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Districts Say Lack of Resources Biggest Challenge of Common Core

Districts Say Lack of Resources Biggest Challenge of Common Core

EdSource has been tracking Common Core implementation in six districts in California, and of those six districts, officials from four say the biggest challenge is finding quality instructional materials to supplement the new standards.

"School districts are making progress in finding and selecting the right materials, but the complicated effort is still underway in these districts and many others across the state,” EdSource said.

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson said the process of trying out new materials with 350 teachers in the district took months, and that despite all of the effort it has currently only found appropriate materials for math.

The principal author of the Common Core math standards, Phil Daro, told EdSource that districts switching to the standards before having the resources is to blame.

But passing the buck on even further, most districts had no choice in the matter. According to EdSource, California only released a list of recommended textbook and materials for K-8 classes in English language arts two weeks ago, despite testing students on the standards for five years prior.

"The challenges in finding appropriate textbooks and other instructional materials has affected districts’ abilities to implement the Common Core, according to some education leaders,” EdSource says.

Leaders said the lack of resources added to the “anxiety levels” that accompany major education reform and caused teachers to worry about whether their instruction would be effective.

Some districts have even postponed the difficult process of searching for and piloting aligned materials and are still using old textbooks.

"What impact this patchwork of curriculum materials will have on student performance and instruction is as yet unknown,” the article said.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

11/19/2015

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