Policy & Assessment | News

States Struggling To Secure Staffing and Resources for Common Core

While 30 states have already begun implementing curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), many of them are struggling to provide the staffing and resources required to implement CCSS effectively, according to a new report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at The George Washington University.

The report, "Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: An Overview of States’ Progress and Challenges," is based on a survey of state deputy superintendents or their designees in 40 of the 46 states that have adopted CCSS in math, English language arts (ELA), or both. The survey was conducted from February to May of this year.

According to the report, 30 of the states are already teaching CCSS-aligned curricula in at least some of their grades and school districts. Some of those states are phasing in CCSS by grade span, school district, or both. Nine more states will begin implementing CCSS-aligned math curriculum and 10 will begin implementing CCSS-aligned ELA curriculum in the upcoming school year or later.

All 40 states surveyed agreed that the Common Core State Standards are more rigorous than their previous standards and that they will improve student skills in math and ELA. Those states have all provided their teachers with professional development related to CCSS, and 39 are doing the same for school principals. But despite these activities, states and state education agencies are struggling with CCSS implementation.

Key findings from the report include:

  • 34 states are struggling to find resources to support all CCSS implementation activities;
  • 32 states are struggling to develop teacher evaluation systems that hold teachers and principals accountable for student mastery of CCSS;
  • 37 states are struggling to provide teachers with enough high-quality professional development activities to help them implement CCSS;
  • 31 states are struggling to provide all math and ELA teachers with state-sponsored professional development activities; and
  • Most state education agencies have adequate staff expertise to implement CCSS-related activities, but fewer say they have enough staff and resources.

“Finding adequate resources is the main challenge looming over states’ efforts to prepare districts, schools, principals and teachers for the Common Core,” said Diane Stark Rentner, deputy director of national programs for CEP and author of the study, in a prepared statement. “Assessments aligned to the new standards will be ready to administer in 2014-15, but funding problems will likely hamper states’ efforts to make sure that principals and teachers are prepared to help students master the standards.”

The complete report, "Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: An Overview of States’ Progress and Challenges," can be found on the Center on Education Policy's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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