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.