Common_Core_Feature_02-2014

Survey reveals positive teacher attitudes about Common Core

Among the ExxonMobil Foundation’s top priorities is helping to promote the adoption and full implementation of the Common Core State Standards. I have asked Foundation President Suzanne McCarron to discuss some new data that address the issue. ~Ken

Last week the Scholastic Corporation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation published the results of a survey of American teachers that ought to be instructive in our national discussion about the Common Core State Standards.

Every two years, Scholastic and the Gates Foundation interview thousands of teachers to get their take on important issues both in and out of the classroom. What teachers say about Common Core in the most recent survey is informative about how those closest to our nation’s students view their mission as educators.

CC_Teachers_02-2014One point that jumped out is that as teachers become more familiar with the Common Core State Standards, their support for them grows. That’s based on the finding that 56 percent of teachers in the early stages of implementation believe Common Core’s impact on students will be positive. The number jumps to 73 percent when surveying teachers involved in the final stages of implementation.

Moreover, the study finds that 73 percent of teachers with direct experience implementing the Common Core State Standards are enthusiastic about using them.

Another important finding in the poll is that 75 percent of teachers report being prepared to teach to the Common Core. That figure was only 59 percent the last time the survey was taken, in 2011.

There’s more to the Scholastic/Gates Foundation survey than the few points I’ve highlighted here, and it’s worth reading the entire study.

Support for the Common Core State Standards is not enough, of course. How they are implemented will make all the difference in determining their impact and success.

For that reason, it’s also worth checking out a new study from the Fordham Institute that looks at how Common Core is playing out in four “early implementer” school systems.

The Fordham Institute report notes the various challenges facing these school districts as they work to implement the standards in their classrooms. Its assessment of how implementation is faring in these early-adopting locales – and the lessons the report offers – should help other states and school districts as they move to meet their own timelines to get Common Core in place.


11 Comments

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  1. John Shepard says:

    Are you suggesting, Mr. Cohen, that popular approval of Common Core by teachers is the standard by which to judge its merits?

  2. John Shepard says:

    I’m sorry, Mr. Cohen, I assumed that the post was by you, as is typical, but I now see that it is by Suzanne McCarron.

    My question then goes to you, Miss McCarron.

    • Suzanne McCarron says:

      Thanks for reading, Mr. Shepard. I appreciate the question. I was simply reporting the results of a poll showing that teachers familiar with the Common Core State Standards tend to be supportive of them, and that the more familiar they are with them, the more they favor their adoption and use.

      Common Core is an important and serious measure to address a glaring problem. Simply, not enough American students are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. A recent international assessment showed American students slipping behind students from other countries, with particular weakness in math-related areas. Meanwhile nearly one-third of American high-school graduates who take the U.S. military entrance exam, which is focused on basic reading and math skills, end up failing. And despite large numbers of people out of work, hundreds of thousands jobs in the United States are going unfilled because there are not enough qualified applicants.

      My post highlighted the Scholastic/Gates Foundation poll because I am pleased to see that teachers find the Common Core State Standards to be a useful tool and are enthused at their potential for reversing the decline in American student achievement.

      • John Shepard says:

        Thank you, Miss McCarron, for your reply.

        As far as I know, there is no way to get an email notice for new comments here, so I’m only just now back and have only just now seen your reply, because I was going to add another comment to mention something I just read. (If it’s possible to add email notifications for new comments to this blog, it would be helpful, if that’s something that you on that end think to be worthwhile.)

        We all know and hear about routinely (and perhaps know from experience) that there’s something significantly wrong with education in America, and it is certainly in all of our interests that whatever the problem is be corrected. But that’s the problem: just what is the nature of the problem, and therefore what is the solution. Only that kind of analysis and knowledge can help us to decide whether or not Common Core is the, or a, solution, or if it would only be one more step furthering the decline of American education.

        I know that she’s controversial and often dismissed, but Ayn Rand and her philosophy, especially her theory of concepts, or “universals,” I believe, holds the answer (as mentioned in Mrs. VanDamme’s article I previously mentioned, “The False Promise of Classical Education), the key to identifying the nature of the problem with American education and therefore what is required to improve things. The key is understanding the nature of concepts (which are our basic means of knowledge) and the hierarchical nature of concepts, the fact that one can only learn some things after one has learned, truly learned first-hand (by connections every individual has made to what they know self-evidently in perception, our only source of direct information about reality), other, more fundamental things.

        Miss VanDamme, who, along with her husband,… read more »

        …some years ago started the VanDamme Academy (www.vandammeacademy.com), is an inspiration, having taken on the task of implementing the views presented by Dr. Leonard Peikoff in his lecture, “The Philosophy of Education,” which I’ve mentioned to Ken previously. I first heard Dr. Peikoff’s lecture years ago, purchasing the six-cassette-tape set of his lecture – five of the tapes are the lecture, the last is for questions and answers – when the price was significant. Now the lecture, or course, is available for $5.49 as an mp3 download (https://estore.aynrand.org/p/64/philosophy-of-education-mp3-download).

