Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Teacher Autonomy Unchanged by Standards

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Teacher Autonomy Unchanged by Standards

Article excerpt

Most math and English/ language arts teachers who have taught both under their state's previous standards and their state's current standards report having as much or more autonomy as before new standards were introduced, according to a comprehensive survey of U.S. teachers. This finding contrasts with concerns that introducing the Common Core and similar standards would restrict teachers' ability to make curricular and instructional decisions that best suit their students' needs.

The nationally representative survey of 3,328 teachers by the Center on Education Policy also revealed that school districts are the primary source of standards-related curricula; however, a majority of teachers also are using curricula they developed, revised, or adopted themselves or with other teachers. Most of these teachers also said they share their locally developed curricula with other teachers.

About 90% of math and ELA teachers who received student test result data from spring 2015 assessments indicated they are using that data to change how they teach. For example, nearly three-quarters of these teachers reported using student test data to differentiate instruction based on students' needs, and nearly two-thirds are using student test data to improve instruction for the whole class. …

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