Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Is the Best Way to Communicate with Parents About the Common Core?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Recently the ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll addressed methods of educating parents about the Common Core State Standards.

A recent PDK/Gallup poll (PDF)—the latest in its yearly education polls conducted with the American public—included several questions about the public's knowledge and attitude toward the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Although the results were not particularly surprising to many, the poll got widespread attention and was even the subject of a Washington Post editorial. The poll showed a lack of public knowledge about the CCSS, with only about a third of the public aware of this major shift in education. This indicates that education leaders have a serious communication challenge facing them. This poll offers some insight into how these messages might be delivered to parents.

The majority of the ASCD SmartBrief poll-takers reported that parents should be made aware of the CCSS through a meeting or presentation at the school or district (56 percent). Secondly, they felt parents should be educated by including links to information sent to parents in e-mails (18 percent). About 10 percent of respondents felt that one of these methods would be preferred:

  • Information in school newsletter (10 percent)
  • Information on school or district website (10 percent)
  • Materials or flyers sent home with children (8 percent)

This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 200,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 412 readers, starting on August 29, 2013. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.

Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at advertising agency Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.

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