Friday, February 7, 2014

Survey Results: Overwhelming Opposition to Common Core

The one question survey at the Louisiana Educator blog is now closed, and the respondents overwhelmingly oppose Common Core in Louisiana schools! Here are the final results:
Readers of the Louisiana Educator were asked to respond to: What actions would you like to see Louisiana take relative to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?
  • A total of 2724 readers responded to the survey.

  • 61 respondents, or 2% stated that they would: Implement the CCSS just as has been prescribed by Superintendent John White with the approval of BESE.

  • 709 respondents, or 26% stated that they would: Implement the CCSS and the PARCC but phase them in over a longer period of time starting with lower elementary grades and progressing 1 or 2 grades each year until it covers all grades.

  • 1954 respondents, or 71% stated that they would: Do away with both CCSS and PARCC and substitute an improved version of GLEs as the standards for all the basic core subjects. Louisiana would implement its own testing as has been done in the past.
The persons participating in this survey were classroom teachers, school administrators, school board members, parents and citizens.

I interpret this as overwhelming opposition to Common Core in Louisiana by the respondents to this survey. Does that translate to opposition of CCSS by the entire population of Louisiana? Of course not. But that's because the respondents to this survey are generally well informed about the actual contents and implementation of the CCSS while the majority of citizens of Louisiana know almost nothing about it.

The majority of the readers of Louisiana Educator are classroom teachers who are very familiar with Common Core because they are now in the process of implementing the CCSS in their classrooms this school year. They know better than anyone how it will work in actual practice.

If someone conducted a random poll of the Louisiana general public, and all the survey takers told them about the CCSS is that it is a set of “more rigorous academic standards for our students that is expected to better prepare them for college and careers”, they would probably say that they support the Common Core. That's like asking them about motherhood and apple pie. The problem is that they know almost nothing about how the CCSS is being implemented in our schools.

Breaking News:

A poll of the general public by a Long Island, New York TV station had 86% of the respondents wanting to scrap the CCSS entirely. They have the advantage of having given the CCSS related tests before us.

The Louisiana Legislature has the final say on the Common Core or any other standards that could be applied in our public schools. The legislature can decide whether they want to continue implementing Common Core exactly as has been prescribed by Superintendent John White and BESE, or slow down and gradually implement CCSS, or drop CCSS altogether and instead use an improved set of state standards developed for and by educators in Louisiana.

If the question before the Legislature was: Who should determine the proper procedures to be used in our hospitals, or in our police stations, or in our courtrooms, I think most people would say that we need to listen to the professionals who actually work in those important institutions. So why should our education standards be determined by strangers from other states?

This time, we sincerely hope and request that the Legislature will listen to the real experts in education. Those are the administrators and classroom teachers in our schools.