Levels of Support Highest Among Blacks, Hispanics

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2015 — A national survey finds more Americans support the concept of the Common Core State Standards — clear, consistent goals for what students should know and be able to do.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund commissioned the national survey among 1,375 U.S. adults about their awareness, knowledge, and attitudes regarding standards in public K-12 education.

By indicating the extent to which they agree or disagree with a series of statements about public education, Americans revealed what they value in K-12 public education and what they believe is important for students to achieve. They also revealed a degree of dissatisfaction with the quality of U.S. education: Some key findings include:

– 97 percent believe students need to be able to think critically and apply skills to the “real world” to be successful after high school.
– 92 percent believe schools must rise to meet the expectations of colleges and employers.
– 71 percent believe expectations in U.S. schools are too low.
– 92 percent believe “where a family lives, how much money they make, or their race or ethnicity should not determine the quality of the education that a child receives.”

“We are very encouraged by this national poll. It reaffirms what we know about the American people: that they want the best possible education for all our children,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Education Fund. “We will use this data to drive equitable change and improve educational opportunities for all students.”

While 44 percent of American adults said they know ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ about the Common Core standards, 24 percent said they have never heard of the Common Core. The basic lack of awareness is even more pronounced among minorities: More than a third of African Americans (37 percent) and a third of Hispanic Americans (33 percent) said they have never heard of the Common Core. And yet, African Americans are more likely than others to agree that the U.S. needs consistent standards in education.

METHODOLOGY: The results are based on survey responses from U.S. adults gathered through the ORC International Telephone CARAVAN® survey conducted in three waves: October 16-19, October 23-26, and October 30 – November 2, 2014. For waves two and three, only respondents who were African-American or of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino descent qualified for the survey. The study was conducted using two probability samples: randomly selected landline telephone numbers and randomly selected mobile (cell) telephone numbers. The combined sample consists of 1,375 adults (18 years old and older) living in the continental United States. Of the 1,375 interviews, 816 were from the landline sample and 559 from the cell phone sample. Surveys are collected by trained and supervised U.S.-based interviewers using ORC International’s computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system. Final data is adjusted to take the two sample frames into account and then weighted by age, gender, region, race/ethnicity and education to be proportionally representative of the US adult population.

For more information about The Leadership Conference Education Fund’s national poll on education and the Common Core State Standards, please visit www.civilrights.org/press/2015/common-core-survey.html (and click on http://civilrightsdocs.info/pdf/education/Survey-Findings-for-Polling-Release.pdf.)

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.