Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts??? Implementation


Common Core State Standards District Implementation coverBack 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’
,” (Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Policy,
September 2011).