What Are Parents’ Perceptions of Common Core State Standards?

Subject: Education
Pages: 52
Words: 11206
Reading time:
41 min
Study level: PhD


For decades, education has been engrossed in conflicts (Weiss, 2014). Many of these conflicts surrounding education are the result of multiple perspectives regarding the purpose of education and desired changes. The difference in perspectives occurs within groups and between groups, including parents and teachers. According to Ravitch (2015), the desire to have a common set of standards across the nation can be traced to the early 1990s when President George H. W. Bush advocated the idea of having clear national goals in the education sector. Various states adopted their own standards. In 1991, the National Council on Education Standards and Testing was created with the mandate to determine the feasibility and desirability of having national standards in the education sector (Caillaud, Rose, & Goepp, 2016). Despite the effort, little was achieved in having national standards until 2007 when Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona, who was then the chair of National Governors Association (NGA), proposed the initiative of improving the standards in math and science (Cheairs, 2015). In November 2007, State chiefs discussed the idea of developing common standards during the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) annual policy forum which was held in Ohio (Caillaud et al., 2016). In December 2008, the NGA and CCSSO released what they described as ‘Benchmarking for Success’ to help improve the local education system (Ravitch, 2015). The initiative led to the creation of the current Common Core State Standards. The stakeholders considered these changes significant in transforming the country’s academic standards.

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The adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative of transforming education to prepare students for college and career stated by the National Governors Association (NGA 2012), seems to be widening the gap between educators and parents who should be working together for students to have a better chance at success in life (Jenkins & Agamba, 2013). It created the perception that parents has minimal role to play when it comes to policy issues in the education sector. As children mature into adolescence, family involvement in their learning remains important (Karten, 2014). Family involvement practices at home have been found to influence secondary school students’ academic achievement, school attendance, graduation, and college matriculation rates (Bachelor, 2013). Despite its importance, however, families’ active involvement in children’s education decline as they progress from elementary school to middle and high school (Hansen, Razzouk, Shute & Underwood, 2011). Schools can reverse the decline when parents are involved in developing comprehensive programs of partnership suggested by Boxer, Dubow, and Huesmann (2010). The standards movement is a perfect example of an initiative that requires a partnership between schools, parents, and other stakeholders if it wishes to gain a universal support.

According to Taylor, Clayton, and Rowley (2004), academic socialization includes parents’ communication of their expectations for achievement and value for education. Besides, the socialization it fosters educational and occupational aspirations in adolescents, discussing learning strategies with children, and making preparations and plans for the future, including linking material discussed in school with students’ interests and goals (Jenkins & Agamba, 2013). The ability of an adolescent to engage in logical, analytic thinking, problem-solving, planning, and decision-making is enhanced through parents, school, and students’ interaction (Perveen, 2010; Keating, 2004). The indication then is that parental involvement continues to be critical at all stages of learning.

When standards movement was adopted and implemented, parents’ perceptions of the standards resulted in some states modifying application, while other states rejected or replaced the new standards (Kern, 2014). The rejection occurred as parents and teachers became vocal and expressed themselves to administrators and board members at meetings in their local schools and their elected political officials. Parents questioned how the CCSS were formed and the value of new standards to the community, state, and the nation (Tully & Wong, 2015).

The adoption of CCSS has experienced numerous challenges. As of December 2013, Caillaud et al. (2016) note that 45 states adopted the new CCSS in math and English. Other states rejected the new standards, partly because of the perception that the local stakeholders were not adequately consulted. Soon after the adoption, a number of states repealed the law to drop or adjust the new standards in line with the local standards considered popular among the stakeholders in the education sector. States such as Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and South Carolina passed laws to repeal the policy in favor of local standards (Cheairs, 2015). In Utah, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Missouri, CCSS is under review as stakeholders try to determine its effectiveness in meeting the desired goals in an acceptable manner (Cheairs, 2015). Alaska, Nebraska, and Texas have not considered adopting the new policies. According to Ravitch (2015), CCSS has come under heavy criticism in various states where it has been fully adopted. Many people, especially parents and a section of teachers, feel that the architects of the new standards ignored the need to involve all stakeholders, namely parents.


