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Are Teachers Happy With CCSS Implementation? Survey Offers Another Answer

By guest blogger Alyssa Morones

Teachers' views on the Common Core State Standards are generally positive and seem to be growing more so with time, according to newly released findings from a recent survey of teachers.

The survey, released by Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, draws on a survey of more than 20,000 teachers from all 50 states—and paints a picture that contrasts somewhat with teachers' unions' recent depictions of mass frustration with implementation. 

The survey data were weighted to reflect the demographic characteristics of the U.S. teaching force.

Of all the findings, perhaps the most interesting is an optimistic view of teachers' relationship to the common core and the sense that implementation is already well underway. According to the report, 97 percent of teachers are aware of the standards and half of math and ELA teachers in states that have adopted the standards say that implementation is at least mostly complete in at least one of these areas.

Though 73 percent of math, ELA, science, and social studies teachers said that implementation of the standards will be challenging, that same percent also said they are enthusiastic about the changes. Further, the survey found that teachers' enthusiasm for the standards increases as implementation progresses. And three-quarters of teachers said they feel prepared to teach the standards.

The survey also found that the percentage of teachers reporting that they feel at least somewhat prepared to teach the standards has increased each year of the survey.

The results of this survey seem to indicate a discrepancy of sorts compared to unions' depictions of teachers' experiences with the standards.

In a letter to National Education Association members, President Dennis Van Roekel argued that many teachers reported that implementation was not going well. Too many states and districts have "completely botched" common core implementation, he said.

On one point, the two aligned: Van Roekel said that teachers needed more time and support to introduce them into their classrooms.  And the Scholastic-Gates survey found that nearly three-quarters of teachers said they need more time to find materials and prepare lessons to successfully implement the standards; 71 percent of teachers said they need more quality professional development.

Curriculum Matters' Liana Heitin reported on preliminary findings from the survey in 2013, and she also compares the results to yet another survey from the National Center for Literacy Education.

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