Van Roekel: Common Core standards are a game-changer…we owe it to our students to get it right
WASHINGTON, DC – September 12, 2013 –
According to a new poll by the National Education Association, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have strong support from educators. More than 75 percent of NEA members either support the standards wholeheartedly or with some reservations.
“The new standards are a game-changer for the students in our nation’s public school system,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “Our members embrace the Common Core State Standards’ promise – that all students will have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to succeed, regardless of where they live.”
“In order to fulfill the standards’ worthy goals we need an equal commitment to common sense implementation,” Van Roekel added. “We owe it to our students to provide teachers with the time, tools and resources to get it right.”
The poll reveals that NEA members are excited to have the time and freedom they need so their students can gain a greater and deeper understanding of the material. They applaud the clearer guidelines and education goals (38%) and standards aligned with what they are teaching (27%). And while they are ready to step up to the plate, many have concerns that they won’t have the support they need from their districts and states.
Even among those who strongly support the new standards, there is fear that new assessments will be used as a weapon instead of a tool. In fact, 55 percent said their schools plan to use Common Core assessments to evaluate their performance.
The survey was conducted in July 2013 by one of the premier opinion research firms in the country, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The national survey aimed to gauge teacher awareness and opinions of the new CCSS and their support for its goals, and to gather feedback on how states, districts, educators and parents can work together to ensure to ensure successful implementation. Other key findings in the survey:
- 98 percent of teachers have heard about the standards; 71 percent have heard a great deal;
- 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;
- 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;
- However, few were optimistic about getting what they actually need in order to prepare. For example, two-thirds of members have participated in trainings around CCSS, but just 26 percent said the trainings were helpful;
- Only 4 in 10 teachers said they were playing a major role in the implementation of the standards. Another 32 percent said teachers were being consulted in some way;
- Just a quarter (23%) of all NEA members and members in high poverty districts report that their districts are well prepared to implement the new standards;
- NEA members identified the specific resources that students and teachers need to successfully implement the CCSS:
- Smaller class sizes (43%)
- More time to learn (22%)
- Up-to-date classroom resources, including text books and computers (32%)
NEA was engaged in the development of the standards, with accomplished educators examining the details and offering substantive improvements to the standards. NEA is partnering with affiliates to ensure educators’ voices and expertise are leading the effort to develop relevant and engaging instructional materials and help develop the strongest next- generation assessments possible.
“Our members support the Common Core Standards because they are the right thing to do for our children,” said 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.”
See more NEA resources on Common Core here.
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Join the CCSS discussion using hashtags #CCSS and #CommonCore