asked residents whether they approved of new financial changes surrounding education. California Gov. Jerry Brown has instated the Local Control Funding Formula, an initiative that offers greater financial support to students from a low-income background or who are learning English as a second language. The poll found that 70 percent of respondents support the effort, which is complex in nature and gives school districts greater control over the funding they receive. 

"Given all the dramatic changes taking place in both curriculum and funding of our schools, it was surprising to find such strong support," Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, told the San Jose Mercury News. 

Baldassare also noted that the poll results may reflect the fact that most Californians are dissatisfied with the current state of education. He and poll respondents hope that the implementation of Common Core State Standards and the financial policies will change all that. 

Californians are more informed
A Gallup poll conducted in early April revealed that a majority of Americans know very little about the Common Core and what it entails. In fact, a majority of parents living in both states where the Standards are followed and where they are not admitted to knowing nothing about them. However, that's not the case in California. The Public Policy Institute of California's poll revealed that most residents (57 percent) have heard a lot about the Standards. Additionally, 65 percent of parents of kids attending public school have heard a good deal about the Common Core. Compare that to the 16 percent of public school parents nationwide who said they knew a lot about the changes.

Positive impact of the Common Core
Respondents also had the opportunity to reveal why they supported the educational changes in California. About half of residents (49 percent) agreed that the CCSS would help make the U.S. more academically competitive on a global scale. Furthermore, 64 percent of respondents believe that the CCSS will help kids learn to think critically, and 66 percent agree it will get students ready for college more effectively than past programs.