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Arizona Morning News

Updated Aug 27, 2014 - 2:08 pm

What's your opinion?

Now that the kids are back in school, you probably are worried about the Common Core curriculum. A recent poll put support for Common Core at just 33 percent.

Now that the kids are back in school, you probably are glad Arizona has adopted the Common Core curriculum. A recent poll put support for Common Core at 53 percent.

No. That's not a typo. Both are true statements. The difference is in how the pollsters asked their questions.

In the first poll, respondents were asked, "Do you favor or oppose having the teachers in your community use the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach?"

In the second poll, respondents were asked, "As you may know, in the last few years states have been deciding whether or not to use the Common Core, which are standards for reading and math that are the same across the states. In the states that have these standards, they will be used to hold public schools accountable for their performance. Do you support or oppose the use of the Common Core standards in your state?"

The second polling group also asked its question without using the words "Common Core." Support jumped from 53 percent to 68 percent. We saw the same phenomenon with polls about Obamacare. When it was called the Affordable Care Act, support jumped substantially.

Here's the message: the spinmeisters will do all they can to vilify policies and initiatives they don't agree with or are paid to undermine. They work hard to make the names of those policies and initiatives toxic. After a year of hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, name-calling and fear-mongering in the media, they succeeded with Common Core just as they did with Obamacare.

Politicians read the polls and I suspect often tailor their positions on issues to reflect the majority opinion. The winner of the Arizona Republican primary race for Governor tried to capitalize on the fear mongering. Doug Ducey never missed an opportunity to talk about his opposition to Common Core and call it a "federal program." It's not and I'm sure Ducey knows that.

If you are in the 67 percent or 47 percent or 32 percent (depending on the poll and how the question was asked) who oppose Common Core but think you may have formed your opinion based on what the talking heads told you, click on that Common Core link up in the first sentence.

See what the people who created the program and are implementing it have to say, and then make up your mind.

About the Author


Born in Boston, Ned began his career in radio there at just 19. After stops in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Los Angeles, he became News Director and Morning Anchor at KOY in 1983, and moved here to KTAR in 1989. He was inducted in the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2010. He and his wife Nancy live in Mesa.

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