States' Common-Core To-Do Lists Topped by Tests, Curricula
On the heels of its latest survey taking states' temperatures about the political environment surrounding the common core, the Center on Education Policy has released a report detailing how far along state education officials think they are in implementing the new English/language arts and math standards, and what they see as the biggest remaining challenges.
Officials in 30 states told CEP that at least some of their schools and districts are already using curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards. And those in 36 of the 39 states surveyed either "agreed" or "strongly agreed" with the idea that the new math standards require "substantially revised" curricula. (Officials in two states disagreed with that idea, and one wasn't sure.) In addition, 37 of the 40 responding agreed or strongly agreed that the ELA standard would require significantly different curricula than in the past.
As with the previous common-core survey, CEP received responses from deputy state superintendents over the course of this year. Among the states surveyed, 39 were implementing the common core in math and 40 were doing so with the common core ELA standards.
What about major shifts in approaches to instruction triggered by the new standards? The story is largely the same—for the common-core math standards, those in all but three states agreed or strongly agreed that the standards will require "fundamental changes" in instruction. (Officials in the three remaining states said they weren't sure about that idea.) As for the ELA standards, respondents from all but three states felt that big changes are on the way for English teachers.
Testing has become a major issue associated with the standards, and states have their own timelines for how they're dealing with that issue. Respondents in 18 states said they've altered current assessments to better reflect the standards, and 15 said that's in the cards for the 2013-14 school year. The five remaining respondents said that's "not a focus" of their state education authority.
Finally, I'll just illustrate the responses states gave when the deputy superintendents were asked whether they have or will "develop and implement teacher induction
programs that help new teachers master the CCSS and use them in instruction":