October 23, 2013
All students deserve an education that prepares them to succeed in college, career and life. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are focused on finding ways to support both teachers and students in this pursuit, and one of the most important ways is the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
The standards are being implemented in classrooms across the country to ensure students have the skills and knowledge needed for the next grade level, and ultimately college and career success. And we want to hear from teachers on how it is going.
That’s why I was so heartened to see the preliminary results from Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, a new survey conducted in partnership with Scholastic. The survey found that not only are teachers excited about the standards, but they also believe implementation is going well in their schools.
The survey’s findings, which were previewed in a USA Today story on Oct. 4, show that 77 percent of math and ELA teachers believe that the Common Core will positively impact their students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills. And nearly 6 in 10 teachers working in Common Core states said that the standards will be positive for their students.
Scholastic surveyed 20,000 public school teachers – 73 percent of math, ELA, science and/or social studies teachers in Common Core states said they are enthusiastic about implementing the standards in their classrooms. Roughly the same proportion of teachers also said that they’re going to have to teach differently in order to fully implement the standards, and that they need support, help and resources to make those instructional shifts.
This information presents us all with a clear call to action: We must continue to provide teachers new supports and tools that will make the standards come alive in classrooms while strengthening the powerful connections between teachers and students.