Instructional
Shifts

We spoke with teachers, instructional coaches, principals and district leaders to learn about shifts in instruction. Our findings indicate that district leaders believe teachers made significant progress implementing the new standards from 2015 to 2016. Still, the majority are still transitioning and developing an understanding of the instructional strategies needed to teach to them.

In the Instructional Shifts domain, we hear from district leaders about teachers’ mastery of the new standards and from teachers about their specific shifts in classroom practice.

The findings on this page

Many district leaders believe their teachers know the standards; however, many are still transitioning and developing an understanding of the instructional strategies needed to teach to them.

School District Leader Perceptions of Teacher mastery – 2016

With regards to the CA State Standards, the majority of our teachers…

What district leaders are saying about ELA teacher mastery

“The ELA [standards] are probably the one that is really kind of throwing them [our teachers] for a loop. I think a little bit more so because they just adopted the curriculum, and they are very anxious about using it appropriately. I would say on that my teachers are probably a two, but I would say my second and third grader teachers are probably more a three… It just depends on the instructor. I have some really strong teachers, and then I have some that are a little bit less so.”

“We are struggling to get on the same page and to get a flow. I would say between a two and a three.”

“The majority of our teachers at all grade levels across content areas know the standards and know some instructional strategy. Because of where we’re at with our adoptions. We just haven’t fully arrived at having everything in front of them. That’s really not necessarily a knock against them. It’s us still in the process of getting everything to them.”

“Three and a half in elementary, two in middle school, three in high school.”

“We have struggled collecting data on this. We’re putting out an LCAP survey that we’ll be putting out soon, which is going to collect teacher perception data. Generally, on the teacher perception data, teachers will rate themselves fairly high.”

“We have teacher leadership teams that do all of our evaluation of instructional materials and create standard space units of instruction. We’ve been doing that for a couple of years so I think we’re good there.”

What district leaders are saying about math teacher mastery

“Our English Language Arts probably were more ready than the Math department. We have struggled with them. Do we stick with traditional math, or do we go integrated math? That conversation probably has lasted over a year.”

“Low in elementary and middle schools, three in high school.”

“We have seen gains, above the county average. Leading in the right directions. Middle school students are coming better prepared. First time I didn’t have to teach Math. Kids are moving in the right directions.”

“Math I think they are all doing pretty well, because we’ve been doing it for a while. I would say my middle school teacher because he does six, seventh and eighth is five. He totally is immersed in the math. I would say probably my K1 are about a two, and probably my fifth grade teacher is a two, and then my second, third and fourth teachers are I would say probably a four in math.”

“The majority of teachers would probably be somewhere between the fourth and fifth statement. It’s hard to say. The majority of teachers is a tough question.”

“I would say on math, the secondary teachers are very much at number four. They did a really good job on [figuring out] materials and they are really trying to make the shift. For my elementary teachers, I’m more in the three. Right now, they are looking at the new instructional strategies.”

“With math, I feel like we are higher. I would say math would be a four because we’ve had more time unpacking that and working with the consultant.”

What district leaders are saying about science teacher mastery

“Sending the teachers to the professional development to get them ready for what is coming.”

“There has been a lack of professional development in the area, and finding someone who is knowledgeable enough for science has been very difficult for our county.”

“They know the new science standards. We have not spent a lot of time yet in that grade span working on the standards in science. That would be a next level of implementation for us.”

“Received an NGSS grant and working with their COE.”

“We haven’t really tackled science, that’s going to be in the spring.”

“Because there are some decisions to be made on both the school and organizational level related to how instruction is going to happen. There needs to be a lot of work done on departmental teams and across grade levels related to the crosscutting concepts and the new way… These standards look different than anything, I think, our teachers have ever seen before. I don’t necessarily think the same way we went about it will make sense. It needs to be a much more collaborative process, I think, across grades and departments.”

“Last year, we began trainings at the end of the year for all of the teachers in NGSS. We’ve moved to now this year, they’re actually required to be teaching NGSS standards in their classrooms while they get continued support in that. In high school, we’ve rolled out both math and NGSS in phases.”

“I’d say my science teachers are more like a three and moving toward four. It’s just there are no instructional materials out yet for science. I definitely think they’ve been working on instructional strategies. They were both in a STEM grant for three years getting some great training about the shifts in instructional strategies and integrating technology into their instruction.”

Most district leaders believe that their teachers have grown in mastery from 2015 to 2016, especially in their fluency using instructional strategies for different purposes to meet student needs.

School District Leader Perceptions of Teacher mastery
ELA & Math 2015-2016

With regards to the CA State Standards, the majority of our teachers…

District leaders’ confidence in their teachers’ ELA and math mastery varies across each locale type, declining as population density grows, with rural the highest and city lowest.

School District Leader Perceptions of Teacher Mastery by Locale

With regards to the CA State Standards, the majority of our teachers…

Since the implementation of the CA standards, teachers are reporting shifts in their instructional practices, but more so at the elementary than the secondary level.

CA ATP Survey 2016
ELA Practices

The October 2016 ATP survey asked California teachers to indicate the subject(s) they were teaching during the 2016/17 school year. Those who indicated that they teach English-Language Arts (ELA) were asked whether their emphasis on having their students engage in various classroom practices has decreased, stayed the same or increased since the implementation of the California ELA Standards in 2013/14. For each ELA classroom practice, the proportion of California ELA teachers who indicated that their emphasis on it has increased is provided below. Having students:

Among the four classroom practices for which a majority of the full ATP sample of California ELA teachers reported an increasing recent emphasis, here are the differing proportions among responding elementary and secondary teachers:

CA ATP Survey 2016
Math Practices

Those California ATP teachers who indicated that they were teaching mathematics in 2016/17 were asked whether their emphasis on having their students engage in various math practices in the classroom has decreased, stayed the same or increased since the implementation of the California Mathematics Standards in 2013/14. For each math classroom practice, the proportion of California math teachers who indicated that their emphasis on it has increased is provided below. Having students:

Some differences were evident between the responses of elementary and secondary math teachers, however, with lower proportions of secondary math teachers than elementary math teachers tending to report changes in their classroom emphasis (by about 8–15%). For example, among the six classroom practices for which a majority of the full ATP sample of California math teachers reported an increasing recent emphasis, here are the differing proportions among responding elementary and secondary teachers: