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STATES’ PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS: New Report Reveals States’ Progress and Plans for Implementing the Common Core

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“States are making progress and see strong support for common core standards, but this is going to take a long time and a sustained effort to see through.”

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted common core state standards in English language arts and mathematics.1 In an effort to learn states’ progress and plans for implementing the common core state standards, the Center on Education Policy (CEP) surveyed state deputy superintendents of education or their designees and compiled their responses in a new report, States’ Progress and Challenges in Implementing Common Core State Standards.

CEP received responses from forty-two states and the District of Columbia, which the report counts as a state. At the time of the survey, which ended in mid-November, thirty-two states reported that they had adopted the common core state standards. Of the eleven remaining states, four said that they had adopted the common core state standards provisionally, one said that it had decided not to adopt the standards, and six had not yet made a decision. Of the thirty-seven states that had either adopted, provisionally adopted, or decided not to adopt the standards, thirty-one said their decision would not change in 2011. Only three states said they might change their decision about adopting the standards.

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When asked why they adopted the common core state standards, state officials cited educational quality issues more often than Race to the Top as important factors in their state’s decision. As shown in the graph to the right, thirty-six states cited the rigor of the common core state standards (CCSS) as a “very important” or “important” factor in their decision. Only one state said that the rigor of the standards was not important.

According to the report, states that have adopted the common core state standards are moving forward with little resistance, but full implementation may be several years away for most of them. It finds that many states anticipate that it will take until 2013 or later to fully implement the more complex changes associated with the common core state standards such as changes in assessment, teacher evaluation, and teacher certification. Of the twenty-seven states that plan to change student assessments by 2013 or later, six gave 2015 as the timeline.

“States are making progress and see strong support for common core standards, but this is going to take a long time and a sustained effort to see through,” said Jack Jennings, CEP president and chief executive officer. “It’s also noteworthy that states vary on approaches to higher education policy and on how much they will require districts to do to support the new standards.”

Indeed, most officials from states that have adopted the common core state standards were unsure whether their state plans to align undergraduate admission requirements of first-year college curriculum with the common core state standards, the report finds. Among the major challenges states cited to implementing the standards, states most frequently mentioned developing teacher evaluation systems geared to the standards and finding the funding necessary to support implementation.

The complete report is available at http://bit.ly/dXQHpt .

 
1Minnesota adopted the common core state standards in English language arts but not math.

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