Common Core survey results released, but show discrepancy

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By Glynis Kazanjian

Common Core Survey cover Last week, the State Board of Education was shown the results of a survey about Common Core curriculum standards which found “Many Md. teachers, principals unprepared for Common Core,” as reported here.

Other than a black-and-white copy given to a reporter of the color-coded PowerPoint presentation, the results of the survey were not available online or in color and still are not. However, has obtained the full-color version of the report available here.

The report, Maryland Common Core State Standards Transition Survey Analysis Briefing, was published by the Center for Application and Innovation Research in Education (CAIRE) at Towson University in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education.

The report offers an informative view as to how prepared educators felt last fall when they were expected to begin the full implementation of  Common Core.

Discrepancy with teacher survey

There is one discrepancy in the report that raised the attention of the Maryland State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

MSEA conducted its own Common Core survey in 2013, as reported here in November. Many of the MSEA survey results piggy-backed findings in the CAIRE report, which illustrated the MSEA findings in purple boxes besides its own results.

On page 5, the CAIRE report indicates that 65% of MSEA survey respondents said they felt prepared to teach Common Core at the beginning of the school year, while 35% said they did not. These findings matched the findings of the CAIRE survey, but the teachers’ survey actually found the reverse of those results, based on a smaller online sample of Maryland teachers and principals.

Common Core world cloud overwhelmedThe MSEA survey asked, “Do you feel adequately prepared to implement Common Core in your school/classroom?”

According to the MSEA survey, 65% of teachers and principals said they did not feel ready to implement Common Core in November, two months after the school year began, while 35% said they did feel ready.

No official comment on discrepancy

State education department spokesman Bill Reinhard declined to comment on the discrepancy.

“The two surveys asked differently worded questions and also had different answers to choose from, so the results cannot be compared seamlessly,” said MSEA spokesman Adam Mendelson. “While it is puzzling that MSDE will apparently not discuss or correct their error, whichever numbers are most accurate is in many ways beside the point.”

“In both surveys, it is clear that significant proportions of teachers have not felt well prepared for Common Core, underscoring the importance of the General Assembly’s passage yesterday of major Common Core legislation that helps get educators the time and resources they need to get this right,” Mendelson said.