Only half of school districts are working on implementing the Common Core Standards their states have adopted, according to a Center on Education Policy survey. Some are waiting for state guidance on how to adapt curriculum, instruction and assessment and add learning materials.
“What it says to me is that there is a large percentage that don’t seem to understand the train that is about to hit them,” said William H. Schmidt, a Michigan State University education professor who is conducting his own research on districts’ readiness for the new standards. “That, to me, is somewhat scary.”
Superintendents disagree on whether the new standards are more demanding, reports Education Week.
Fewer than 60 percent of the districts said they view the new standards as more rigorous than their states’ previous guidelines. Fewer still—55 percent in math, and 58 percent in English/language arts—said they believed the standards would improve students’ skills.
Two-thirds of the districts anticipate the need for new curriculum materials in math, and 56 percent anticipate a similar need for the literacy standards. About half the respondents said they thought the new standards would demand “fundamental changes” in instruction.
Surveying superintendents overstates districts’ readiness for the new standards, Schmidt told Ed Week. “In his work surveying 700 districts, he said, he has found that teachers know less about the standards than do staff members at district headquarters.”