Survey: majority of Louisianans favor national education standards, but oppose Common Core
The latest results of the 2015 Louisiana Survey from the the LSU Public Policy Research Lab focus on the highly-controversial Common Core education standards, and they show the majority of Louisianans favor the standards—just as long as you don’t refer to them by name.
When asked if they support national educational standards as outlined by Common Core—but not using Common Core by name—a large majority of Louisianans, 67%, say they do support them. But when asked if they support Common Core, the majority—51%—say they don’t.
The shift is especially pronounced among those who identify themselves as Republicans. Large majorities of both Republicans, 71%, and Democrats, 72%, back national education standards when they are not referred to as Common Core. But when called by name, Republican support of Common Core standards plummets to 22%, and the majority—62%—oppose the standards. Democrats’ support also slides when the standards are called by name, but a majority, 57%, still back them when referred to as Common Core.
The results highlight just how polarized the Common Core debate has become.
“The political controversies that have arisen in the last couple of years appear to have tainted the Common Core’s brand,” says Michael Henderson, research director of PPRL. “People like the idea behind the program but the phrase has become politically toxic—dropping support and polarizing the parties.”
And while the mere mention of Common Core appears to skew most Louisianans’ perceptions of national education standards, the survey results show most people don’t even know what the standards are.
“The way people respond to the name ‘Common Core’ probably has a lot to do with what they think that means,” Henderson says. “But what they think is often marked by confusion.”
When presented with statements purportedly describing the Common Core standards, anywhere from 28% to 47% cannot even say whether the claims are true or false.
“When they do venture to make judgements on these claims, it appears they are simply guessing because answers vary widely depending on how the question is phrased,” says PPRL.