In 2009, the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers met to address some issues in the education sector and to review some of the changes proposed by scholars and other stakeholders in this sector of education (Ravitch, 2015). It was in this forum that CCSS was incepted by a team of experts, including David Coleman, William McCallum, Phil Daro, Jason Zimba, and Susan Pimentel (Ravitch, 2015). Coleman and Pimentel, who were considered chief architects of the CCSS, became spokespeople of this new policy (NGA Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officer, 2010). Through dialogue, the team was able to reach a consensus; however, some of participants were not convinced that these standards were the most appropriate model. According to Caillaud et al. (2016), not all stakeholders were represented in the dialogue. Parents were significantly underrepresented, partly because of the limited time that was available for the team to develop the new curriculum.

The partnership of parents, schools, and communities is considered the hallmark of an effective educational institution, which prepares students to be productive members of society now and in the future. Many parents and educators have agreed that the educational system in the United States is constantly changing. Over the past two decades, a massive amount of dollars has been spent on resources to reform and improve the education system (Weiss, 2015). However, many other curricula and initiatives preceded the CCSS. Policymakers have imposed themselves on educators’ practices and curricula with a myriad of never-ending series of tests in the expectation of holding teachers and students accountable for improved performance (Ravitch, 2015). In public schools throughout the United States, the shift to CCSS has called teachers to augment their efforts to help students rigorously learn to read and write complex texts in different genres and content areas (Kern, 2014). Teachers need to acquire the appropriate content knowledge of the CCSS and be adaptable to teach students with a range of abilities, which is required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines (Young, 2013).

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CCSS’s initiative has raised several concerns. One of the issues that have been raised is children’s academic development (Porter & McMaken, 2011). Some experts have identified the many barriers to parent involvement in the CCSS. Some argue that parents are not equipped with the adequate knowledge to assist students with homework assignments; also to help students communicate with teachers, parents should be familiar with the CCSS language (Karten 2014). Parents’ involvement has a measurable impact on students’ performance in school, and has always been recommended by state and federal laws for many decades.

According to Jochim and Lavery (2015), several issues that were largely ignored when the CCSS initiative was adopted (including concerns over cost, teacher evaluation, accountability, and student privacy) were brought to the forefront, given that the policy had to be reconciled with existing systems and institutions. The researcher agrees with Jochim and Lavery’s (2015) findings that the CCSS initiatives had some flaws, in that not all aspects of changes were considered. Some argued that the CCSS movement was an inarguably top-down initiative to which states were forced to respond (Burke, Marshall, & Stotsky, 2013). The CCSS were developed behind closed doors, by an alliance of policy entrepreneurs and private Washington-based organizations who received heavy financial sponsorship of the world’s most powerful philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Toscano, 2013). Convincing the states to adopt the standards, however, fell to the U.S. Department of Education (Toscano, 2013).

Parents with children in lower grades (pre-elementary and elementary) are concerned about stress on their children, the challenge for teachers in instructing students with diverse learning abilities, how students would be assessed, and how the data will be used (Beals, 2014). Due to stress that is caused by the CCSS, some parents in various US cities and states where it is still in practice allowed students to opt-out of the examination that assesses proficiency on the CCSS (Harris, 2015).

Problem Statement and Significance of the Study

According to Ravitch (2015), many states adopted the CCSS before they were field- tested. Epstein (2011) noted that various important stakeholders were not involved in the CCSS policy formulation. One of these stakeholders was parents. According to Beach, Thein, and Webb (2016), parents are not knowledgeable about the education children are exposed to and the expectations under the new system which includes CCSS. Children are less likely to have home schooling connection because of the limited knowledge of parents, something that is expected to have a negative impact on their academic performance. Porton (2013) argue that under the new system, the role of parents will be limited to providing resources needed at school. They are reduced to passive players who can do very little to help students to understand concepts taught in class while they are at home. Many parents have resisted the change from the system they understood to this new system. These parents feel uncomfortable and helpless because of their reduced capacity to be helpful to their children (Harris, 2015).

