According to a recent Gallup Poll, “The large majority of U.S. public school teachers, 76%, react positively to the primary goal of the Common Core — to have all states use the same set of academic standards for reading, writing and math in grades K-12.”
Reading the actual poll is quite confusing to someone who doesn’t read polls for a living. If you didn’t know what you were reading and don’t pay attention to the specific wording, you may think that public school teachers are loving the Common Core.
Notice the two key words in bold: “76% react positively to the primary goal of the Common Core…”
The U.S. Dept of Education states that the primary goal is to get the entire nations’ students on the same page, with the same topics at the same time so that moving across state lines will not hurt a student’s academic progress. If you dissect the sentence about teachers reacting positively to the primary goal of the Common Core, that’s much different from actually liking the Common Core.
Think of it like this: most people, myself included, like the primary goal of Obamacare. If, indeed, the primary goal is what they state–to make it so that no one goes uninsured or falls into life-altering debt to pay medical bills–who wouldn’t support that? Unfortunately citizens are not getting to choose whether or not they want Obamacare, the same way that children don’t get to choose to be taught the Common Core.
But continuing on the premise that I like the primary goal of Obamacare, let’s step back and look at it objectively. First, we are not following our Constitution which doesn’t allow for Americans to be forced to purchase something they don’t want. Like the Common Core, Obamacare forces an unwieldy, untested, bureaucratic mess on the states.
Common Core is going to cost the states much more money than they received to adopt the Common Core. In Oregon, for example, it’s projected that the cost is going to be an additional (at least) 4.5 million dollars for the testing that comes with the Common Core. (And we all know that if the government says 4.5 million it’s more than likely going to be at least twice that much.)
So overall, the Gallup Poll primary goal results were akin to looking at Common Core from a 30,000 foot view–from way above it looks good because you don’t see the tiny details (or large ones) that all add up to make it a virtual cesspool on the ground.
To get a clearer look up close we’ll go to Mercedes Schneider’s blog where we will see a different take on the same poll. As Schneider points out,
All six questions upon which the first teacher report was based involved surveying the entire sample of 854 teachers. However, though Gallup makes percentage distinctions among respondents from states fully implementing CCSS in 2013-14, it does not disclose the exact number of teachers from such states, nor does it disclose the number of states it identified as being full-CCSS-implementation states in 2013-14.
Gallup also does not disclose whether the teachers in full-implementation schools are actually teaching subjects directly impacted by CCSS. Such is a major limitation of the survey results. Given that CCSS primarily impacts English language arts (ELA) and math, it is possible for teachers at full-implementation schools to have either no or only cursory firsthand interaction with CCSS.
Gallup reports that public school teachers’ general impressions of CCSS are evenly divided between the positive categories (15 percent “very positive,” and 26 percent “somewhat positive”), and the negative categories (28 percent “somewhat negative”, and 16 percent “very negative”).
Schneider went on to say, “In a summative comment in its second report on the issue, Gallup also offers the condensed categories of “41 percent ‘total positive’” and “44 percent ‘total negative’” and frames the issue as “hardly a rejection” of CCSS”– and then immediately quotes what it terms the “bottom line” of its report– a “policy and advocacy team” member from the Gates Foundation, who redirects the issue to “teachers needing time” with CCSS assessments.
This is propaganda useful in reinforcing the idea that CCSS and its assessments are “a given” and should be accepted as such.”
Also worth noting in the original Gallup Poll is that the Gates Foundation member who took the results and propagandized them said teachers “just need more time.” Overall they love it, but they need more time.
I always trust the people who are paid to sell me something, don’t you?
In reading the Gallup Poll and this piece by Vox you will get a pretty, unblemished picture of how “awesome” this Common Core is. Vox focuses on Kentucky and why, according to the writer, Kentucky calls Common Core a success. Among his reasoning is the fact that Kentucky adopted the standards very early: “This early start meant the standards were already in place before the political controversies flared in 2012. In many states, parents got to know Common Core as a political issue, not an educational one. This wasn’t the case in Kentucky. Kentucky also adopted the standards before the federal government offered incentives for doing so. This neutralized a common criticism of Common Core: that adopting the standards was federally mandated.”
There is also a graph that shows that since the Common Core was adopted in KY, the percentage of high school graduates that are college or career ready has gone from 38% to 62.3%. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Contradictory to this seemingly positive graph, in the paragraph before it says that before the Common Core was adopted nearly 75% of all graduates were proficient.
And let us not forget that, as pointed out in the book Common Ground on Common Core, the old standards didn’t make kids college and career ready so they lowered the standards.
Common sense will tell you that if a child can’t pole-vault over a 4 foot bar, raising it to 6 feet isn’t going to help. The only thing to help them get over the bar is to lower it.
This Gallup Poll and the article about Kentucky are two examples as to why you have to look at many different sources to learn the truth about a subject. In other words, remember to look at the forest and the trees.