Teacher survey shows continuing implementation problems for Common Core and new evaluation systems

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Adam Mendelson
(410) 353-9689
Debra Garner
(443) 433-3644

November 13, 2013, Annapolis, MD…Maryland’s teachers need more time, support, and resources to successfully implement new evaluation systems and Common Core State Standards, according to a survey of 745 teachers released today by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). This survey followed up on MSEA’s May survey of 540 Maryland teachers, and reflects the on-the-ground perspectives of educators working hard to get these changes right despite the challenges they face.

Survey findings included:

Common Core and PARCC

  • 86% of teachers believe that significant challenges remain to understanding and implementing Common Core State Standards in their school.
  • Only 9% feel that their school has the technological and physical capacity to administer the PARCC exam, the entirely computer-based test that will replace the MSA, to all eligible students during the next school year, its first year of full implementation.

Curriculum delivery

  • 43% of teachers received their curriculum two weeks or less ahead of time, despite 96% of teachers wanting to receive their curriculum more than two weeks ahead of time. Due to the rushed implementation process, locals have been hard-pressed to deliver curriculum to educators in a timely fashion.

Evaluation systems

  • 82% of teachers believe that significant challenges remain to understanding and implementing new evaluation systems in their school.

Workload

  • Huge majorities of teachers report a skyrocketing workload. Teachers are spending two or more additional hours per week this year on developing:
    • Lesson plans and materials aligned with Common Core State Standards (76%)
    • A better understanding of student learning objectives (SLOs), a critical new component of teacher evaluations (58%)
    • A better understanding of Common Core State Standards (52%)
    • A better understanding of their evaluation (31%)

“Teachers are working hard and doing their best for their students, but these results should be huge red flags to policymakers and parents. Teachers are simply not getting the time and help they need to get these changes right. Frustration is mounting and our schools and students are unfairly paying the price of this poorly thought-out implementation process,” said MSEA President Betty Weller.

“We have a major opportunity over the next few months to craft a new ESEA waiver that provides the time and support that educators desperately need,” said Weller. “We are calling on the State Superintendent and State Board of Education to listen to educators, principals, school boards, and superintendents and develop a waiver that helps us get these reforms right, rather than doubling down on an implementation process that is quickly losing credibility and sustainability.”

Maryland’s new ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) waiver would relieve the state from the federal No Child Left Behind school accountability measures, which have been universally acknowledged as unrealistic. The waiver also provides an opportunity to develop an accountability system and implementation process that meets the needs of each of Maryland’s 24 school systems rather straitjacketing them into one-size-fits-all federal mandates.

This online survey of MSEA members was conducted by MSEA during November 4-8. Full survey results can be viewed by clicking here. MSEA members were not surveyed in Frederick or Montgomery counties, where local school systems maintain that they are not bound by the same evaluation criteria as the state’s remaining jurisdictions, which are participants in Maryland’s Race to the Top grant.

The calls for more time and focused support in this survey echo similar feedback from MSEA’s May survey, local school systems, and the Maryland Teacher and Principal Evaluation Field Test Report submitted in late April, which can be viewed by clicking here.

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