African American voters and Hispanic voters are more likely to support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) than any other demographic group, according to results from a new national poll by the Collaborative for Student Success released on March 24. Overall, 38 percent of all voters support the CCSS, compared to 27 percent who oppose and 36 percent who are not sure. Support rises to 64 percent, however, when poll participants are read a one-sentence descriptionabout the CCSS while 24 percent continue to oppose and 12 percent are unsure.
According to the poll results, 51 percent of African American voters and 48 percent of Hispanic voters support the CCSS while only 14 percent and 29 percent, respectively, oppose the standards; 35 percent of African Americans and 23 percent of Hispanics were unsure. When read a one-sentence description of the CCSS, support among African-American and Hispanic voters increases to 81 percent and 68 percent, respectively.
The poll included an oversampling of voters in five states—Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado—and provides detailed information on voters’ opinions in those states on several aspects of the CCSS.
During the course of the poll, voters in those five states were read three items or ideas included in the CCSS and asked whether they favored or opposed that particular one. For example, 83 percent of voters favor the idea that the CCSS “emphasized real understanding of mathematical concepts—not just memorization,” compared to 12 percent who are unopposed and 5 percent who are unsure.
Voters in those five states were also read a list of nine statements that people have made about the CCSS and asked whether it would make them more or less likely to support the CCSS. The highest polling statement was that “better educated students will lead to better employment opportunities for everyone and a better economy in the future,” which is supported by more than 80 percent of voters in all five states.
Voters in the five oversampled states were also asked whether they would be more or less likely to support a candidate for public office who supported the use of CCSS in their area. Results captured in the table below show that support increases from roughly 37 percent when first asked about the CSSS at the beginning of the poll to nearly 70 percent in all five states at the end of the poll after hearing all of the statements and ideas about the CCSS.
“When Americans hear accurate, straightforward information about the Common Core standards, they overwhelmingly support them because they recognize higher standards are an important part of helping kids succeed in college and in their careers,” said Karen Nussle, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success.
The poll was conducted jointly by the Tarrance Group, a republican firm, and David Binder Research, a democratic firm, from January 27 through February 9, 2014 and included 1,000 voters nationwide, plus additional voters in Michigan, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, and Illinois.
Complete poll results are available at http://forstudentsuccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/3-20-PPT_National-partners.pptx.
 The sentence describing the CCSS reads, “To ensure that all students are prepared for success after graduation, the Common Core Standards establish a set of clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level across subjects.”