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Teachers Say Not Enough Resources for Common Core Standards

Teachers Say Not Enough Resources for Common Core Standards

Though many states have adopted and transitioned into Common Core standards, teachers claim no new textbooks or new materials have forced them to create curriculums from scratch.

Curriculum director Tammy Baumann described to the Associated Press the time-consuming and thorough process her district went through to find high-quality materials to adhere to the standards. "

'We literally created our own curriculum ... essentially creating it from scratch - creating the homework, creating the student achievement challenges,' Baumann said at the end of a school year spent collecting feedback and refining the materials," according to the article.

Most teachers have reported problems finding materials to align with new standards that shift towards critical thinking. In a survey from the Center of Education Policy, 45 percent of teachers reported major problems finding materials while another 45 percent reported minor problems, the article said.

Though teachers generally support more rigorous standards, the inability of textbooks to adjust has caused educators to question the Common Core.

On top of that, textbooks that claim to be adapted to the Common Core typically aren't of good quality and leave out portions of the standards.

William Schmidt, director of the Center for the Study of Curriculum at Michigan State University's College of Education, analyzed "34 widely used math textbook series [and] found that those released after 2011 were, predictably, better aligned to Common Core than older ones but still left out about 20 percent of the standards," the article said.

Many educators and experts think that textbooks have been so slow to fully adapt and invest in order to ensure the standards are long-term- in other words, not jumping the gun.

Now, the open education resources (OER) movement is stronger than ever, with teaching materials and resources increasingly available online or for pay.

"The biggest such effort is the EngageNY website created by that state's Department of Education with federal funding. The free site includes complete K-12 English Language Arts and math curriculums, including downloadable lessons that can be printed out," the article said.

And many are familiar with the growing popularity of the site TeachersPayTeachers, where teachers can pay small fees for peer-created lessons and content.

Certainly, teachers were given the task of implementing the Common Core standards without the tools to do so.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/24/2015

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