Brown (2013) contends that parents are critical players when introducing change in students’ curriculum. They help in reinforcing such changes. Parents play an important role in motivating children to embrace the new system and to show improved performance. In some cases, they also motivate teachers through various initiatives as they struggle to work under the new system (Brown, 2013). Therefore, it is unfortunate that such important players in change management became resistant towards the new system. The resistance of parents towards the CCSS has affected students’ attitude towards some of the affected subjects such as reading and mathematics. They feel that CCSS is a punitive system that fails to take into consideration unique needs of individual students. The negative perception that students have developed affects their overall performance. They now feel they have a justification to underperform because of the resistance of their parents towards the new system (Harris, 2015).

According to Power-deFur (2016), it was so unfortunate that parents were left out of the CCSS development process. Many parents now feel upset as they claim CCSS is becoming a source of unnecessary stress on young students (Epstein, 2011). Due to this stress, some parents have moved their children to private schools, while others are considering homeschooling as the best option. According to Cheairs (2015), parents who are not financially empowered are forced to retain their young ones in public schools, but they are also making it clear that they do not support the new system. It is important to appreciate that parents are the first teachers (Ravitch, 2015). The scholar further revealed that it is important for parents to have significant knowledge about the standards by which their child is being held accountable. When parents are not knowledgeable about the standards, their understanding and expectations are limited in helping their children succeed (Dearing et al., 2006).

Studying parents’ perception of the standards will help determine how the current problem can be solved, and to have a consensus on the best model that should be used in schools. The study to be undertaken will help in understanding parents’ perception of CCSS and its impact on students (Marshall, Burke, Sheffield, Corona, & Stotsky, 2013). It will enable the policy makers to understand the relevance of putting into consideration views of parents when proposing a major policy-change in public schools. When parents are informed about new policies, such as CCSS, they may be more equipped to support their children and teachers (Casserly, Corcoran, Duvall, & Horan, 2013; Fung, 2014). The primary goal is to determine parents’ perception of CCSS and concerns they have about new standards. It will be possible to address these and other concerns by involving and empowering parents so that they can continue to engage, support, and advocate for students (Hill, & Taylor, 2015).

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Through this study, it will be possible to inform the policy makers about the importance of parental involvement and training in regards to CCSS. The study will hopes to increase communication among all stakeholders by helping families and teachers work together to ensure that students succeed. In this inquiry, the researcher seeks to demonstrate the importance of engaging parents when developing policies that may affect their children.

Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks: Parents’ Power, Roles, and Impact in School

Various theories can be used to emphasize the need to involve parents when developing policies that have a significant impact on students (Lopez, 2012). One of the theories relevant for the study is social learning theory. The theory holds that a child’s behavior will improve when reinforced (Hutchin, 2013). The ability of a child to perform well depends on the support and encouragement he/she gets from parents. The retention of knowledge depends on the attention given by the student and people around him or her. The theory is aligned with the purpose of this study. It explains that the ability of students to succeed academically partly depends on the encouragement and support they get from the parents. However, parents can only be involved in the academic progress if they understand the concepts taught to their children. As such, parents’ negative perception of Common Core State Standards is justified because they were not involved effectively in its development. It was important to ensure that parents are engaged when developing these standards.

