NEA Poll: Majority of Educators Support the Common Core State Standards

According to a new poll by the National Education Association, the Common Core State Standards are strongly supported by its members. Roughly three-quarters of educators are either wholeheartedly in favor of the standards (26 percent) or support them with “some reservations” (50 percent). Only 11 percent of those surveyed expressed opposition. Thirteen percent didn’t know enough about the CCSS to form an opinion.  Overall, 98 percent of NEA members have heard of the standards. In addition, 79 percent of respondents said they were well or somewhat prepared to implement the new standards. The survey questioned 1200 NEA members and was conducted in July by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

In recent months, critics and many politicians have leveled a slew of charges against the standards, including the assertion that they are opposed by the very people, other than students, who will be affected the most – classroom teachers. The new NEA poll strongly refutes this claim.

NEA believes that the standards have the potential to have  an enormous impact on student learning, but in order to fulfill the standards’ worthy goals, teachers must be provided with the time, tools and resources to help make implementation a success.

“Our members support the Common Core Standards because they are the right thing to do for our children,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “We all need to work together –parents, education support professionals, teachers, administrators, communities and elected officials – to make sure we get this right.”

What is it about the Common Core that generates educator support? 38 percent cited clearer guidelines and education goals, 27 percent said the standards are already aligned with what they teach, and 23 percent believed the standards are more rigorous.

All respondents cited a number of ways the new standards will affect their teaching. Thirty-one percent believe they will lead to more time taken up by standardized testing and 30 percent said they will allow teacher to delve into subjects more deeply.  Others cited more time to teach process and problem-solving and having more time for instruction on fewer topics.

Even among many Common Core supporters, the thorny issue over new assessments is feeding their reservations. Fifty-five percent said their schools plan to use Common Core assessments to evaluate their performance, but an overwhelming majority (81 percent) favor a moratorium or grace period on accountability provisions, with 2-5 years being the most popular.

Other key findings in the survey:

  • Asked what measures could be taken to help teachers with the standards, respondents cited collaboration time with colleagues, more planning time, updated classroom resources, in-service training and better technology to administer the computer-based assessments.
  • 65 percent have participated in a Common Core training session, but just 26 percent said the trainings were helpful.
  • 44 percent said teachers were playing a major role in the implementation of the standards. 32 percent aid teachers were being consulted.
  • Educators also pinpointed other factors that would help students learn the new standards. Forty-three percent cited smaller class size, 39 percent suggested greater parental involvement, and 22 percent said students need up-to-date books and materials.
  • 67 percent have looked for resources outside of school to bring them up to speed.

See also:
Six Ways the Common Core is Good For Students
Beyond the Bubble: Schools Get Ready for the Common Core Assessments

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  • “When *you* read “Roughly two-thirds of educators are either wholeheartedly in favor of the standards (26 percent) or support them with “some reservations” (50 percent),” you apparently saw “76% of educators support CCSS.

    When *I* read “Roughly two-thirds of educators are either wholeheartedly in favor of the standards (26 percent) or support them with “some reservations” (50 percent),” I read “Only 26% are truly behind CCSS, with fully 50% of our membership expressing reservations without necessarily opposing them.”

    26% is hardly a “majority” of educators, and I would be one of the 50% with reservations – and my reservations are significant. The categorizations really do not allow for an accurate accounting of membership’s specific views with any shades of gray, which makes it very easy for NEA to “spin” the data as positive support.

    Poll your membership again, and ask the hard questions. I dare you.”

  • Maria Schrenger

    I do NOT believe that 3/4 of teachers support the Common Core. Dennis Van Roekel “sold out” to Arne Duncan, etc. a long time ago. It is disgraceful for me and other members faithfully paying our dues that he is “all we’ve got” to represent us. Has he read the K – 3 CC standards? They are extremely developmentally inappropriate for children in this age group! I went to the NEA conference in Atlanta this past summer & he did NOT impress me at all!

  • Get real NEA!

    How can a survey conducted of only 1200 people (of an organization with MILLIONS of members) be considered enough information to claim that teachers “strongly support” the CCCS? The math in this article is tragically embarrassing! NEA, you’re not doing very much to persuade us that you are a source to be listened to or trusted when your analysis of data is this inaccurate and misleading.

  • The Common is Bill Gates’ attempt to undermine teachers and public schools. This poll clearly needs to be re-conducted more genuinely. The Common core isn’t known by teachers… Most of the teachers that approve of the common core are, probably, new, and willing to spout what their administrator told them (with the hope that he or she will hear them as they do).

  • Sara

    Who developed the common core? I strongly urge educators to investigate this.

  • MN teacher

    The idea of the CC is nice: let’s raise standards in states that have none, and make sure everything is aligned. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Haven’t we figured out yet that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work in education?

    Also, I take issue with the question “do you support the CC?” I don’t think any teacher is qualified to judge the entire Common Core. I teach high school math, and find the math standards of the CC to be ridiculous. (No way every student is ready for Algebra in 8th grade!) But I am not qualified to judge the English or science standards of the CC. Maybe they’re good. (But I doubt it.)

  • Jeremiah H

    This poll is ridiculous. I am a member and I was not surveyed, nor were a lot of my colleagues who are also members. And no, I do not support the common core standards, they are not the right thing for children!

  • Diane Aoki

    Very misleading headline implying that all nea members were polled.1200 is hardly all and is a small sample of the 3 million members. I am disappointed in this skewed reporting. And I am wary that in our zeal to promote the standards- I mean nea’s zeal – they ate neglecting to protect us and our students from its ill effects, meaning the high stakes of scores tied to teacher evaluation. We are heading for a plane crash and it doesn’t matter if the plane is the best plane in the world.

  • Leo Pusateri

    From reading the comments here, it heartens me and gives me renewed hope to know that not all of our rank and file are not blind lemmings, subject to the propaganda spewed by union leadership.

    Makes me proud to call you my Union brothers and sisters.

    In my opinion, Common Core, at its very essence, is just a vehicle to indoctrinate “progressivist” ideals.

  • Ed Kirkbride

    I have no confidence in the Common Core initiative. Common Core is being administrated to death and will not prove to be the panacea that it is claimed to be. And, what’s up with the data mining built into the program? The Progressives are taking over everywhere and you can be sure that soon there will be little need for teachers since the “tube” can provide all of the education and indoctrination that big brother feels necessary.

  • Peggy Schwarz

    I know at least 50 NEA members & I have found ONE member who got to vote & she voted NO! So, how much money did Bill Gates give you guys? Did you hold out for more than AFT & NCTE got?

  • allison33

    It’s an atrocity that NEA spun this so much! Only 26% of teachers surveyed WHOLEHEARTEDLY support the CC$$. Headline is deliberately misleading, if you ask me. This is NEA, trying to tell its membership how to think. Not working.

  • Joan Davidson

    To say that 26% support and state a majority supports means you need Math tutoring. The spin on this is absolutely absurd. Billions of dollars are going to Apple, Rupert Murdoch, and Bill Gates, etc as they march laughing all the way to the bank.

    Teachers sadly will not get raises as the funds flow out to the billionaires. The NEA should be representing teachers and not the likes of these corporations.

    What will happen? Teachers will be forced to leave the profession but it’s ok because the kids just have to turn on the computer. Teachers: you have been replaced.

  • Jen

    According to the NEA website, there are 3 million members. Your survey got 1200 responses. From this miniscule sampling (very close to statistically insignificant) you are extrapolating to assume that a majority of the 3 million support Common Core? In what universe is this good math? I hope you don’t mind if I use this article as an example of media bias and the need to fact-check and reason when reading news releases for my Media Literacy classes. Common Core is a huge issue right now with teachers, as you would know if you bothered to think about what was written or even managed to actually survey all 3 million of us (not that hard to do since you manage to find all of us when it’s time to pay dues). You wrote that 31% of your sample believe that there will be more time lost to standardized testing. If you use this sample as representative of your membership, that’s almost one third of your members. How are you addressing this? 65% have attended Common Core trainings but only 26% found them helpful. Do you not see a problem with this? 44% said teachers were playing a major role in implementing the standards but only 32% said teachers were actually consulted. When your own survey is showing these kinds of issues, how the heck can you start off your story with saying Common Core is supported by a majority of educators??? Either someone needs to go back and review “Main Idea” (there’s a standard for that somewhere) or NEA needs to refund a ton of dues money because you are not representing teachers at all and you have absolutely NO CLUE about how Common Core is playing out in our classrooms today.

  • Liz Lauter

    I am a member of the “Badass Teacher’s Association” and 28,000 of us and growing do not strongly support the Common Core. Here is a recent presentation by a child psychologist about the Common Core. It’s easy to make an uniformed assumption that the Common Core is all good, but as people become better informed, they realize there are serious concerns.

  • Debbie Berger

    It is really heartening to see so many comments posted representing what often seems to be significant yet unheard segments of NEA. NEA members are not of a single mind, yet NEA often acts like it is.

  • Earl

    NEA you lie! The common core is a false bill of goods. It sounds great until you actually read the standards! We’ve nearly doubled the number of standards and doubled the depth, but no one will admit the number of standards have doubled because we just stop talking about the prerequisites necessary before someone is able to do the new standards. And the new standards are completely vague as well in many ways. The common core is a thinly veiled attack on public education. It’s an attempt to create an impossible task and set schools up to fail created by for-profit businesses. This so-called reform movement is one of the many reasons why I sadly must leave education at the end of this year. I care too much about kids to watch what’s going to happen to them when this terrible terrible program is implemented. God help our nation. The enemy of public education and children is at the gates and it’s called common core.

  • Cynthia Bliss

    A voluntary “click the link” poll on a web page is far from a scientific analysis. If you really want to tout member support for NEA policies, do the research.

    As pointed out by others – Common Core is an offshoot of Race to the Top and other anti-education, corporate reform policies that have been embraced by this administration. I am deeply disappointed with NEA leadership’s jumping on the bandwagon with the very people many of us are fighting against in order to save our schools and preserve what we know works best in our classrooms.

  • Rose

    It is extremely disappointing how far away the NEA leadership has veered away from the members. NEA leadership was “consulted” somewhere along the process but NEA leaders failed its’ members and the students when it elected to keep quiet and readily handed over OUR professional responsibilities to others; the corporate structure. Our NEA leaders have not been teachers easily well over a decade and much more, so they have no idea what it is to teach under NCLB and now the CCS. Leadership should take note of the growing displeasure of its’ membership about NEA’s leadership support of CCS.

  • sharyle burwell

    You will not be my teacher’s Association any more! Shame on you for such a pathetic attempt to sway opinions!

  • Ray Lanway

    NEA should be ashamed. You’ve become what we, as teachers, despise: An engorged entity with no real oversight. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thanks for nothing.

  • Sarah

    I can’t believe that the NEA is willing to publish such ridiculous “research.”
    Of 1200 respondents (which is not even a significant percentage of members)… You know what, Nevermind. I feel like a fool even commenting on this propaganda. I guess this article makes it clear what the NEA thinks of its members and/or the public. Do you really think those of us who are actually in the trenches with the CC are too stupid to do this dumb math word problem? Wow. I wonder how we will be able to even instruct students in this wonderful and rigorous CC-where I hear there are some standards that touch on rhetoric and maybe even something that looks like math. Good news, NEA-after about 20 years of CC the American public may be stupid enough to think your “study” was meaningful.

  • Dusty Jozefiak


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  • Kman Ivak

    I am with the 74% who do not want the ROTTEN CORE. How can the NEA be trusted when it lies to its members?

  • michael

    I wish an organization that claims to represent educators would actually do so. I wish NEA would rely on researched based evidence instead of untested and unproven ideas from nonteachers. I wish I could belive in NEA again.

  • Fred Collins

    The ‘creative’ interpretation of the study is disturbing. The sample size is not enough. I think a new study is in order.
    Do the thumbs up if you think the CCSS is great.
    Do the thumbs down if you think the CCSS is not great.

  • Fred Collins

    I also forgot that reinventing the standards with little to no teacher input and sketchy research to back it up is one of my least favorite things.

  • Allen Moore

    First of all, I’m a teacher, not an NEA member but another teacher union (who is also in the politicians’ and millionaires’ back pocket on this issue). I’m also opposed to the Common Core. However, to those members siting the size of the population. For a total population of 3 million, to get a 95% confidence level and a 3% confidence interval, you would need a sample size of only 1067. However, the challenge is showing that the sample size was truly random. When you create a website and have people fill out a survey when they “stumble” on to the site, it is NEVER random.

    That’s something that’s not taught in school though…and I’m sure it won’t be in CCSS either…

  • Malin Williams

    I know I’m late to the game, but I’m strongly opposed to the common core. I noticed that the vast majority of those who commented are opposed as well. In fact, I don’t recall a single comment supporting it. Funny that the article says the majority like it.

    Where are the comments supporting the articles assertions? My conclusion–like many before it–is that the NEA lies.

  • Michelle

    How hard is it to survey all NEA members?? I pay my dues and want my vote to count.
    Yes, I believe many educators initially supported Common Core. I know I did but now that we are finally learning the history in how Common Core originated compounded with lack of training, unrealistic testing and teachers feeling they no longer have a voice because they are in fear of their jobs, I think it is imperative that NEA does a new survey. I would go as far as suggest that they survey every six months as a means to stay on top of the ever changing challenges educators are experiencing due to Common Core and PLEASE include all NEA members.

    NEA is going to find themselves back-peddling in a few months as more and more teachers voice their opinions and asking where is NEA? Why aren’t they asking more questions? Why aren’t they asking educator’s what they think?

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  • Minkage

    Hi all. I’m a new teacher, middle school, and I agree with comments about the rigor. My already struggling students are struggling with the material. That said, I find the curriculum interesting. We have to start somewhere. If we all get on board, it’ll work. It will take time though. Evidently what teachers were doing before wasn’t working or we wouldn’t be making these changes. Let’s be hopeful!

  • Brian

    I am a teacher for 17 years. I have never done a poll about common core. So when you state educators support? I asked 10 of my peers. They never heard of any NEA poll. Give me a break. The Common Core was poorly planned, implemented and truly wrong.

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