According to a new poll by the National Education Association, the Common Core State Standards are strongly supported by its members. Roughly three-quarters of educators are either wholeheartedly in favor of the standards (26 percent) or support them with “some reservations” (50 percent). Only 11 percent of those surveyed expressed opposition. Thirteen percent didn’t know enough about the CCSS to form an opinion. Overall, 98 percent of NEA members have heard of the standards. In addition, 79 percent of respondents said they were well or somewhat prepared to implement the new standards. The survey questioned 1200 NEA members and was conducted in July by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
In recent months, critics and many politicians have leveled a slew of charges against the standards, including the assertion that they are opposed by the very people, other than students, who will be affected the most – classroom teachers. The new NEA poll strongly refutes this claim.
NEA believes that the standards have the potential to have an enormous impact on student learning, but in order to fulfill the standards’ worthy goals, teachers must be provided with the time, tools and resources to help make implementation a success.
“Our members support the Common Core Standards because they are the right thing to do for our children,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “We all need to work together –parents, education support professionals, teachers, administrators, communities and elected officials – to make sure we get this right.”
What is it about the Common Core that generates educator support? 38 percent cited clearer guidelines and education goals, 27 percent said the standards are already aligned with what they teach, and 23 percent believed the standards are more rigorous.
All respondents cited a number of ways the new standards will affect their teaching. Thirty-one percent believe they will lead to more time taken up by standardized testing and 30 percent said they will allow teacher to delve into subjects more deeply. Others cited more time to teach process and problem-solving and having more time for instruction on fewer topics.
Even among many Common Core supporters, the thorny issue over new assessments is feeding their reservations. Fifty-five percent said their schools plan to use Common Core assessments to evaluate their performance, but an overwhelming majority (81 percent) favor a moratorium or grace period on accountability provisions, with 2-5 years being the most popular.
Other key findings in the survey:
- Asked what measures could be taken to help teachers with the standards, respondents cited collaboration time with colleagues, more planning time, updated classroom resources, in-service training and better technology to administer the computer-based assessments.
- 65 percent have participated in a Common Core training session, but just 26 percent said the trainings were helpful.
- 44 percent said teachers were playing a major role in the implementation of the standards. 32 percent aid teachers were being consulted.
- Educators also pinpointed other factors that would help students learn the new standards. Forty-three percent cited smaller class size, 39 percent suggested greater parental involvement, and 22 percent said students need up-to-date books and materials.
- 67 percent have looked for resources outside of school to bring them up to speed.