AASA Survey: Superintendents Support Common Core, Urge Slow Down in Implementation
A majority of America’s superintendents are optimistic about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), according to a survey released today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. However, time and money are must haves to “ensure that schools and teachers have the resources they need to successfully implement the standards and aligned assessments in a way that bolsters student learning,” said the report.
“Don’t fly the ship while you are building it,” said a Connecticut superintendent in the survey, which received more than 500 responses from 48 states. “Students shouldn’t be stressed about testing on something they have never been taught. Teachers shouldn’t be evaluated on the success of students on the tests when they have not been teaching the breadth of the (Common Core State Standards).”
The survey’s key findings included:
- Superintendents overwhelmingly (92.5 percent) see the new standards as more rigorous than previous standards.
- More than three quarters (78.3 percent) agree that the education community supports the standards, but that support drops to 51.4 percent among the general public.
- Nearly three quarters of the respondents (73.3 percent) agree that the political debate has gotten in the way of the implementation of the new standards.
- Nearly half (47 percent) say their input was never requested in the decision to adopt or develop new standards or in planning the implementation.
- More than half (60.3 percent) of the respondents who had begun testing say they are facing problems with the tests.
- Just under half (41.9 percent) say schools in their states are not ready to implement the online assessment, while 35.9 percent say they lack the infrastructure to support online assessments.
“We were given no voice in the decision when Common Core was first adopted,” said an Indiana superintendent. “We were not listened to when we tried to communicate what eliminating the Common Core would mean to meeting the timelines that had been established.”
“The findings in this survey clearly back the position of AASA—slow down and get it right,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “This report shows that superintendents across the country agree that the new standards present an opportunity to improve student outcomes but only given enough time and resources.”
“The new standards present an opportunity to address education inequities, as seen in the different responses from high-poverty districts,” notes the report. “These districts must be given the necessary state and federal funds to properly train teachers, identify and obtain necessary materials, and implement the online assessments.”
The May issue of School Administrator, AASA’s monthly magazine, focuses on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Coverage includes suggestions on how to talk publicly about the Common Core and details of a Delaware superintendent’s push to exercise the new standards despite community opposition.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 10,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA advocates for the highest quality public education for all students, and develops and supports school system leaders.
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