A substantial number of the 45 states plus the District of Columbia that had adopted the Common Core State Standards in math and English Language Arts as of January anticipate major challenges in implementing the online assessments now being developed, according to a report released in January by the Center on Education Policy, an independent public education advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.
Providing a sufficient number of computers as well as adequate Internet access and bandwidth in schools constitutes a significant challenge, according to the report, “Year Two of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: States’ Progress and Challenges.” Several states also cited a lack of expertise available at the state, district and school levels to address technological problems that may arise during administering the tests.
The report is based on a survey of state education agencies conducted from last October through December to get the most up-to-date information on state strategies, policies and challenges in the second year of transitioning to CCSS.
Twenty-eight states are requiring their districts to implement the standards, but only 15 states are mandating that districts develop long-term, comprehensive plans to implement them in their schools. Finding adequate resources, principally funding, to support all the activities necessary to implement the standards was considered a major challenge by 21 states. Many states also cited teacher-related challenges, including providing professional development in sufficient quality and quantity, and aligning the content of teacher preparation programs with the CCSS.
According to the report, the state K12 education agencies in 26 of the states adopting CCSS are establishing partnerships with a state higher education agency or with postsecondary institutions to implement the standards, states the Center on Education Policy. But only 16 states plan to align undergraduate admissions requirements or the first-year undergraduate core curriculum with CCSS. And finally, six states in the survey expect to implement the standards before or during the 2012-2013 school year—two years ahead of schedule and nine states plan to fully implement them in 2013-2014, a year ahead of schedule, with others following in later years.