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People Like Common Core, As Long As It Isn’t Called That

A new poll of voters in the state of Louisiana finds that most residents of the state are opposed to Common Core… at least until it’s given a different name.

The poll, conducted by Louisiana State University (LSU), asked voters whether they approved of adopting standards in math and reading that were shared among several states. In one version of the question, these standards were referred to explicitly as Common Core, and in another, the term was unused.

When a generic reference to shared standards was used, 67 percent of adults were supportive, while only 27 percent were opposed. Adding the Common Core label changed things dramatically, however, with only 39 percent saying they supported the standards while 51 percent were opposed.

The shift was even more pronounced for Republicans. Seventy-one percent supported shared multistate standards, but this tumbled to 27 percent who supported Common Core.

The poll appears to lend some support for what has proven to be a popular tactic in many states facing a backlash to Common Core: simply, renaming it. In Florida, Common Core has become known as the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. In Iowa, it’s the Iowa Core. Such a renaming hasn’t occurred in Louisiana yet.

Louisana residents also showed signs of some confusion over the exact nature of Common Core. Fifty-nine percent, for instance, said it was either “definitely” or “probably” the case that the federal government determines what textbooks and materials are used in schools under Common Core. In fact, the federal government plays no such role. Similarly, 32 percent said that Common Core was most likely created by the the Department of Education under President Barack Obama’s oversight, while only 20 percent thought that wasn’t the case (47 percent were unsure). While the Obama administration has sometimes promoted Common Core’s adoption, the standards were created at the state level.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 12 – Feb. 13. It had 980 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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