Sticking With Common Core Pays Big Dividends
The more schools and teachers stick with Common Core, the more successful it seems to be. Students are improving their math and reading skills, teachers are more comfortable with the standards, and there are some shining examples where implementation is being called “a model for success.”
Kentucky was the first state to adopt Common Core, and has been aggressively preparing teachers and students for the higher standards since adoption in 2010. Those efforts have paid off, says the Kentucky Department of Education. According to data released in early October, graduation rates are up, reading scores are higher, and math scores continue to tend upwards. Here are just a few highlights:
- The percentage of Kentucky high school graduates meeting college and career readiness levels increased 8.2 percentage points in the most recent year of implementation: 2013-54.1%, 2014-62.3%
- The percentage of students meeting CPE benchmarks (guaranteed entrance to a credit bearing entry-level course in that subject at a state university without need for remediation) increased in every common core subject
- English: 2012-52.2%; 2013-53.1%; 2014-55.9%, an increase of 3.7 percentage points.
- Math: 2012-38.6%; 2013-39.6%; 2014-43.5%, an increase of 4.9 percentage points.
- Reading: 2012-41.9%; 2013-44.2%; 2014-47.1%; an increase of 5.2 percentage points.
Nationwide, teachers feel more prepared than ever to implement the Common Core standards. According to survey results published in USA Today:
“79% of teachers say they feel ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ prepared to teach under the new standards, up from 71% last year.
About two-thirds, or 68%, say implementation is ‘going well’ in their schools, up from 62% last year.”
The results also show that teachers find the higher standards challenging. But despite the challenge, teachers feel prepared and believe in Common Core. Again from USA Today:
“‘The more teachers get into the Common Core, the more they believe in it,’ said Margery Mayer, president of Scholastic Education.”
In Arizona, one school district has found a great deal of success with Common Core. AZ-Central posts a news clip about a Phoenix-area school district called, “a model of success” for student performance. Their secret? They are in their fourth year of implementing Common Core, being the first district in the area to adopt the higher standards. Interviews with teachers reinforce the notion that sticking with Common Core, when implemented well, pays big dividends for students.