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English Teachers More Likely to Defy State Standards When Selecting Instructional Materials

English Teachers More Likely to Defy State Standards When Selecting Instructional Materials

The RAND corporation surveyed thousands of American teachers to determine their level of knowledge of state standards and the support they receive.

The survey asked more than 2,700 in the RAND American teacher panel in June and October 2015.

As could be predicted, the survey found significant discrepancies across states and also subjects.

"The study found that a high percentage of mathematics teachers report using instructional materials with some demonstrated evidence of alignment to Common Core State Standards. However, there is less evidence that state standards are playing a role in the materials English language arts teachers use for instruction,” said EurekaAlert!

According to the study, English teachers are still using leveled readers as opposed to grade-level texts, the texts suggested for use by the Common Core Standards.

The article said this discrepancy could be majorly due to the fact that many teachers have English Language Learners or low-income students in their classroom.

"Use of leveled readers was especially high among teachers with higher populations of English-language learners -- those for whom English is not their first language -- in their classrooms and higher numbers of students who receive free and reduced-price lunches.”

But it could also be in part because teachers are not aware the standards place emphasis on grade-level texts.

“….high percentages of teachers in states that have adopted Common Core Standards indicated that selecting texts for individual students based on their reading level is aligned with their state standards, despite the emphasis on complex texts found in the standards,” the article said.

Math teachers reported more use of materials recommended through state standards, as well as were more likely to say that district and state guidance informed their use of materials.

English teachers, on the other hand, said that their students’ needs and the quality of materials were the two reasons behind what they select for use.

Read the full story here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/18/2016

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