Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Siena Poll On Common Core Almost Worthless

The headlines on all the stories about the Siena poll released this morning that asked New Yorkers about Common Core look something like this one from the Rochester paper:

Poll: NY voters split on the Common Core, back moratorium 

The story starts like this:

Half of New York voters believe the state should delay implementation of the Common Core, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Siena College found 50 percent those polled support a two-year moratorium on the more-stringent education standards, compared to 38 percent who said they should "continue to be implemented as quickly as possible." Support for a moratorium was strongest upstate, where 63 percent backed a two-year pause, according to the survey.

New Yorkers are split on the merits of the Common Core, the poll found. More than a third -- 36 percent -- said the standards are "too demanding" for students, while 23 percent said they are "about right" and 24 percent opting for "not demanding enough."

"As the controversy around the Common Core and its implementation continues to swirl among politicians, education advocates, parents, and teachers, New York voters remain divided on whether or not the new standards are too demanding, and whether or not those standards will better prepare students for college or the workplace after graduation," Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.

What the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle  and Greenberg himself fail to tell us is that most New Yorkers don't actually know what the Common Core is:

How familiar are you with the Common Core learning standards in math and English that the State Education Department has adopted for all public schools in New York?

Very familiar 23%
Somewhat familiar 38%
Not very familiar 21%
Not at all familiar 18%
No opinion/don't know 1%

18% of the responders to the Siena poll said they didn't know anything at all about the Common Core but still gave an opinion about whether they thought the state should delay the implementation of the Common Core.

Think about that for a minute - it's almost 1/5 of the people who were polled.

Don't you love when people who don't know anything at all about an issue give an opinion on it and are taken seriously by some pollster as if what they say matters?

Then if you add up all of those who are either "somewhat familiar" (whatever that means, "somewhat" being a fairly vague term), "not very familiar" and "not at all familiar" in the poll results, you get 76%.

Think about that for a minute - more than 3/4ths of the people who were polled barely know what the CCSS are (or have no idea at all), but they're being asked to give an opinion about the value of the standards and whether the state should delay implementation or not.

With all of this uncertainty over the CCSS in NY, the poll finds New Yorkers support a two year moratorium on implementation and are negative about the impact the standards will have on schools and students.

Imagine if Siena actually asked public school parents who know what the CCSS are - then you might get much more informed poll takers and more useful poll results, since the people answering the question "Should there be a two year moratorium on Common Core in NY State" would actually know what the hell Common Core is and how it is affecting children.

How about it, Mr. Greenberg - why not poll public school parents whose children are most affected by CCSS and see what they tell you about the value of the standards?


  1. You've hit the nail on the head yet again.
    Poll the parents.

    I'd venture that the CCSS issue will have disproportionate impact in the 2014 and 2016 elections. Why? Voting is voluntary. It depends on how much you know and how much you're motivated to get out and vote.

    One thing that the education reform (more like, destruction) movement has done has been to turn ordinary parents into wonks. And the result is not going to look pretty for Common Core boosters like Hillary Clinton.

    Make no mistake, I have big issues with Clinton- he signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, he signed the slew of free trade agreements that have further degraded the American industrial sector. Yet, view this video of Hillary Clinton from the 2008 primaries and don't tell me that Hillary Clinton can speak on education in a way that sounds more sincere and more anti-teach-to-the-test than Cuomo, King, Obama or Duncan sound.

    Let Hillary Clinton learn how to talk the right talk on education and she crush Andrew Cuomo into sawdust.
    Whether kids (or K-8 teachers for that matter or parents helping with Common Core math homework for that matter) are getting traumatized over Common Core will mean a heck of a lot more with ordinary voters than Benghazi will. Hillary, pay attention to your anti-Common Core Ps and Qs and you will magically counteract the righties' Benghazi bloody shirt wavers.

    Back to your thesis: yes, absolutely, Common Core parents "get it" and detest the Common Core. They are a constituency that are hungry to hear from (sane) compassionate politicians that are ready to scale back (or better yet, annul the whole patronizing Gates/Coleman project).

    Yes, Bill Clinton made his econ policy missteps and I doubt that Hillary Clinton will deviate too far from his neo-liberalism. So, I'm not posting any Clinton stickers, but I will not deny that it will be absolutely delicious to hear the politician in the above 2007 NH campaign stop destroy Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mr. Common Core Governor.

    If Hillary Clinton has any political savvy, she will run from CCSS like the plague and will have the sure-fire political issue by which to take all the air out of the Andy Cuomo 2016 presidential campaign bus.

    For more on this thread, read Cuomo Has Written Off the 2016 Primary / His Common Core Missteps Will Let Hillary Clinton Bury Him.

    1. Do you think Hillary is really going to run? I am thinking her ambition will be there, but I'm not sure about her health. To be frank, she doesn't look that well (pale, drawn, tired, a bit bloated.) For that matter, neither does Bill (pale, drawn, tired, way too thin.) The Clintons are ambitious for sure, but they're getting up there in an age and I just wonder if age and health won't catch up to them the way it does with the rest of us.