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ERIC Number: ED553304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Common Core and Other State Standards: Superintendents Feel Optimism, Concern and Lack of Support
Finnan, Leslie
AASA, The School Superintendent's Association
For months, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been debated throughout the media, legislatures, education organizations, and households across the country. Education groups have released statements both in favor of the standards and opposed. As these arguments are being tossed around, 44 states and D.C. are implementing CCSS and other states are implementing new college and career ready state standards outside of the CCSS. AASA supports high standards for all students, be they through the CCSS or other state-specific standards, but believes that schools and districts should be given the time necessary to fully implement the standards before judging their success, and assessments should be used in the manner for which they were designed and evaluated before any high-stakes outcomes are attached to their results. AASA proposes a purposeful approach of "slow down to get it right," to ensure that schools and teachers have the resources they need to successfully implement the standards and aligned assessments in a way that bolsters student learning. This includes time and support for teachers to meaningfully adopt the standards into their teaching with curriculum and instructional materials aligned to the standards. It also requires a deliberate effort to ensure that the related assessments are used for the purposes for which they were designed. The CCSS-aligned tests were designed to assess student achievement, and any effort to rush implementation of them that includes using the test data to inform teacher evaluation is ill-conceived. Frustration over an arbitrary deadline to implement tests in a manner for which they were not intended threatens the good that stands to be gained from successful implementation of the CCSS and related assessments. Whatever happens in the news and the political debate, districts are already hard at work implementing these new standards and their related assessments. In order to see how the implementation of the new standards is faring. AASA conducted a survey of superintendents and administrators throughout the country in April, 2014. With 525 responses representing 48 states, the survey provides a glimpse into the planning and implementation of the new standards and assessments as well as the support superintendents are receiving from the state and community. Overall, most superintendents have already begun to implement the new standards, which they see as much more rigorous than previous standards. The new standards will increase students' critical thinking skills and ensure that they are more prepared for college and the modern workforce than previous standards did. School and district staff are viewed as prepared and engaged in implementation of the new standards. Several separate surveys show that teachers, overall, are very supportive of the new standards. The survey respondents have overwhelmingly already adopted CCSS. Out of the total responses, 86.5 percent have decided to adopt CCSS, while 8.3 percent have decided to adopt or are considering adoption of other new non-CCSS new state standards. Less than one percent report that their states are not considering new standards, be they CCSS or other state standards. Of those implementing either CCSS or other new state standards, most have already implemented the new standards. Over half (55.3 percent) are at least two years into the implementation, while 7.1 percent are implementing in the next school year (2014-2015). Given the overwhelming confusion regarding the standards and assessments by the public, it is encouraging that respondents overwhelmingly (92.5 percent) see the new standards as more rigorous than previous standards. Only 2.1 percent see them as less rigorous. In summary, given the time to be properly implemented, these new standards will provide a more rigorous curriculum and will ensure that students who graduate from high school are more ready for careers or college and will need less remediation.
AASA, The School Superintendent's Association. 1615 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 221314. Tel: 703-528-0700. Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: info@aasa.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: AASA, The School Superintendent's Association