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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Minority families divided on Common Core, testing

8/23/15 7:01 PM EDT
Black parents, Hispanic parents and white parents are divided on some of the most contentious issues in education, including the Common Core and standardized testing, according to the 47th annual PDK/Gallup poll released today.
While a majority of public school parents overall oppose the Common Core, black and Hispanic families were more likely to support the standards. (This is the first time the PDK/Gallup poll broke down responses by demographics.) The appetite for higher academic standards is there, however: Parents named academic standards as one of the five biggest problems facing their communities.
Overall, standardized testing lacks public support, with a majority of parents across the board saying that there’s too much of it. About 44 percent of white parents said they should be allowed to opt their children out of the tests, along with 35 percent of Hispanic parents and 28 percent of black parents.
“Communities of color tend to see the standardized tests as more valuable,” PDK International CEO Joshua Starr said.  “There are a lot of factors involved with that.”
He said urban and under-resourced schools might see the tests as more important, but he said he’s hesitant to draw conclusions from the demographic differences. He said the data is something PDK hopes to further unpack. 
Recent data on record-high opt outs in New York state showed that students who skipped the tests were more likely to be white and from areas with low to moderate needs.
Sixty-five percent of public school parents overall said they wouldn’t excuse their own children from standardized tests. Broken down by demographics, three-quarters of black parents said they wouldn’t excuse their children, compared to 65 percent of Hispanic parents and 54 percent of white parents.
— Caitlin Emma

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