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Understanding the Common Core Debate Using Twitter Data

The Common Core State Standards are a topic of heated debate, but what is the debate really about — politics, ideology, or education? What is important to parents, students, teachers, administrators, reformers, politicians? Which groups are speaking up?


  • very different measures of learning between states was leading to confusion,
  • the decline of American students’ achievement on international standardized tests, and
  • the increased economic perils for low-skilled workers — i.e. 2008–2009 financial crash.

The Debate


Who is talking about Common Core and how are they talking about it?

Network of Users -> Words Used (Bipartite). Edges not shown. 20K users and words, 120K relationships




Grouping Users Based on Social Connections

There are 17,950 users on the graph, which is less than the 21,000+ total because I only queried for friends of users with more than three tweets about Common Core. There are 1.2 million relationships on the graph, resulting in an average of 65 connections by user.
  • the red community: politically liberal, education focused users, not necessarily for the CCSS, i.e. Diane Ravitch (see below);
  • the blue community: #TCOT, #PJNET using patriotic, Obama-bashing conservatives, mostly against the CCSS;
  • the green community: conservative, political action minded, mostly against.



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