        I don’t know if Ken purchased the lecture, but if he did then you can ask him about it. If he did not, I hope that one of you will purchase the lecture and listen to it, given that you both are earnestly and sincerely interested in improving education in America (and elsewhere I’m sure), perhaps share it with the other.

        You can also check out the information available at the VanDamme academy as well as watch some of the many YouTube videos which Mrs. VanDamme has posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/VanDammeAcademy/videos?shelf_id=1&view=0&sort=dd). I would recommend her eight-part series, “The VDA Writing Curriculum,” as a start.

        Beyond that, if you’re curious about Miss Rand’s theory of concepts, see her “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.” And, although I’m only about a third of the way through it, having listened to some of the lectures (available at the ARI eStore as well) it incorporates, I think I can safely recommend Dr. Harry Binswanger’s new book, “How We Know” (http://www.how-we-know.com/) – see the excerpts, as an excellent “chewing” of the ideas that Miss Rand presents in her “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.”

        What I came here to mention and recommend is this short article by Michael A. LaFerrara (The Objective Standard): “The Wasteful Destructiveness of Tax-Funded Education” (http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2012/05/the-wasteful-destructiveness-of-tax-funded-education/).

        Best wishes,

        John Shepard

  3. John Shepard says:

    “The proper goal of education is to foster the conceptual development of the child—to instill in him the knowledge and cognitive powers needed for mature life. It involves taking the whole of human knowledge, selecting that which is essential to the child’s conceptual development, presenting it in a way that allows the student to clearly grasp both the material itself and its value to his life, and thereby supplying him with both crucial knowledge and the rational thinking skills that will enable him to acquire real knowledge ever after. This is a truly progressive education—and parents and students should settle for nothing less.” – Lisa VanDamme, “The False Promise of Classical Education”

    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-summer/false-promise-classical-education.asp

  4. Bob Down says:

    It is really a shame the ExxonMobil has taken the stance to support Common Core, otherwise known as COMMIE-CORE. Because that is exactly what it is. It was designed by commies and does nothing to teach children what they should actually be learning. Common Core destroys the time-held values that Americans have held dear for over two centuries. Common Core makes light of our Constitution and dismisses it as “old-fashion”.

    But, I am really not surprised that a multi-national company like ExxonMobil would endorse such clap-trap like Common Core. The globalists who “run” large corporations like ExxonMobil have all been either brainwashed to think this kind of crap is good for America or they are hardened commies themselves. This would be a good time for any sharholders in ExxonMobil to sell out and step as far away as possible from this satan-inspired company.

    There is a time coming when the true American Patriots take their country back and destroy all those who would align themselves with the commies/marxists that want to enslave Americans.

  5. donald gotshalk says:

    The data are false. That’s why the survey is coming out now. Teacher unions across the country are reporting massive teacher hostility to Common Core.
    Donald Gotshalk

  6. Richard Baty says:

    Did they do a study based on the parents — that would be helpful as well.
    Do the backers of Common Core support charter and/or other types of non-public schools?
    Rich Baty

  7. donald gotshalk says:

    The data are false. That’s why the survey is coming out now. Teacher unions across the country are reporting massive teacher hostility to Common Core. Its a shame that Exxon of all people should have leaders who want to fraudulently fool parents and children who are not served by this kind of foolery. At this moment throughout the country school administrators are circumventing Federal and State political mandates for Common Core by holding conferences with educators who know better. These educators do no necessarily represent teacher unions. They do not represent Federal and State mandates that control State Boards of Education who have been bought off. They do not represent education book publishers who have high stakes involved. They do represent the children and parents of this country who want education that is not watered down but competitive with international standards that are beating us in every way. Its time for Exxon to question what is going on here?

  8. John Shepard says:

    “Be Glad for Our Failure to Catch Up with China in Education” by Peter Gray, Psychology Today, May 28, 2013:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201305/be-glad-our-failure-catch-china-in-education

  9. John Shepard says:

    “Education in a Free Society” by Dr. C. Bradley Thompson (The Objective Standard):

    ‘In “The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of Our Time” (TOS, Winter 2012–13), I argued that America’s government school system is immoral and antithetical to a free society, and that it must be abolished—not reformed. The present essay calls for the complete separation of school and state, indicates what a fully free market in education would look like, and explains why such a market would provide high-quality education for all children.’

    That is Dr. Thompson’s opening paragraph. To read the entire article requires a subscription or the purchase of a PDF copy, but if we’re concerned about the future of education and America, arguments such as Dr. Thompson’s are due consideration. Or we can settle for “hope and change” and “good intentions.”

  10. John Shepard says:

    Are you suggesting, Mr. Cohen, that popular approval of Common Core by teachers is the standard by which to judge its merits?

