With change often comes trepidation and there seems to be plenty of that in regards to implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  Within the last week, I’ve linked to an article claiming the standards aren’t rigorous enough, another in which officials were worried they would prove to be too tough (a more common theme), as well as one filled with concern about online assessments.   As you probably know, the conversation doesn’t end there.


In September, the Center on Education Policy (CEP) released a report titled State’s Progress and Challenges in Implementing Common Core State Standards which provided an overview of a survey of states adopting the CCSS.


John Bailey, Director of Whiteboard Advisors, highlighted several findings of the report on a blog on his company’s website including the feeling among adopting states that funding the new standards is a main challenge.  Bailey also noted the surprising fact that only half the states think that the CCSS will “require fundamental change in instruction,” and that two-thirds of districts in adopting states believe they are not receiving enough guidance from the states in relation to implementation.


Timothy Kanold, the superintendent as well as director of mathematics and science for an Illinois school district, also referenced the CEP report in a blog post titled “The Primary Barrier to CCSS Implementation” and rationalized the districts’ perception that they are not getting needed direction as being a result of states “still trying to determine how to best address the complexities of change that will come.” 


In contemplating other issues that could become obstacles for successful Common Core implementation, Kanold listed those of rigor and technology for online assessments, as well as professional development, the potential for public outcry, and that the expectation for the same standards across all states could turn out to be unrealistic.


In relation to the matter of funding that Bailey noted, Basil Conway, an Alabama mathematics teacher, in his recent post that included a review of the CEP report, observed differences between states receiving Race to the Top (RttT) funding and those that were not.  Conway wrote that many states “receiving RttT funding didn’t expect financial burden implementing CCSS,” which would enable them to employ new teacher evaluation programs and ideally “meet goals faster and with more emphasis of student and teacher rigor” than non-RttT states.  Conway also noticed that 31 of the 37 states surveyed claimed that their adoption of the CCSS was partly based on the effort to gain RttT funding.


Furthermore, Conway surmised from the report that teacher turnover could become an issue if professional development and support is not sufficiently provided to instructors.


So while there may be concern (valid or not) about potential shortages of a variety of things - from funding to technology to guidance – in relation to the Common Core, a shortage of conversation should not be a worry.