Press Release

Support for Michigan’s Common Core State Standards cuts across political and regional lines, with two-thirds of Michigan voters saying state funding should be restored

ROYAL OAK, MICH.  (September 12, 2013) – While most Michigan voters know little about the Common Core State Standards being debated in Lansing, once they are given a basic description of the standards 71 percent say they support Common Core, with only 18 percent opposing the standards.

And by more than a 2-to-1 margin, voters across Michigan say state funding for Common Core should be restored. Majority support for Common Core cuts across political parties, geographic region, parental status, gender, age, race, union status and education level.

These are the findings of statewide public opinion poll released today by the Education Trust-Midwest and the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards. The survey of 600 registered voters was commissioned by ETM and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. It took place Aug. 27-29, with a margin of error of ± 4 percent.

“These results show strong, bipartisan support for rigorous academic standards so all Michigan students, regardless of where they attend school, have the same opportunities to succeed in college or career,” said David Zeman, communications and content director at ETM.

“More good jobs are requiring more education,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.  “The Common Core State Standards are not a silver bullet, but they are an important part of making sure that every child has the opportunity to succeed.  Michigan needs to move forward with implementing the standards and assessments so our children don’t fall further behind those in other states.”

The survey shows:

  • Strong support for continued implementation of Common Core.  After hearing a basic description of the standards, more than 7-in-10 Michigan voters support them.
  • Even after hearing opposing arguments on Common Core, a solid majority of Michigan voters support the higher standards.
  • By more than a two-to-one margin (64% to 27%), voters say Common Core funding should be restored. This majority holds for Republicans (58% to 36%) and Democrats (72% to 20%).
  • Among voters who say a legislator’s support for Common Core would impact whether they would vote for them, by more than a 3-to-1 ratio voters would be more likely to vote for that legislator than not.

A detailed memo on the survey and the numbers it represents is available here.

“Michigan parents deserve honest information about their schools’ performance,” said Amber Arellano, executive director at ETM, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization.   “By restoring funding for Common Core implementation and assessment, our teachers will get more meaningful, fair and actionable information to help their students improve.”

The Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards includes dozens of education, business, parent, teacher, community, labor and military organizations that support successful implementation of Michigan’s Common Core. The coalition is urging the Legislature to restore funding for Common Core implementation and assessment before it is set to expire on Sept 30.

Michigan voluntarily adopted Common Core in 2010, joining 44 other states. Our teachers and administrators have been busy implementing the standards in the years since, while continuing to craft local curriculum that is tailored to how students in their classrooms learn best.

Common Core represents an extraordinary opportunity to elevate the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in Michigan. It spells out what our students are expected to know in each grade in math and English language arts to succeed after high school. There will be more focus on problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration – the real world skills all students need, and Michigan students deserve.

Common Core prepares our students for college, for career, and for life.