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Report: Teachers in Common Core States 'Enthusiastic' about Implementation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Scholastic have released the partial findings of their new report, Primary Sources: America's Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change , which show that almost all teachers are aware of the Common Core State Standards and the majority of those in states adopting the standards are enthusiastic about the implementation.

Of the 20,000 teachers surveyed for the report, 97 percent said they were aware of the standards and 100 percent from the 46 states implementing the standards reported the same. Among respondents who teach English language arts (ELA), math, science, or social studies in the Common Core states, 73 percent told researchers they are enthusiastic about adopting the standards in their classrooms.

Elementary school teachers were the most likely to express enthusiasm to researchers at 81 percent, with English language arts and math teachers following at 77 percent. Middle and high school teachers were less enthusiastic at 71 and 57 percent, respectively.

"At Scholastic, we see how America's students and teachers are ready and willing in their ability to adapt to and surpass the challenges presented to them," said Margery Mayer, president of Scholastic Education, in a prepared statement. "As we raise the bar for learning with the Common Core State Standards, we need to ensure that we are providing our educators with the quality resources, training, and time needed to help students of all ranges of ability to achieve, which we know they can."

Other key findings from the advance release include:

  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents from Common Core states told surveyors they believe the standards will be positive for most students overall, and only eight percent said they thought the standards would be negative;
  • Seventy-seven percent of math and ELA teachers who responded said they thought the standards would improve critical thinking and reasoning skills, and only 0ne percent said they thought these skills would degrade as a result of the standards;
  • Seventy-three percent of math, ELA, science, and social studies teachers from Common Core states told researchers that implementing the standards would be challenging, and 74 percent of all teachers in Common Core states said the standards would require changes in their teaching practices;
  • Respondents teaching math and ELA in areas where implementation has already begun told researchers that implementation is going well at a 64 percent clip, and reported that their top two needs are "more planning time to find materials and plan lessons, and quality professional development," according to a news release; and
  • The student populations teachers in Common Corte states said they were most concerned about meeting standards were those currently two or more years below grade level, and special education students. "For these students, as well as for students who are on grade-level and who are English language learners," according to a news release "teachers rank age-appropriate, leveled instructional materials as the number one need to help students meet the standards."


The survey also found that 88 percent of respondents said the rewards of being a teacher outweigh the challenges and 89 percent said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with their job.

"No one knows teaching like teachers. As a former classroom teacher, I know how important it is to listen when teachers tell us what they need," said Vicki L. Phillips, director of education, College Ready, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in a prepared statement. "The Primary Sources data show us that teachers are enthusiastic about tackling the real challenges of implementing the Common Core State Standards. They need support, but also believe the standards will improve student achievement by preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and careers."  

"In the coming months, the full third edition, Primary Sources: America's Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, will be released," according to a news release. "It will provide insight into teachers' experiences with and opinions on teacher evaluation systems; how teachers are lifelong learners seeking to grow in and with their profession; and how they use technology to collaborate, find lesson plans and gain support from peers. Teachers also share the challenges and rewards of being in the classroom, the characteristics of great teachers, and views on the most helpful ways parents can support children's success in school." 

More information is available at .

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].