SREB Reports Progress on Standards Implementation in 15 States


Atlanta, GA — Comprehensive and wide-ranging work to implement the Common Core and other rigorous readiness standards is well underway, according to Southern Regional Education Board reports that document progress in 15 states.
The State Implementation of Common Core State Standards reports identify exemplary states and practices so others can learn from them as they continue their efforts. SREB’s in-depth review documents trends across states as well as challenges such as aligning other reforms with the standards.
“Teachers, principals and leaders in education agencies are hard at work in this complex process, which requires deep commitment across many areas,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “These reports are critical tools to help states see where they are and where they might collaborate with other states on best practices.”
The study looked at practices and policies in 12 SREB member states and three states outside the SREB region. SREB benchmarked five areas of implementation, identifying leading states, detailing specific practices, and profiling strides in each of the 15 states. 

A Summary Report recaps findings from these five reports.

Timeline and Approach to Standards: The report considers states’ leadership for reform, timeline for rollout, infrastructure to support implementation in districts and schools, alignment of assessments to the Common Core and integration of standards for English learners and students with severe cognitive disabilities. Leading states are Kentucky and New York. Other strong states are Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina.

Teaching Resources: This report examines how states select and develop teaching resources, what tools they provide and how they train teachers to choose or design their own materials. Leading states are Colorado, Georgia, Maryland and New York. Other strong states are Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Professional Development: The report identifies initial and ongoing training for teachers, principals and district staff. Leading states are Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee. Other strong states are Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and North Carolina.

Teacher and Leader Evaluation: This report details whether states have updated professional standards and evaluation rubrics for teachers and leaders and how extensively they use evaluation results to guide improvement. Leading states are Colorado, Louisiana and Tennessee. Other strong states are Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.  

Accountability: This area examines how statewide accountability systems are aligned to the Common Core and what measures they use. Leading states are Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina.Other strong states are Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“States have done an enormous amount of work, and in many cases they are well along the path with years of professional development and resources for teachers,” said SREB’s Kim Anderson, the project’s director. “The focus of the SREB study is to bring states together around this review to see what they can learn from one another as they continue implementation.”

Collaboration for the long term

Educators and state department of education staff report that they are collaborating more than ever before with regional agencies, districts, individual schools, higher education, business and community leaders. And they are sharing resources with colleagues in other states through multi-state consortia and other collaborations.
Educators say they need steady funding and policy support as they begin assessing students on the standards and continue training teachers and building classroom materials. They also see a need to clarify the changes to teaching and learning so that educators and community stakeholders better understand how the standards can prepare more students to succeed in college and careers after high school.

The study 

SREB researchers performed extensive reviews of department of education websites and documents and conducted scores of interviews with state department of education leaders, teachers, principals, superintendents, board members, legislators, and business, union and community leaders. 

The project is one of several SREB efforts to help states implement statewide standards tied to readiness to succeed in college and careers. The research and reports build on SREB’s decades of monitoring state progress toward meeting goals to improve education. The SREB study will produce a  final set of reports on Common Core implementation later in 2014.