As the Common Core State Standards continue to gain momentum, states say they are more rigorous than previous standards, but many cite challenges in fully implementing the standards, particularly where funding is concerned.
“Year Two of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: States’ Progress and Challenges,” a new report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP), sheds light on states’ progress as they work to implement common standards in English language arts and mathematics, and it identifies areas in which states anticipate a struggle as they implement the standards.
Full implementation of the Common Core State Standards is “a complex undertaking that will take time and affect many aspects of the education system,” said Diane Stark Rentner, director of national programs for CEP and co-author of the study. “Looming over this entire process is the major challenge of adequate resources. Policy makers should be aware that funding problems could cause states to curtail or delay some of their plans.”
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics as of January 2012.
CEP has tracked states’ implementation progress through surveys of deputy state superintendents of education or their designees for the past two years.
From October through December 2011, CEP conducted another survey to gain more information about states’ most recent strategies, policies, and challenges as they worked through their second year of implementation. In addition to policy updates and challenges, survey questions also addressed financial concerns and other relevant issues.
In all, 37 states and the District of Columbia responded to the CEP survey, which counts D.C. as a state for ease of reporting. At the time of the survey, 35 of the 38 respondents said they have adopted the Common Core State Standards in English and math, one had adopted English standards but not math standards, and two had not adopted standards in either subject.