  11. John Shepard says:

    I’m sorry, Mr. Cohen, I assumed that the post was by you, as is typical, but I now see that it is by Suzanne McCarron.

    My question then goes to you, Miss McCarron.

    • Suzanne McCarron says:

      Thanks for reading, Mr. Shepard. I appreciate the question. I was simply reporting the results of a poll showing that teachers familiar with the Common Core State Standards tend to be supportive of them, and that the more familiar they are with them, the more they favor their adoption and use.

      Common Core is an important and serious measure to address a glaring problem. Simply, not enough American students are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. A recent international assessment showed American students slipping behind students from other countries, with particular weakness in math-related areas. Meanwhile nearly one-third of American high-school graduates who take the U.S. military entrance exam, which is focused on basic reading and math skills, end up failing. And despite large numbers of people out of work, hundreds of thousands jobs in the United States are going unfilled because there are not enough qualified applicants.

      My post highlighted the Scholastic/Gates Foundation poll because I am pleased to see that teachers find the Common Core State Standards to be a useful tool and are enthused at their potential for reversing the decline in American student achievement.

      • John Shepard says:

        Thank you, Miss McCarron, for your reply.

        As far as I know, there is no way to get an email notice for new comments here, so I’m only just now back and have only just now seen your reply, because I was going to add another comment to mention something I just read. (If it’s possible to add email notifications for new comments to this blog, it would be helpful, if that’s something that you on that end think to be worthwhile.)

        We all know and hear about routinely (and perhaps know from experience) that there’s something significantly wrong with education in America, and it is certainly in all of our interests that whatever the problem is be corrected. But that’s the problem: just what is the nature of the problem, and therefore what is the solution. Only that kind of analysis and knowledge can help us to decide whether or not Common Core is the, or a, solution, or if it would only be one more step furthering the decline of American education.

        I know that she’s controversial and often dismissed, but Ayn Rand and her philosophy, especially her theory of concepts, or “universals,” I believe, holds the answer (as mentioned in Mrs. VanDamme’s article I previously mentioned, “The False Promise of Classical Education), the key to identifying the nature of the problem with American education and therefore what is required to improve things. The key is understanding the nature of concepts (which are our basic means of knowledge) and the hierarchical nature of concepts, the fact that one can only learn some things after one has learned, truly learned first-hand (by connections every individual has made to what they know self-evidently in perception, our only source of direct information about reality), other, more fundamental things.

        Miss VanDamme, who, along with her husband,… read more »

        …some years ago started the VanDamme Academy (www.vandammeacademy.com), is an inspiration, having taken on the task of implementing the views presented by Dr. Leonard Peikoff in his lecture, “The Philosophy of Education,” which I’ve mentioned to Ken previously. I first heard Dr. Peikoff’s lecture years ago, purchasing the six-cassette-tape set of his lecture – five of the tapes are the lecture, the last is for questions and answers – when the price was significant. Now the lecture, or course, is available for $5.49 as an mp3 download (https://estore.aynrand.org/p/64/philosophy-of-education-mp3-download).

        I don’t know if Ken purchased the lecture, but if he did then you can ask him about it. If he did not, I hope that one of you will purchase the lecture and listen to it, given that you both are earnestly and sincerely interested in improving education in America (and elsewhere I’m sure), perhaps share it with the other.

        You can also check out the information available at the VanDamme academy as well as watch some of the many YouTube videos which Mrs. VanDamme has posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/VanDammeAcademy/videos?shelf_id=1&view=0&sort=dd). I would recommend her eight-part series, “The VDA Writing Curriculum,” as a start.

        Beyond that, if you’re curious about Miss Rand’s theory of concepts, see her “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.” And, although I’m only about a third of the way through it, having listened to some of the lectures (available at the ARI eStore as well) it incorporates, I think I can safely recommend Dr. Harry Binswanger’s new book, “How We Know” (http://www.how-we-know.com/) – see the excerpts, as an excellent “chewing” of the ideas that Miss Rand presents in her “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.”

        What I came here to mention and recommend is this short article by Michael A. LaFerrara (The Objective Standard): “The Wasteful Destructiveness of Tax-Funded Education” (http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2012/05/the-wasteful-destructiveness-of-tax-funded-education/).

        Best wishes,

        John Shepard

  12. John Shepard says:

    “The proper goal of education is to foster the conceptual development of the child—to instill in him the knowledge and cognitive powers needed for mature life. It involves taking the whole of human knowledge, selecting that which is essential to the child’s conceptual development, presenting it in a way that allows the student to clearly grasp both the material itself and its value to his life, and thereby supplying him with both crucial knowledge and the rational thinking skills that will enable him to acquire real knowledge ever after. This is a truly progressive education—and parents and students should settle for nothing less.” – Lisa VanDamme, “The False Promise of Classical Education”

    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-summer/false-promise-classical-education.asp