Cognitive Development Theory is also relevant in this study. According to Allen and Gordon (2012), Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory focuses on the development of human intelligence. This theory explains how human beings gradually acquire knowledge, construct it, and put it to use through various developmental stages (Hutchin, 2013). It explains that the immediate environment of a child plays a critical role in his or her development. The biological maturation of a child is often accompanied by environmental experiences (Ravitch, 2015). The classroom experiences play a pivotal role in the learning of a child as experiences at home. This theory is aligned with the purpose of the study. It appreciates the fact that parents have a critical role to play back at home to enhance the learning of their children. They should not only provide an enabling environment for learning back at home but also be actively engaged as agents in the learning process (Karten, 2014). For them to be effective agents, they need to understand the course of study and its requirements. When changes are made without their active participation, it becomes difficult for them to be involved. It justifies their rejection of the CCSS.

The researcher developed a conceptual framework to help explain the relevance of parents’ involvement in policy development. The conceptual framework shown below indicates the steps that should have been taken by the experts when developing the new curriculum to ensure that parents were adequately informed about the planned change of policy and effectively involved in the entire process. As shown in the framework, the first step should have involved issuing information about the planned policy change and reasons why it was necessary. The team should have then provided enough time for parents and other stakeholders to deliberate over the new proposal and provide their views (Ravitch, 2015). The team should have then integrated these views when developing the CCSS. The outcome would be a successful introduction of a new policy that is approved of by parents and other relevant stakeholders.

Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Framework

Researcher’s Position

I agree with the research of Burke et al. (2013) that when parents are not involved, they will inhibit a meaningful education reform. Consequently, this concern drives this research to discover parents’ perspectives on the CCSS, and ways through which, the policy affects children’s educational growth (Hess & Henig, 2015). As an educator, I have had first-hand experiences that when parents are not involved in their children’s education, there is a weak link between school and the home. I developed interest in this topic because I have directly engaged some parents who are unhappy about the new curriculum. Some of them have even considered transferring their children to private schools just to avoid CCSS. I believe that it is possible to find a way of making the standards more acceptable to all stakeholders, especially the parents, than what is currently the case. However, parents who attend school board meetings get elected to serve, attend Parents Teachers Meeting (PTA), volunteer to become mentors and get educated about school policies are more equipped to be involved in educational reforms. The study wishes to uncover parents’ thoughts and opinions, and dive deeper to achieve a clearer understanding of how parents perceive the CCSS and its evaluation of students. The researcher seeks to conduct research to understand the perception of parents towards the new policy. In interviews, the researcher will interview parents to understand their experiences with the school’s curricular standards and the information the parents received regarding the new standards (Cheairs, 2015).


The purpose of the qualitative study is to explore parents’ perceptions CCSS, how they view their child’s academic performance under this curriculum, and how parent experiences may be incorporated. In this study, the curriculum standards may include the CCSS, the next generation standards, or the district or local standards. The CCSS is a set of high – quality academic standard in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) (LaRocque, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011).

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Research Questions

To conduct this qualitative inquiry, the following three research questions will be the focus:

  • RQ1: What are parents’ perceptions and beliefs of curriculum standards?
  • RQ2: What are parents’ experiences with curriculum standards and their child’s day-to-day learning activities and expectations related to the curriculum?
  • RQ3: What are parents’ experiences with curriculum standards and their child’s related academic evaluation?
  • RQ4. How do parents understand the relationship between the curriculum standards and their child’s academic evaluation?
  • RQ5: How might parents’ experiences be incorporated into the development, implementation, and evaluation of the curriculum standards by educational leaders and policy makers?

Rationale for Methodology

A qualitative approach study will be used to explore parents’ perspective of the current national standard-based curriculum and how they view the child’s academic performance under this curriculum. Conducting qualitative research will broaden the researcher’s view on how to study life and learn more about it (Charmaz, 2006). The researcher will utilize the qualitative method of one-on-one interviews with 20 parents. The interviews will consist of 10-15 open-ended questions about their experiences and ideas related to the curricular standards.The researcher has already established a relationship with a school superintendent to facilitate such a process.

