GOOD NEWS FOR COMMON CORE BACKERS: Teachers feel like Common Core implementation is going pretty well this year compared to last year, and they're feeling more prepared to teach the standards. Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are out with an update to a survey first conducted in 2013. The positive results fly in the face of a number of studies released over the last several months. (For example, two national polls released last month [http://politico.pro/1oQ678O ] found the public souring on the Common Core.) The survey results from more than 1,600 school teachers find that a majority are enthusiastic about the standards and are finding positive effects on student learning.
- In 2014, teachers are more likely to report feeling prepared to teach to the Common Core (79% in 2014 vs. 71% in 2013); they are also now more likely to say implementation is going well in their schools (68% in 2014 vs. 62% in 2013).
- Fifty-three percent (53%) of teachers overall have seen a positive impact on their students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills due to Common Core implementation. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of teachers who report they are in schools where implementation was fully complete in the 2012–13 school year (or earlier) say the same.
- Eighty-four percent (84%) of teachers who have experienced more than one year of full implementation say they are enthusiastic about the implementation of the new standards.
- Fewer teachers overall this year than last say that they are enthusiastic about Common Core implementation (68% in 2014 vs. 73% in 2013); teachers are now also more likely to say implementation is challenging (81% in 2014 vs. 73% in 2013).
- Teachers identify Common Core–aligned instructional materials (86%), quality professional development (84%), additional planning time (78%) and opportunities to collaborate (78%) as critical to ensure successful implementation.
Methodology: ...This Primary Sources update, fielded online by YouGov, includes teachers who participated in Primary Sources, Third Edition: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, which was fielded in July 2013. Teachers were once again contacted through Market Data Retrieval (MDR) and the study was conducted from July 1, 2014 through July 22, 2014; 1,676 pre-K–12 full-time public school classroom teachers completed the survey. All Common Core State Standards implementation states, plus the District of Columbia, are included in this research with the exception of Delaware. The states not included are Alaska, Nebraska, Virginia, Texas, South Carolina and Indiana. The sample is balanced on population characteristics including grade(s) taught, years of teaching experience, gender and urbanity, as was the case in each edition of Primary Sources....