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Remodeling Literacy Learning Together: Paths to Standards Implementation

Last year's national NCLE study, Remodeling Literacy Learning: Make Room for What Works, indicated that working together is working smarter—educators’ most powerful professional learning experiences come from working with their colleagues.

This year, NCLE set out to investigate how this idea plays out when implementing the new Common Core State Standards in literacy. Are schools and districts taking a capacity-building or incentive-driven approach to putting the new standards in place? And how are these approaches impacting progress?

The findings from this nationwide survey of over 3,000 classroom teachers are striking.

Key Findings:

  • Nationwide, teachers feel ill-prepared to help their students achieve the new literacy standards.
  • Working with peers is the most valued support for standards implementation.
  • Time for working together in schools is decreasing.
  • Most teachers have not had a voice in determining how standards are implemented in their schools.
  • Positive changes are occurring most where teachers are actively involved in the renovation.
  • Teachers feeling most comfortable tend to be those more frequently working with others to analyze student work, design curriculum, and create assessments.
  • Teachers in all disciplines are actively engaged in shifting literacy practices.
  • Teachers engaged in cross-discipline conversation about literacy are making greater shifts in their instruction.
  • When given the opportunity, teachers are owning the change by innovating and designing appropriate lessons and materials.

Policy Recommendations

Recommendation #1: Provide more time for educators to learn and plan together.

Recommendation #2: Encourage and support teachers in designing and innovating.

Recommendation #3: Include everyone who has a stake in strengthening literacy teaching and learning.


This report was made possible through the generous support of the Ball Foundation. This report was authored by Catherine Awsumb Nelson, Ph.D., NCLE's Director of Evaluation and Learning. She also designed and analyzed the survey on which the report is based.



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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts