Report: Many Schools Have Implemented Common Core, Lack Bandwidth for Tests

In districts that have adopted the Common Core State Standards, 95.7 percent of schools have already implemented the standards or are in the process of doing so, while the remaining 4.3 percent are still in the planning stage, according to a new survey of public school principals. However, only 53.6 percent report that they have sufficient bandwidth to conduct online assessments.

The report, "4th Annual Principals' Assessment of Public Education," was conducted by MCH Strategic Data in partnership with and surveyed more than 500 elementary, middle and high school principals from across the country. According to a news release from MCH Strategic Data, the survey is "designed to track trends within K-12 schools" and "provide a snapshot of the current state of schools as they implement Common Core and college and career readiness standards, develop student data privacy policies and establish a better understanding of what constitutes 21st century learning."

The report found that a primary concern for public school principals is sufficient access to technology for curriculum and instruction. Implementation of Common Core State Standards and preparation for PARCC and Smarter Balanced online assessments are the primary driving forces behind technology purchases for 58.6 percent of principals.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 53.6 percent of schools reported they have sufficient bandwidth for online assessments, 23.8 percent do not, and 22.6 percent said they aren't sure how they will meet the requirements for online assessments;
  • 24.2 percent of principals said they plan to purchase increased bandwidth, 12.1 percent saidd they plan to purchase mobile devices, and 63.6 percent plan to purchase both;
  • 76.4 percent of teachers use online collaboration and professional tools;
  • 48.2 percent of teachers use both school and personal technology to access services and tools, and 42.9 percent use primary school technology for professional purposes;
  • 90.7 percent of districts reported they have written policies intended to protect student data; and
  • 54.7 percent of principals told researchers they are not concerned about their network security and loss of student data, while 45.3 percent have security concerns.

The complete report is available as a free PDF download from MCH Strategic Data's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].