(AP) The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia with the goal of better preparing the nation’s students for college or a job. Despite their widespread adoption, many parents don’t know what the standards are or whether their state has adopted them, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

The new standards establish benchmarks for reading and math, replacing education goals that varied widely from state to state. Although the federal government was not involved in creating them, it has encouraged the state-led project. Supporters say the standards will better prepare students, while critics say they amount to a national curriculum for schools, preempting the states.

Overall, 52 percent of parents said they had heard “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the standards, according to the AP-NORC poll. About a quarter said they had heard “a lot” about them and 22 percent said they’d heard “a moderate amount.”

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