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Study: Many Teachers Need Common-Core Professional Development

Many teachers in states that have adopted the common standards have not had any professional development to help them adjust to the new expectations, a new study shows.

The findings, based on a survey by the Center on Education Policy, which has been tracking common-core implementation, highlight the difficulty states face in reaching all their teachers to prepare them for the Common Core State Standards.

Fewer than a dozen states reported that three-quarters or more of their teachers have received professional development for the Common Core State Standards.

Of the 40 states responding to the survey, 22 said that better than half of their math and English/language arts teachers have participated in PD for the common core. Eleven couldn't supply estimates, and the rest said fewer than half of their teachers had participated in such sessions.

CEP.JPG

As the report points out, these numbers could be explained by the later timelines that some states adopted in implementing the new standards. But if they are, it suggests that these later timelines are leaving an awful lot of teachers underprepared for the new expectations.

"The implementation clock is ticking," says the CEP report, which was released yesterday. "If changes in instruction are to occur on schedule and if students are to be well prepared to master the standards, then teachers and principals must receive effective professional development to aid them through this transition."

And that doesn't mean drive-by PD, either, according to the CEP.

"One of the most urgent challenges is to not only provide an adequate amount of CCSS-related professional development, but also ensure these services are of high quality," the report says.

Indeed, 37 of the 40 responding states said that providing professional development to teachers in sufficient quantity and quality for the common core is a challenge. Thirty-three said the same about providing professional development to principals.

The CEP released another study yesterday as well, examining states' progress putting the new standards into practice in areas such as curriculum and assessments. Our Erik Robelen reports on that CEP study here on Curriculum Matters.

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