So the Siena Research Institute at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., rolled out a slew of poll results this morning that included several interesting questions about the Common Core learning standards.
It’s probably not surprising (at least to me) that New Yorkers are officially divided over the Core. HERE is the grid of responses.
Asked how confident they were that the CC will make students more “college and career ready,” 9% said very confident, 36% somewhat confident, 28% not very confident and 21% not at all confident. A brave and honest 7% said they didn’t know.
Over a quarter of suburban respondents said they were “not at all” confident. The burbs: 8% very confident, 39% somewhat, 19% not very and 27% not at all. 7% no opinion.
Now just how familiar are New Yorkers with the Core? 22% very familiar, 37% somewhat, 20% not very and 21% not at all. The suburban numbers were not all that different: 29% very familiar, 32% somewhat, 16% not very, 23% not at all familiar.
Pollsters also asked whether the standards are too demanding, about right or not demanding enough. This is an interesting question because, well, how many people have had the time or interest to look at the complex and lengthy standards for one subject in one grade, let alone for math and ELA in K to 12? Very, very few. So these results probably reflect what people have heard and read about the CC.
Statewide, 34% said the standards are too demanding, 23% said about right, and 27% said not demanding enough. A brave and honest 10% said they didn’t have enough information and 6% said they didn’t know.
I’m surprised that 27% said the standards are not demanding enough. I wonder which standards they are talking about. Not blaming Siena. You can only ask so many questions.
In the suburbs, 37% said the standards are too demanding, 17% said they’re about right and 28% said they’re not demanding enough. 13% said they didn’t have enough info and 6% said they did not know.
Siena also asked the big testing question. Is there too much testing, not enough or the right amount? The statewide results: 52% too much, 12% not enough, 28% right amount, 8% don’t know. That’s about what I would have expected.
In the suburbs, the results were very close: 53% too much, 9% not enough, 28% right amount and 10 percent don’t know.
Finally, we have the big wrap-up question: Have the reform efforts of the past three years moved public education in NYS in the right direction, the wrong direction or have they had little impact?
Statewide: 28% right direction, 22% wrong direction, 44% little impact, 5% don’t know. In the Burbs: 26% right direction, 27% wrong direction, 42% little impact, 5% don’t know.
I’d like to draw some kind of thoughtful conclusions from these numbers. But I don’t see many clear messages. What most stands out, I suppose, is that more than 40 percent said the reforms have had little impact. That’s a pretty high numbers, considering the time and money already invested.
Overall, here are a lot of naysayers when it comes to the reforms (particularly the testing question), but there also appears to be a block of folks who are positive (hopeful?) about where things are going. Both the state and its critics can probably circle numbers that support their points of view.
I’m left wondering what the numbers will look like a year from now. Five years from now?