What’s Common Core? Poll Finds Tennesseans Either Don’t Know Or Don’t Like It

The MTSU telephone poll of 600 Tennessee adults late last month found only 38 percent have heard of the standards. Of them, 43 percent disapprove, while just 22 percent approve. (Photo: the girl who owns the world, via flickr)

The MTSU telephone poll of 600 Tennessee adults late last month found only 38 percent have heard of the standards. Of them, 43 percent disapprove, while just 22 percent approve. (Photo: the girl who owns the world, via flickr)

The Common Core educational standards have caused wrangling among state lawmakers and spurred dozens of stories in the media, but a new poll from MTSU finds most Tennesseans unaware.

Common Core is already in effect in Tennessee and many other states.  Some commentators have equated it to a federal takeover, though it was technically crafted by a coalition of state officials.  Other critics worry it could dumb down what’s taught in schools.

But 58 percent of Tennesseans polled simply haven’t heard of it, says MTSU’s Jason Reineke.

“Some of that may be that it’s a policy-heavy issue.  It’s not the easiest thing in the world to follow along with and understand and dig into what it is.  What it’ll do to education, what its implications are down the line are tough questions to think about.  Not everybody has kids in public schools, so some people are going to be less interested than others.”

The poll found among Tennesseans aware of the Common Core, those who disapprove outnumber those who like it almost two to one.  And that gap is even wider among Evangelical Christians.


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