Poll of Americans' views on education shows little awareness of new standards, wariness of tests

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Although 45 states including California have adopted new Common Core curriculum standards aimed at improving education, more than half of Americans surveyed in May had never heard of it.

In the 45th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward Public Schools released Wednesday, less than one-quarter of those polled believe that increased testing has helped the performance of public schools, and a majority oppose the inclusion of students' test scores in teacher evaluations.

The finding that Americans are largely unaware of major curriculum changes sweeping the nation mostly mirrored the results of an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey released four days

"Americans' mistrust of standardized tests and their lack of confidence and understanding around new education standards is one the most surprising developments we've found in years," said William Bushaw, executive director of PDK International and co-director of the PDK/Gallup poll. "The 2013 poll shows deep confusion around the nation's most significant education policies and poses serious communication challenges for education leaders."

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