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Survey: Principals Prioritize Common Core, But Report Lack of Readiness

America's school principals overwhelmingly have put the rollout of the Common Core State Standards at the top of their agenda, but the vast majority also say they are not adequately prepared to manage both the budgeting and the overall shift in instruction that is demanded by the new learning goals in English/language arts and mathematics.

Those findings, among others on common core, are captured in a new surveywhich queried some 1,000 principals in 14 states—that was released this afternoon by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, or NAESP.

More than 80 percent of the principals queried by NAESP report that they are "prioritizing" the new standards both for school improvement and their own learning. That share was even higher among principals in urban districts, who also generally reported having received more professional development around common core than their nonurban peers.

Nearly half of the school leaders who responded to the survey work in urban schools, and NAESP broke out their answers in a separate report.

Among all principals who responded, more than 80 percent said the common-core standards have the potential to provide students with deeper learning and more meaningful assessments of their knowledge and skills. That figure was somewhat  lower among urban principals. Slightly more than half of the urban principals said they believe that the standards will ensure "equivalent student learning expectations for all students."

Most principals said they had not yet been able to upgrade curriculum materials or technology to support the new standards and forthcoming assessments. And more than 70 percent also reported that they had not yet taken action to integrate the standards into existing services for English-language learners and students with disabilities. 

Earlier this year, Education Week teamed up with Gallup to poll district superintendents on their common-core views and found somewhat similar results.

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