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Growing Awareness, Growing Support: Teacher and Voter Understanding of the Common Core State Standards & Assessments June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing Awareness, Growing Support: Teacher and Voter Understanding of the Common Core State Standards & Assessments June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing Awareness, Growing Support: Teacher and Voter Understanding of the Common Core State Standards & Assessments June 2012

2 Methodology On behalf of Achieve, Inc., Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research are pleased to present the key findings from a national survey of N=1,000 registered voters and N=500 K through 12 public school teachers. The survey was conducted May 6-10, 2012 and has a margin of error of +3.1% among voters and +4.4% among teachers. To help inform this survey, a series of eight focus groups (four among parents and four among teachers) were conducted in November-December 2011 to explore perceptions of, and reactions to, information related to the Common Core State Standards and assessments. 2

3 Background 3 In June 2010, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – K-12 standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy developed through a multi-state initiative – were released. Since then, 46 states and Washington DC have chosen to adopt the new standards as their own. Implementation efforts are now underway in most of these states. 45 states and Washington DC are working to develop common assessments aligned to the CCSS, which will allow for better cross-state comparisons and will measure whether students are on track to graduating ready for college and careers. As states are working to transform their education systems with new standards and assessments – impacting curriculum, professional development, and, in many cases, teacher evaluation systems – it’s critical that stakeholders, including teachers and voters/parents, are increasingly aware of, understand, and support the changes. To support states, Achieve has been monitoring awareness and support for CCSS implementation through nationally-commissioned polling.

4 Key Findings from Growing Awareness, Growing Support: Teacher and Public Understanding of the Common Core State Standards & Assessments 4 Voters and teachers strongly support common standards and assessments. Voter support remains strong regardless of age, education level, race, ethnicity, or party affiliation. There has been a significant increase in awareness of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) among teachers since August 2011, while awareness of the CCSS continues to be very low among the voting public. The more teachers know about the CCSS, the more positive impression they have of the standards. Similarly, voters who are aware of the CCSS hold a favorable view of the standards. A majority of both voters and teachers support new CCSS assessments, and support holds when more information on the assessments is provided. However, there are mixed reactions to some specific likely components of the new assessments, although voters and teachers are fairly consistent in their views on the highest and lowest rated assessment components.

5 Common Core State Standards

6 Since last summer, there has been virtually no change in voters saying they have heard about the Common Core State Standards. However, teachers report a much greater level of awareness. Thinking about the last six months, how much have you seen, read or heard about these Common Core State Standards? A Lot/ Some Not Much /Nothing 60% Nothing At All A Lot/ Some Not Much /Nothing 60% Nothing At All A Lot/ Some 46% A Lot Not Much /Nothing A Lot/ Some 65% A Lot Among VotersAmong Teachers 6

7 Common Core State Standards Based on what they have seen, read or heard about the CCSS, teachers report a more favorable impression of the standards compared to last summer. And, has what you have seen, read or heard recently about the Common Core State Standards given you a favorable or unfavorable impression of the standards? FavUnfav 11% Very FavUnfavFav 24% Very UnfavFav VotersTeachers Unfav Among Those Who Have Seen/Read/Heard about CCSS No Impact No Impact No Impact 7

8 Respondents were then provided with the following information about the Common Core State Standards and asked if they would favor or oppose their implementation: Now, just so everyone taking this survey has the same information, let me tell you some more about these Common Core State Standards. These new standards have been set to internationally competitive levels in English and math. This means that students may be more challenged by the material they study, and the tests they take will measure more advanced concepts and require students to show their work. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new Common Core State Standards? Now, just so everyone taking this survey has the same information, let me tell you some more about these Common Core State Standards. These new standards have been set to internationally competitive levels in English and math. This means that students may be more challenged by the material they study, and the tests they take will measure more advanced concepts and require students to show their work. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new Common Core State Standards? Common Core State Standards 8

9 Just a brief description of the CCSS produces solid support for the standards. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new Common Core State Standards? FavUnfav 43% Strongly FavUnfav 45% Strongly Fav 47% Strongly UnfavFav 33% Strongly Among VotersAmong Teachers Unfav Common Core State Standards 9

10 Among voters, there is broad and deep support across the major sub-groups. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new Common Core State Standards? Voter Sub-Groups Strongly Favor Total Favor Male 46%74% Female 44%79% %78% %75% White 43%76% African American 45%81% Less Than College 46%77% College + 44%76% Republican 44%75% Independent 46%75% Democrat 45%82% Parents 46%76% Non-Parents 45%77% Urban 49%76% Suburb 47%78% Rural 36%70% Favor 45% Strongly Oppose Among Voters Common Core State Standards 10

11 The more teachers report having seen, read or heard about the Common Core State Standards, the more support and enthusiasm they express for implementing them. Favor/Oppose Implementing CCSS Among Teachers Favor 33% Strong OpposeFavor 25% Strong OpposeFavor 19% Strong Oppose 18% Strong By Seen, Read or Heard of CCSS Favor 39% Strong Oppose Common Core State Standards After hearing a brief description of the CCSS 11

12 Common Core State Standards Assessments (CCSS Assessments)

13 Common Core State Standards Assessments Respondents were provided with the following information about the development of new Common Core State Standards assessments and asked if they would favor or oppose their implementation: As the Common Core State Standards are being developed, new tests that will reflect the new standards are also being developed. These new tests are being designed to help determine what students know and can do, and whether they are on track to graduate from high school ready for college and career. Over time, these new tests would replace the current end of the year state tests being given here in (INSERT STATE). Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new tests? As the Common Core State Standards are being developed, new tests that will reflect the new standards are also being developed. These new tests are being designed to help determine what students know and can do, and whether they are on track to graduate from high school ready for college and career. Over time, these new tests would replace the current end of the year state tests being given here in (INSERT STATE). Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new tests? 13

