The percentage of voters who know “some” or “a lot” about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) continues to increase, according to results from a recent poll, Voter Perceptions: Common Core State Standards & Tests, conducted by Achieve. However, as shown in the table to the right, nearly two-thirds of voters (63 percent)—compared to 79 percent in a previous poll—still know “nothing at all” or “not much” about the standards even though they are currently being implemented in classrooms in thirty-five states and the new assessments aligned with the standards are nearing completion.
Among voters who are aware of the CCSS, 37 percent have a favorable opinion of the standards, compared to 40 percent with an unfavorable opinion. But when provided with a brief description of the CCSS, 69 percent of voters supported implementing them, compared to only 23 percent who were opposed.
“Voters believe that schools should raise their expectations so that students graduate from high school ready for the world they will enter,” said Sandy Boyd, Achieve’s chief operating officer and senior vice president of strategic initiatives. “With just basic, factual information about the Common Core State Standards and their purpose, voters favor the Common Core over the critics’ objections. Supporters of the CCSS have a solid base of support, but this survey is also a reminder of the importance of talking to voters regularly. Voters are open-minded, believe that the quality of education is important, and need solid information about the Common Core that gets past the noise and the scare tactics.”
When given a short description of the new assessments under development that will be aligned with the CCSS, 66 percent of voters supported implementing them. Nearly one-third of voters (31 percent) strongly favored implementing the new assessments while only 22 percent were opposed to the new tests.
Complete results from the poll are available at http://www.achieve.org/files/VoterPerceptionsCCSSandTestsreport2014.pdf.
 The CCSS description given to voters reads, “Over the last few years a new set of educational standards were developed for English and math for students in grades K through 12. They are called the Common Core State Standards and are now being taught in classrooms in 45 states and across the country. The standards were developed under the guidance of state governors and state school chiefs who relied on teachers, content experts, and higher education faculty to help draft and review them. The goal of the standards is to help all students have the knowledge and skills they need in English and math so that they will be prepared as they leave high school and enter the workforce or go on to college, and that all students would be held to the same expectations, regardless of their state, school, or district.”