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New Poll: Support for Common Core Remains Strong in California

October 5, 2016

OAKLAND, CA – Despite continued hits in the national political debate, Common Core continues to have strong support in California, with nearly two thirds (62 percent) of voters favoring the use of the Common Core in California schools, according to a new poll released today by Children Now. Support for the Common Core is even higher among California’s voters of color; 80 percent of African-American and 75 percent of Latino voters are in favor of the new education standards, as well as 68 percent of Asian-Americans.

“We are not surprised to find that Common Core support remains strong in our state. California has been a leader in implementing the updated education standards and the test results are doing what they are meant to do—shine a light on achievement gaps, which is crucial to creating a more equitable education system for California’s kids,” Children Now President Ted Lempert said.

The poll also demonstrates that the Common Core brand is less favorable than the standards themselves. When the words “Common Core” are not mentioned, importance ratings for the components of the updated standards are overwhelmingly high. At least 80% of California voters rate nearly every component of the Common Core system as important, the only exception being “Reducing the number of standardized tests students take in school,” which was important to 69 percent of voters. In fact, some components were rated as important by over 90% of voters, including “Promoting critical thinking and pro-active problem solving skills needed for a competitive job market” (93 percent rate as important), and “Providing parents with detailed information on how their children are progressing” (92 percent rate as important).

More than half of California parents are supportive of Common Core, according to the poll. Support was highest among parents who had a child who took an assessment last year, recalled receiving a score report and found the report easy to understand (69 percent).

“Parents—and community members more broadly—want information about how their kids are doing,” Lempert said. “This poll shows there’s an understanding that these new test results based on the Common Core are much more meaningful than before, as we’ve discarded the 'drill and kill' memorization standards with a system that focuses on what kids need to be successful for college and career.”

The survey of 1,000 California voters was conducted on behalf of Children Now by the California-based research firm EMC Research. Click here to read a poll summary outlining key findings.

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About Children Now: Children Now is a nonpartisan umbrella research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a grassroots network of more than 1,700 business, education, parent, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more at

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