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NAESP Releases Two Surveys of Principals on Common Core State Standards Initiative

Analysis shows principals support higher standards, but need support for implementation in schools.

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) December 13, 2013

Today, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) released two surveys that examine principals’ views of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative, as well as their preparation and ongoing support for implementation of the higher standards. The surveys, which reflect the views of 1,000 principals in 14 states that have adopted CCSS, reveal that principals overwhelmingly support the CCSS initiative and have a strong willingness to continue to engage deeply in instructional leadership activities as states move forward with the new standards. One of the surveys focuses specifically on urban schools.

Overall, the NAESP surveys found that the majority of the nation’s elementary and middle-level principals strongly agree that CCSS will provide more meaningful assessments of student learning, increase students’ skill mastery across subjects, and provide a curriculum frame leading to deeper understanding of conceptual thinking. Most principals in the states surveyed are familiar with the standards and the curricular changes that must accompany them, and most had received some level of professional development to lead teachers, families, and students through the transition to the new standards.

However, despite having received some professional development provided by states and districts, the majority of principals indicated a lack of necessary preparation to lead and sustain the vision of CCSS over the long term. Principals noted a compelling need for more adequate preparation and professional development in specific leadership areas, such as how to manage the change process in the schools, evaluate teachers’ use of the new standards during instruction, align the school’s instructional focus, make key decisions on the best types of professional development to support teachers, and develop extended learning opportunities to sufficiently address CCSS implementation.

A majority of the principals surveyed also said that they need sufficient allocation of financial resources to implement the array of school-based activities related to CCSS, or for their schools and teachers.

“While principals support the Common Core and are committed to leading the instructional shifts and changes in classroom activities that are required, the information from this survey is clear: States and districts must direct attention to preparing principals and supporting their instructional leadership needs,” said Gail Connelly, executive director of NAESP. “NAESP hopes that state and local leaders will see the urgent need to help principals gain the appropriate knowledge, tools, and resources in order to continue to make progress on the implementation of Common Core. Otherwise, the long-term vision of the initiative will never be fully realized,” she added.

Read both surveys at


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalyst for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy development, advocacy, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP seeks to advance the principalship and address issues in pre-K–3 alignment, principal preparation and evaluation, and building the capacity of new principals. For more information about NAESP, please visit

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