EdReport Study Reaffirms Teachers Still Lack Proper Supports to Teach to the Common Core

An analysis by EdReports, which provides “consumer reports” on classroom materials, finds only one of five textbook series considered fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Three of the material sets (College Board, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Pearson) fell short of expectations to be considered in alignment. Another (Carnegie Learning) partially met expectations for the criteria. Only the CPM Educational Program fully met the specifications for alignment.

“Many experts consider one of the big reasons behind the controversy surrounding the Common Core in the years after its implementation to be the nationwide failure to provide schools with properly aligned materials,” an Education World article notes.

The findings add to the evidence that teachers lack the proper material support and professional development to effectively teach to the Common Core State Standards. As one education consultant told Education Week recently, “Teachers are hungry for guidance.”

That sentiment is borne out by recent studies. A RAND Corporation study this spring found only 28 percent of math teachers and 31 percent of ELA teachers believe the professional development they have received reflects their needs. A 2014 study by the Center for Education Policy found just two-thirds of school districts had provided PD opportunities to 90 percent or more of their teachers.

A report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reinforces that teachers remain positive and supportive of the Common Core, but lack the resources they need to help their students achieve to the standards.

Fifty-five percent of teachers surveyed believe the Common Core math standards will help students succeed in the global economy, and 77 percent think students are developing better number sense and “more ability to apply math in real-world situations.” But more than 40 percent reported the math materials available to them are not well aligned to the Common Core.

“Teachers are telling us that their curricula and instructional materials are not well aligned with the math standards,” a blog by the Collaborative for Student Success notes. “So it’s up to states and districts to make sure these hardworking teachers have the tools they need to succeed—through targeted professional development and adequate, aligned resources.”

“Teachers continue to lack adequate professional development to effectively teach to these new learning goals,” three Arizona Teachers of the Year wrote this month. “That’s not an indictment of the Common Core or the teaching profession. It should serve as a wake-up call for state leaders, who must improve the support systems for teachers, empowering them to adjust to the challenges of helping students reach a higher bar.”