Teachers unprepared for Common Core

March 7th, 2013

According to a new study by the EPE Research Center, nearly half of teachers across the nation feel unprepared to teach to the Common Core State Standards. Though 92 percent of respondents report being at least slightly familiar with the new standards in English and Language Arts, when asked to rate their level of preparedness to teach the standards on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “very prepared” and 1 “not at all prepared,” 49 percent rated themselves a 1, 2 or 3. 

Some other key findings from the report include:

  • Only 22% of respondents had fully incorporated the standards into their daily teaching; 65% have incorporated them in some areas, but not others.
  • Nearly half—49%—of respondents reported that they thought the Common Core Standards to be of higher quality than their current state standards; 44% rated them to be of about equal quality.
  • The majority of respondents—56%—reported that their teaching materials are not aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
  • Three-quarters of the teachers surveyed said that more planning time would help them feel better prepared to teach to the Common Core Standards.

At Education Week, Catherine Gewertz has provided her own write-up of the report. She notes the key role that professional development plays in helping teachers prepare for the CCSS:

Three-quarters of those who have had more than five days of training said they felt prepared to teach their own students as a whole, compared with one-third of those who had had less than one day of professional development. . . 

While teachers’ sense of readiness to teach the common core tracks with how much professional development they’ve had, the survey shows nearly three in 10 have not had any such training at all. Of the 70 percent who have, 41 percent have had four days or more. Three in 10 have had only one day or less. Thirty-one percent reported having had two to three days of professional development.

Many in education contend that the common standards demand significant changes in pedagogy, and, in some cases, teachers’ content knowledge. In math, for instance, students are being asked to demonstrate their understanding not only of procedures, but also of their conceptual underpinnings. In English/language arts, they’re expected to marshal evidence from what they read to support arguments and build their muscle with informational texts.

Explore the study here.

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