First things first, teachers know what is happening out there. Ninety-seven percent of teachers nationwide know about the Common Core State Standards and in the states adopting them, it is a complete 100% that are aware. With this established, teachers in the adoption states were then asked about all of the Common Core details. Interestingly, the study found that those teachers with the most experience with and exposure to the standards are the most positive towards implementation. Seventy-three percent of teachers who teach math, ELA, science and/or social studies agree they are enthusiastic about Common Core implementation in their classrooms. Seventy-seven percent also believe the standards will have a positive impact on their students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills.
However, these teachers are realistic, with 73% telling us that they believe implementation is going to be challenging. They are going to have to change – or have already changed – their teaching practice, and when asked about special populations, they are most concerned about students currently working two or more grades below grade-level, followed by special education students. For these students, teachers are asking for age-appropriate, leveled instructional materials. For themselves to successfully implement the standards, teachers report their top two needs as more planning time to find materials and lesson plans and quality professional development.
Teachers are working in an evolving education system and it has never been more important to hear what they have to say and learn what they need to do their jobs! Even with so much happening at once, it was great to see that 88% of teachers agree that the rewards of teaching outweigh the challenges.
To learn more about the Common Core State Standards Preview from Primary Sources, a project of Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visit www.scholastic.com/primarysources.
Teachers, tell us what you think! Do you agree with 20,000 of your peers?