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Teachers Are Creating Standards Tools

“Findings From the American Teacher Panel”

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In common-core states, nearly all math and language arts teachers are at least somewhat reliant on materials they've developed or selected themselves, according to a new nationally representative survey.

The RAND Corp. just released a series of surveys looking at how K-12 teachers understand and are implementing state standards, including what materials they're using. The results focus on teachers in the 42 states that are using the Common Core State Standards or standards that were adapted from them. (RAND defines those as every state except Alaska, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.)

One survey, administered last June, asked about 1,100 math and English/language arts teachers in the common-core states what materials they were using. Almost all elementary and secondary math teachers—97 percent and 98 percent, respectively—said they are using materials they crafted or selected themselves. And 98 percent of elementary teachers and 92 percent of those at the secondary level said they are also using materials from their district.

And math teachers are using materials they put together fairly often: 82 percent of elementary teachers and 91 percent of secondary teachers said they used them at least once a week.

Among English/language arts teachers, self-developed or self-selected materials were again the most popular, and district materials were also quite well-used.

The researchers also looked at where teachers are finding materials online. Google came out on top, followed by Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers. The websites most frequently used are not ones that offer common-core materials specifically—so teachers are either searching for common-core lessons within those sites or using materials that may not necessarily be aligned to the standards.

Vol. 35, Issue 29, Page 5

Published in Print: April 27, 2016, as Teachers Are Creating Standards Tools
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