Friday, January 31, 2014

Survey: 77 Percent of Ky Teachers Enthusiastic about Common Core, 90 Percent Claim CCSS More Rigorous

Kentucky teachers, like those in a nationwide poll, are enthusiastic about teaching the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) according to data released today by the Kentucky Department of Education. 

The data stem from the Primary Sources survey of 20,000 public school teachers nationwide last summer.  The survey, conducted by the Harrison Group, asked teachers across the country their thoughts on implementing the Common Core State Standards -- a set of clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do for success after graduation.
·         97 percent of teachers are aware of the new English/language arts and mathematics standards
·         73 percent are enthusiastic about implementing the new standards in their classrooms
·         73 percent believe implementing the standards is or will be challenging
·         74 percent believe implementing the standards will require them to make changes in their teaching practice
·         73 percent felt they were prepared to teach the new standards in their classrooms
·         76 percent believe the standards will have a positive impact on students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills

Several hundred Kentucky teachers voiced their opinions as part of the national survey. However, to gain a broader view of what Kentucky teachers think, the Kentucky Department of Education followed up with an online, anonymous, voluntary survey that was open from mid-November to mid-December. Questions focused on the Kentucky Core Academic Standards which include the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics as well as the Next-Generation Science Standards. More than 6,700 Kentucky teachers responded to the open survey.  Results show:
·         93 percent of those who teach English/language arts are implementing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards in their classrooms
·         93 percent of those who teach mathematics are implementing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards in their classrooms
·         49 percent of those who teach science have already started implementing the new science standards in their classrooms
·         77 percent are enthusiastic about teaching the new standards in their classrooms
·         78 percent believe implementing the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards has required or will require changes to their teaching practice
·         86 percent feel they are prepared to teach new English/language arts and mathematics standards
·         90 percent agree that the standards are more rigorous than previous standards
·         67 percent believe the standards will have a positive impact on college/career-readiness of students; 25 percent don’t’ think it will be positive or negative; and only 8 percent think the standards will have a negative effect

To help the most students in their classroom meet the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards, teachers say that they need a variety of additional resources. Of those that responded to the survey:
·         60 percent need aligned instructional materials
·         56 percent need student-centered technology
·         54 percent they need formative assessments
·         52 percent need summative assessments
·         45 percent need new curricula
·         37 percent need additional professional development on the new standards

Kentucky Education Association president Stephanie Winkler is not surprised by the results. The feedback she’s gotten from superintendents and teachers is also largely positive.

I, as a classroom teacher who just left in May, know that the standards not only made me a more focused teacher, but I saw the benefit to my students," Winkler said. “Kids are able to master concepts and think critically to apply their knowledge, so when they go onto the next level, they’re more prepared, she said.

Anybody who would say that we need to get rid of the common core standards in Kentucky has not been in the classroom and worked with them like the teachers have,” Winkler said. “What we really need is resources to support professional learning and aligned instructional materials and textbooks that support the standards’ implementation.”

Since the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1 in 2009 and it became law, teachers, administrators, school boards, professors and postsecondary leaders, education professional associations, education advocacy groups, parent groups and business organizations have been working diligently to implement its provisions, including creating and implementing the new, more rigorous academic standards.  New English/language arts standards are being taught for the third year; new science standards will be implemented in the fall.  New arts and humanities and social studies standards will follow in the future.

 “Local school boards have the authority to go above and beyond these standards at any time; they represent the minimum of what students should know and be able to do,”  Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said.  “Already, districts choose and local boards of education approve the curriculum their teachers use, so districts retain local control with the new standards.”  

Holliday said the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS) have resulted in great cost savings to the Commonwealth and came about thanks to the involvement and input of hundreds of Kentucky educators.

 “To abandon the years’ worth of work and the millions of dollars spent to develop and implement the new standards would be a waste and disservice to those who have worked hard to fulfill the directives of Senate Bill 1,” Holliday said. “It would be demoralizing to teachers to start over with new standards and a setback to Kentucky students becoming college/career-ready.

 “The bottom line is the new standards are working.”

SOURCE: KDE Press release


Anonymous said...

For an interesting study, take a look at the new survey's results for New York. Teachers there were similarly upbeat about CCSS.

But, this is somewhat hard to reconcile with the vote mentioned in an earlier blog here that New York's teachers' union just voted against CCSS, at least as they are being implemented in that state. Very technically, the union vote was more against the way the standards are being implemented rather than against the standards themselves, but there still seems to be a likely relationship.

After all, if New York, which spends a whole lot more per student than we do, cannot get it right, how likely is it that Kentucky has really found the magic answers?

So, does a Gates funded survey get accurate information, or has opinion in New York shifted since the survey was taken last summer?

And, why did the KAPE folks recently tell a Kentucky paper that about half their members are not happy with CCSS?

Anonymous said...

Oh, my!

I don't believe this for a second. While I'm not opposed to the news standards, to say they are working when they haven't been implemented in social studies and science is foolish. And will there ever be national standards for health, physical education, foreign language, art, music?

I do not believe the numbers are as high as the Kentucky Department of Education would indicate. What percentage of teachers did not take the survey? When was the survey? Who counted the surveys?

The bottom line: "the Standards are working." Says who? How many teachers could have a coherent conversation on what the standards actually mean? How many have the standards on their desk or in their desk? How many principals know the standards for teh subjects taught in their school? How many of the readers of this discussion board could located the standards online in ten seconds or less?

Anonymous said...

Proof is in the pudding. How well are our students performing on the all important annual assessment. I am seeing a problem right now with standards in intermediate grades at my school. A school in top fifth of elementary schools in the state and almost half of my 4th graders with the same teacher's aren't performing well in math. This isn't RTI issue or outlier class. I think evaluation of standards (or more importantly support mechanisms for educators) is going to take a lot longer to determine than a couple of years worth of data.

Anonymous said...

Come on now, 6700 teachers sounds like a lot but there are 43,500+ teachers in Kentucky. That is a response rate of about 15%, what about the other 85% of teachers? 5170 teachers out of 43,000 are willing to voice that they are "enthusiastic" about standards is suppose to impress me?

I think a more important question for KDE beyond this common core spin job is why do 85% of Kentucky teachers it is suppose to be leading not responded to its month long survey if this is such an important and relevant question? Could it be indifference? Irrelevance? Disenfranchisement? Resentment? Maybe but it does make one wonder if they won't even respond to a simple survey, how much effort might be going into the implementation of standards anyway.