A report released this week shows that the majority of school districts that have adopted the Common Core State Standards agree that new standards in math and English will improve students’ skills.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers for K-12 education “to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.”

The Florida Department of Education approved the adoption of the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics in July 2010.

The new report “based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of school districts” was released by the Center on Education Policy, an “advocate for public education and for more effective public schools.” It highlights six key findings:

  • Almost three-fifths of the districts in states that have adopted the CCSS viewed these standards as more rigorous than the ones they are replacing and expected the CCSS to improve student learning.
  • Two-thirds of the districts in CCSS-adopting states have begun to develop a comprehensive plan and timeline for implementing the standards or intend to do so in school year 2011-12.
  • About three-quarters (76%) of districts in CCSS-adopting states view adequate funding to implement all aspects of the CCSS as a major challenge.
  • About two-thirds of the districts in adopting states cited inadequate or unclear state guidance on the CCSS as a major challenge.
  • Only 10% of districts in the CCSS-adopting states considered resistance from teachers and principals to be amajor challenge in implementing the standards, although 58%considered this a minor challenge.
  • District or school-level staff participated in various state, regional, or district activities in school year 2010-11 to become informed about the common score state standards.

A Florida Department of Education timeline (.pdf) indicates that the state’s Common Core Standards will be fully implemented by the 2013-2014 school year. The timeline also shows that Florida has received almost $900 million in federal grants to develop the core standards in English/language arts and mathematics.

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