Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts??? Implementation
Back during the frosty days of January, the Center for Education Policy issued a bleak account of states’ progress toward implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Reporting on a survey conducted at the end of 2010, CEP found that, on key implementation issues like curriculum development and assessment alignment, states had made little progress. This newest piece from the same shop reports on a spring 2011 district survey of the same ilk—and the responses are much cheerier. From it, we learn that two-thirds of districts have already started developing a plan for implementing the standards this academic year. And fully 80 percent had undertaken at least one district-initiated implementation activity (including developing or purchasing new curricular materials or developing new local assessments)—a figure that would surely be higher today. Still, two-thirds of surveyed districts cite unclear state guidance as a major challenge of CCSS implementation. One benefit of the Common Core standards is the potential collaboration between districts—and among states—on very things like curricular materials and assessments. While these individual district-led initiatives should be commended, the states must start owning implementation burdens—and not hoist them on local education agencies alone.
Nancy Kober and Diane Stark Renter. “Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts’ Implementation,” (Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Policy, September 2011).
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