Survey: Teachers support state standards, question assessments

Teachers overwhelmingly support state academic standards — such as Common Core — but they are skeptical about the tests aligned to standards.

That’s the takeaway from a new study from the RAND Corporation.

In a February 2016 survey of more than 1,300 teachers nationally, 88 percent of respondents said they favored state standards for math, and 87 percent favored state standards in English language arts. Teachers in lower-income schools were more likely to support state standards.

But when teachers were asked about assessments, the results changed dramatically. Only 30 percent of teachers supported state math assessments, and 31 percent supported ELA assessments.

“States should strive to ensure that state assessments are closely aligned with their standards, and communicate the linkages between standards and assessments — and the specific content of tests — as clearly as possible to teachers, schools, and families,” the report’s authors wrote.

The report’s findings mirror the political sentiment surrounding Idaho’s version of Common Core. The Idaho Core Standards have been used since 2013, and enjoy widespread support from the state’s education, political and business leaders.

But even some educators who support the standards have questioned the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam aligned to the standards — saying the online exams are too time-consuming, and produce little useful data.

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RAND is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization based in Santa Monica, Calif. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supported RAND’s teacher survey.

Click here to download the report.

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