Thursday, February 28, 2013
TEACHER PERSPECTIVES ON THE COMMON CORE
To better understand the views of teachers on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the EPE Research Center invited users of edweek.org—Education Week’s flagship Web site—to participate in a online survey in October 2012.
Surveys were received from 670 qualified respondents—teachers or other instructional specialists in K-12 schools. The results presented in this report focus on the 599 respondents from states that have adopted the common standards.
While not statistically representative of the nation’s educators, respondents include a diverse group of teachers and instructional specialists who span a wide range of subject areas, grade levels, and geographical regions.
The survey examines a range of key issues related to the CCSS, including: familiarity with the new standards; information resources; the focus and format of training and professional development; levels of preparedness to teach the CCSS, generally and for particular groups of students; perceived impact of the common standards; and areas where additional training and resources may be needed.
_ A large majority of respondents report having at least some basic level of familiarity with the CCSS in both English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
_ Although most teachers having at least a baseline understanding of both the CCSS and their states’ previous standards, respondents were much more likely to be “very familiar” with their pre-CCSS standards.
_ Teachers are most likely to get information about the CCSS from administrators at their schools and from their state education departments.
• Although most teachers have received some professional development related to the CCSS, respondents have typically spent less than four days in such training.
_ The most common training topics are the new ELA and math standards, alignment between the CCSS and prior state standards, and collaboration with colleagues.
_ In a large majority of cases, professional development has been delivered in structured, formal settings like workshops and seminars.
_ Staff from respondents’ own schools and districts are the most common providers of CCSS-related professional development.
_ Few teachers feel that their textbooks and curricular materials are very well aligned with the common standards.
_ Teachers feel moderately well prepared to teach the CCSS to their students as a whole, but notably less ready in the case of certain student groups, such as English-language learners and students with disabilities.
_ An overwhelming majority of teachers feel that the quality of the CCSS is at least on par with their states’ prior standards.
_ On the whole, teachers also agree that implementing the common standards will help them to improve their own teaching and classroom practices.
_ Teachers identified a variety of resources that would enable them to better implement the CCSS, including: more planning time, better access to aligned curriculum and assessments, additional collaboration with colleagues, and a clearer understanding of the new expectations for students.