Definition of Terms

Keywords, titles, and phrases defined as used in this study. Include citations for key definitions:

  • Assessment- Apple (1998) viewed assessment as formative and summative. Formative deals with ongoing to improve learning; Processoriented analyzes how the learning is going, and Reflective is defined as a criteria/goals. On the other hand, summative is involved with the final to gauge quality; Product-oriented of what has been learned and Administrator/Recipient Relationship (Straight, 2002). Assessment is used to evaluate the educational progression and guide us in the decision-making routine (Suskie, 2004).
  • CCSS– Common Core State Standards – a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) (LaRocque et al., 2011).
  • CCSSO– Council of Chief State School Officers’
  • Curriculum standards– it is an organized plan defining content that should be learned at different stages of education (Karten, 2014).
  • Equality– It is the state of being equal, especially in status, or rights (Wong & Ortega, 2015).
  • Evaluation– is a systematic determination of a subject’s merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards (Bray & Kwo, 2013).
  • NGA– National Governor’s Association
  • OBE– Outcome-Based Education (educational concept which bases educational system on goals)
  • PTA– Parents Teachers Meeting (responsible for policy issues at school level)
  • Parent involvement- Direct engagement of parents by policy-makers when developing new policies within the education sector (Neuman & Roskos, 2013).
  • Parent perceptions– it refers to the manner in which parents regard current curricular standards based on their interpretation and understanding (Cheairs, 2015).
  • Policymakers– Persons/groups responsible for or involved in formulating policies, especially in politics (Hutchin, 2013).
  • SBE- Standard-Based Education
  • Social cognitive theory (SCT)– used in psychology, education, and communication, holds that portions of an individual’s knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences
  • Social Justice– The fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice (Roberts, 2015).

Summary and organization

The study is divided into 5 chapters. Chapter 1 provides the introduction, problem statement, theoretical framework, researcher’s position, research questions, research methodology, and the definition of terms, summary, and organization. Chapter 2 will review the literature and current research to parent’s perspective of the CCSS. Chapter 3 contains a description of the study design rationale and methodology. Chapter 4 states the findings, and chapter 5 includes the summary, discussions, and recommendation for further studies.

Literature Review


The society expect schools to prepare learners for all they will face in the future, including being college and career ready, being competitive with other students across the world, and being able to solve 21st century problems. The standards-based movement is an initiative that some hoped will establish a set of clear expectations for students at each level of elementary and high school grades. The role and support of parents is crucial throughout. The United States education sector has experienced massive transformation over the recent past as stakeholders try to align the core standards with the ever-changing market needs. A report by Bryman and Bell (2015) shows that sometimes students transitioning from high schools to colleges are not fully prepared to deal with forces and meet expectations at this higher level of education.

According to Brown (2016), the desire to have a common standard, which defines what learners should know and be able to do, started in the late 1980s. In 1991, entities in the education sector such as the National Center on Education and the Economy, developed outcome-based education (OBE) that focused on equipping the learners with skills needed in the local economy. It was a major shift from a curriculum that was seen as being unable to meet the changing demand of the job market. It was developed through a proper consultation with various stakeholders, including parents. Bryman and Bell (2015) observe that OBE was largely rejected in the 1990s because many people did not believe in its capacity to transform the education sector positively. However, it was the beginning of the movement towards standard-based education (SBE).

The NGA (National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers worked closely with other relevant stakeholders to develop CCSS to help in aligning capabilities of students with expectations at higher institutions of learning and even when they seek employment (Hallet, 2016). However, parents’ involvement when developing these policies or during their implementation has been an issue. Parents’ perception of CCSS can be influenced if they are adequately involved in developing new policies (Bradford, 2013). Proper involvement offers them an opportunity to understand why these standards are set, their relevance to their children, and how the implementation should be done. The study to be undertaken will examine parent perceptions of the standards-based movement and the ways in which their experiences have or could be incorporated in relation to it. The section focuses on the history of the common core state standards, its implementation, parental involvement in the development of the CCSS, and theoretical framework.

