Does a rose by any other name not smell as sweet?

Not when it comes to Utah state government’s participation in the K-12 educational standards known as Common Core, polling shows.

Friday, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert is set to talk about Utah’s Common Core standards.

He has already given preliminary reports on how Utah is following current law demanding that Utah schools are controlled by the State School Board and local school boards, all elected by Beehive voters.

And Utah’s education IS NOT controlled by the federal government, Herbert has said time and again.

But use the words “Common Core” in a poll question, and BAM!, you get very different responses from Utahns.

Back last summer, UtahPolicy had pollster Dan Jones & Associates ask citizens if they supported or opposed the Common Core standards in English and math.

Then, just last month, the Exoro Group consultants and Zions Bank had Jones conduct a poll that asked if Utahns, in general, supported standards adopted by a group of states in English and math for our students grades K-12.

The words “Common Core” were not used in the Exoro question, even though Jones was referring to those national standards in that question.

Here is how the questions were worded:

-- In the Exoro poll, Jones asked: “Utah is currently participating in a coordinated effort with other states to set similar education standards in math and language. These standards outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade in K through 12 education.”

-- In the UtahPolicy poll, Jones asked: “From what you know today, do you support or oppose the Common Core Standards?”

Last summer, only 29 percent of Utahns supported the Common Core standards, 41 percent opposed them and 20 percent were neutral – they neither supported nor opposed Common Core.

 

Last month, in the Exoro poll, 57 supported standards adopted by a number of states, K-12, for English and math (the words “Common Core” were not used in that question).

 

Only 21 percent opposed and 20 percent were neutral.

In fact, the English and math proficiency standards are the same – they are the Common Core standards set up by the National Governors Association and a group of education professionals that various state education bosses have adopted.

They ARE NOT standards set by the federal government – which in the UtahPolicy polling last summer showed Utahns were confused about.

Here are some other poll numbers:

-- In the recent Exoro poll, 52 percent of Republicans said they favored English and math education standards adopted by a group of the states, only 23 percent of Republicans opposed those standards, and 23 percent were neutral.

-- Last summer, 45 percent of Republicans opposed Common Core standards, 23 percent favored those standards and 20 percent were neutral.

-- Last summer, 53 percent of Democrats supported Common Core, while only 33 percent of political independents supported Common Core.

-- Take away the words “Common Core,” and in the new Exoro poll 71 percent of Democrats support educational standards adopted by a group of states, and 61 percent of political independents support such standards.

So, Herbert, who takes over the chairmanship of the NGA this summer, only has to ban the use of the words “Common Core” and Utahns in general, and even those in all political parties, will support his K-12 education standards in English and math.

In this case, a rose by any other name does not smell as sweet.