States having problems with Common Core standards

Indeed, although 11 states are Race to the Top (RttT) funding recipients, the rest of the states are not, meaning implementation of the common standards might take longer.

For example, 10 out of the 11 RttT recipients plan to create or revise educator systems linked to student mastery of the Common Core standards—a major challenge named by 19 states as a result of funding constraints.

Also, though 23 of the 32 states that will require school districts to fully implement the common standards say this implementation won’t happen until 2013-14, several of the states that expect to accomplish major implementation changes in teacher certification, teacher evaluation, and assessment by 2012 are RttT winners.

These winners also make up a majority of the states that expect to put in place standards-related initiatives for low-performing schools by 2012 or to require districts to implement the common standards by that time.

For more on the common standards movement:

Final common standards in English, math released

Analysis: ‘Common Core’ standards clearer, more rigorous

States given millions for new assessments

Did Race to the Top help or hurt the push for a common curriculum?

“Funding will always be a major issue for schools, but especially now with such a large undertaking during a difficult economy,” said Chris Minnich, director of membership for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)—the organization that, along with the National Governors Association (NGA), developed the standards—and former strategic initiative director of standards, assessment, and accountability for CCSSO. “Now’s the time to really re-evaluate where we’re putting our dollars.”

Minnich continued: “This amount of change is … not going to happen overnight. In order for effective communication to happen between the state, the districts, the teachers, and higher-education organizations, there needs to be time to do this.”

Besides the seemingly long timeline for implementation, CEP said it’s also concerned about the lack of linkage between these standards and higher education.

According to the survey, the uncertainty of state respondents about their plans for aligning the common standards with higher-education programs “may reflect a broader disconnect between the agencies that administer elementary-secondary and postsecondary education.”

One state respondent summarized the situation this way: “We are currently working to educate our higher-ed programs about the Common Core [state standards] but have little control over their systems.”

Meris Stansbury

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