14 The brief description of new CCSS assessments results in majority support from voters and teachers. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose implementing these new tests? Among VotersAmong Teachers Favor 40% Strongly OpposeFavorOppose 25% Strongly 15% Strongly Standards Favor77% Oppose15% Standards Favor72% Oppose20% Common Core State Standards Assessments 14

15 Among voters, there is solid support for the assessments across all the major sub-groups. Favor/Oppose Implementing CCSS Assessments Among Voters Voter Sub-Groups Strongly Favor Total Favor Male 41%75% Female 39%73% %74% %73% White 38%75% African American 43%68% Less Than College 43%75% College + 36%72% Republican 43%80% Independent 38%69% Democrat 42%76% Parents 40%75% Non-Parents 40%74% Urban 41%74% Suburb 41%77% Rural 34%70% Favor 40% Strongly Oppose Common Core State Standards Assessments 15

16 Again, the more teachers are aware of the Common Core State Standards, the more likely they are to support new CCSS assessments. Favor/Oppose Implementing CCSS Assessments Among Teachers Favor 25% Strong OpposeFavor 14% Strong OpposeFavor 9% Strong Oppose 23% Strong By Seen, Read or Heard of CCSS Favor 31% Strong Oppose 16% Strong 14% Strong 15% Strong Common Core State Standards Assessments After hearing a brief description of the CCSS assessments 16

17 Respondents were read 14 different components of the CCSS assessments (as contemplated by the states in the PARCC consortia) and asked to rate each of them on a scale from zero to ten, where zero means it would be a very bad idea and ten means it would be a very good idea. The components were read in logical order, so participants were guided step-by-step through the various elements of the assessments. “I would like to get your reaction to the various components and features of the new tests. Please rate each of the following using a scale from zero to ten, where zero means you think this would be a very bad idea and ten means you think this would be a very good idea. Of course, you can choose any number from zero to ten.” Respondents were read 14 different components of the CCSS assessments (as contemplated by the states in the PARCC consortia) and asked to rate each of them on a scale from zero to ten, where zero means it would be a very bad idea and ten means it would be a very good idea. The components were read in logical order, so participants were guided step-by-step through the various elements of the assessments. “I would like to get your reaction to the various components and features of the new tests. Please rate each of the following using a scale from zero to ten, where zero means you think this would be a very bad idea and ten means you think this would be a very good idea. Of course, you can choose any number from zero to ten.” Reactions To Elements of The CCSS Assessments Good Bad Common Core State Standards Assessments 17

18 Teachers offer lower scores across the board. However, voters and teachers agree on most of the components they score highest and lowest. The Components Mean Results will be available within 1-2 weeks st optional test will be diagnostic nd optional test will require work to be shown 8.0 Tests would be the same across states required test multiple choice & open-ended required test would emphasize performance 7.8 Developed with education/test experts and teachers 7.7 Used for placement into entry-level college classes required tests will be given at the end of the year required tests would replace current tests 7.5 Measure progress in CCSS in English and Math required tests will be for accountability purposes 6.9 Test will be given throughout the year 6.5 Students will take all the tests on the computer 6.4 Among Voters The Components Mean Results will be available within 1-2 weeks 8.2 Developed with education/test experts and teachers st optional test will be diagnostic 7.5 Tests would be the same across states 7.2 Used for placement into entry-level college classes nd optional test will require work to be shown 7.1 Measure progress in CCSS in English and Math required test multiple choice & open-ended required tests would replace current tests required test would emphasize performance required tests will be given at the end of the year 6.4 Test will be given throughout the year 5.7 Students will take all the tests on the computer required tests will be for accountability purposes 3.7 Among Teachers Common Core State Standards Assessments 18

19 Common Core State Standards Assessments 19 Overall, voters are more supportive of the various elements of the CCSS assessments than teachers. The majority of voters rate 10 or more of the 14 elements as a “good idea” compared to just one-third of teachers. Number of Elements of CCSS Assessments Rated 8 or better (1-10 scale) Among Voters Among Teachers of 14 (Supporters) of 14 (Supporters) 5-9 of 14 (“Swing Voters”) 5-9 of 14 (“Swing Voters”) of 14 (Opponents) of 14 (Opponents) 53%34% 27%30% 21%36%

20 After hearing more about the CCSS assessments, voters offer an even more favorable impression of the tests and teachers hold steady with their opinions. Favor 40% Strongly OpposeFavor 25% Strongly Oppose 15% Strongly Favor 47% Strongly OpposeFavor 22% Strongly Oppose 16% Strongly Among VotersAmong Teachers Common Core State Standards Assessments 20

21 The Bottom Line

22 As schools begin implementing Common Core State Standards and new assessments, there is majority support from voters and teachers alike. Importantly, the more teachers know about the CCSS, the more likely they are to support implementing the standards and the new assessments. Teacher knowledge has grown significantly over the last six months. It is possible that as states and districts move from the CCSS being an idea to reality with implementation, overall support may slip. But how much it slips may be dependent on how strong the implementation plan is – and how well that plan is communicated. Ongoing and sustained communications is key to maintaining and building lasting support for both teachers and voters. 22

23 Bottom Line 23 It is critical to sustain or ramp up efforts to educate teachers—including what the implementation plan is and what teachers can expect. Focus groups with teachers reinforce the importance of good professional development, aligned materials, and their desire to collaborate with colleagues. Voters also need to become increasingly aware of the CCSS and what it means for students and parents. What will be different? How will the expectations change? What kind of support will be available? Voters, like teachers, also need to understand how these changes fit into the broader reform agenda, why it’s important, and the value of the new standards to our education system and economy.

24 Achieve is a bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for college, careers and life. For more information, see


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