Thursday, February 28, 2013


To better understand the views of teachers on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the EPE Research Center invited users of—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.

Key findings:

_ 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.

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