Article

Teachers Are Enthusiastic About the Common Core But Acknowledge Challenges

A new survey, Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, reflects the views of more than 20,000 public school teachers nationwide.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

According to a new report by Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, 73% of teachers who teach math, English language arts, science, and/or social studies are enthusiastic about implementing the Common Core in their classrooms.

“I think the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are definitely a step in the right direction for our children,” said one elementary school teacher. “All students need the same experiences and opportunities for learning.”

The survey of more than 20,000 teachers in PreK through grade 12 nationwide, conducted online in July 2013, shows that teachers are also realistic about the demands of the CCSS, with 73% reporting that implementation will be challenging.

“I think Common Core is heading in the right direction,” said one middle school teacher. “I also feel it will take a while to get there because students are so far behind.”

Range of Support Needed

Teachers report needing a range of professional support to help them shift their classroom instruction and, as one respondent said, “meet the variety of learning styles children have.” According to the survey:

• A majority of teachers (76%) require additional planning time, with almost as many pointing to a need for quality CCSS-based professional development (71%).

• Two in three (67%) teachers need guidance and ideas for teaching in an inquiry-based way.

• And about six in 10 (63%) need CCSS-aligned curricula and more information on the content of the computer-adaptive assessments that are being developed (59%).

Raising Student Achievement

Teachers in schools where implementation is fully complete are more likely to say that the standards will have a positive effect on the overall quality of student education (73%), compared to 56% who are in the early stages of implementation and 40% who say that implementation has not started.

Among the potential benefits of the Common Core, teachers cite students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills; effectively present their ideas based on evidence; and read and comprehend informational texts.

“I like the rigor of the Common Core State Standards,” said one teacher. “It’s important that our students are challenged to work and think at higher levels.”

About Primary Sources

A new survey, Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, reflects the views of more than 20,000 public school teachers in Pre-K through grade 12 nationwide.

A joint project of Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the report delves into the challenges and rewards of the teaching profession; teachers’ views about the Common Core State Standards; the desire for feedback that is fair and ensures professional growth; and how teachers use technology to collaborate with peers. 

Download the complete Primary Sources report here.

  • Subjects:
    Professional Development
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