Parental Perception towards CCSS at the National Level

According to Bryman and Bell (2015), the perception of parents towards CCSS has been influenced by four major factors. The first factor is the information from the media. Caillaud et al., (2016) explain media stations have been keen on monitoring the progress of the implementation of CCSS and one of the issues that come out is the impact it has on learners, especially English as second language (ESL) students. The media has highlighted challenges that some of these students face trying to adapt to the new system. Some of the opinion makers have described CCSS as being punitive to learners in the country. Such arguments tend to convince parents that the new curriculum is inappropriate for their children (Hallet, 2016).

Cost is another factor that influences parents’ perception (Bryman & Bell, 2015). The architects of this new curriculum did not clearly articulate the cost of implementing the new standards. It emerged that technology is at the center-stage of its implementation and gadgets such as iPads are unavoidable. The fact that parents are forced to pay more for the implementation of the new system while they were not even involved in its development has been annoying to many (Brown, 2016). They feel that they were given the burden of meeting the cost of a curriculum that they do not even understand.

The third factor that influences parent’s perception is the feedback they receive from teachers about the new curriculum (Bryman & Bell, 2015). During the normal interaction between parents and teachers, especially during the PTA meetings, some teachers often express their dissatisfaction with the new curriculum. Brown (2016) explains that when introducing CCSS, the team of experts involved in its development did not determine how some exams were to be eliminated to accommodate the new ones created. As such, the new system has created numerous exams which are stressful to teachers involved (Hallet, 2016). Complaints from such teachers influence the perception of parents. The feedback that parents receive from their children about the new standards is another major influencer (Bryman & Bell, 2015). Many students feel uncomfortable with the numerous exams introduced under CCSS, and they tend to complain to their parents.

History of the Common Core State Standards

In 1980, ‘A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform’ was published. It was a report by the National Commission on Excellence in Education that was set up by President Ronald Reagan (Hallet, 2016). The report identified major weaknesses with the education system at that time and recommended major changes needed to improve the country’s education system. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush, called for national goals in the education sector, but local authorities at state-level still had the mandate of setting their standards based on various factors (Brown, 2016). Efforts made by the national government to have common standards were not very successful in the early 1990s. In 1991, the United States Congress established the National Council on Education Standards and Testing to determine the feasibility of having national standards and testing in the country’s education sector (Bryman & Bell, 2015). Its report strongly advised the Secretary of Education and all other stakeholders in the education sector that it was desirable and feasible to have common standards and testing at the national level. The report argued that in most of the cases students pursue higher education outside the states where they complete high school. Upon graduation, they can work in any part of the country. Standardizing the curriculum was, therefore, necessary and critical in enabling systematic adjustments in the content whenever it would be necessary (Hallet, 2016).

In 1994, President Clinton signed into law the Educate America Act, popularly known as Goals 2000 (Caillaud et al., 2016). It created a council responsible for certifying state and national content and performance standards. It is important to note that at this stage, there was an effort to move towards national standards, but states to set their curriculum. In 1996, the National Education Summit was held where governors of 40 states agreed on creating academic standards that reflect the prevailing conditions in the country (Bryman & Bell, 2015). A similar summit was held in 1999 where various stakeholders were involved to identify and address various challenges that the education sector faces. It identified three areas that needed serious attention. 1) Improving the quality of education, 2) enabling learners to achieve the highest standards of academic qualification, and 3) strengthening the accountability in the education sector (Hallet, 2016). In 2000, President George W. Bush advocate the No Child Left behind Act (NCLB), which focused on ensuring that the education system takes care of all learners of varying capacities (Brown, 2016).

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) movement began, in part, as a response to the No Child Left Behind initiatives (Ashcroft, Argiro, &Keohane, 2014). After about a decade of school improvement efforts, some stakeholders concluded that NCLB was not effective enough in addressing the issues of concern (Shober, 2016). In 2009, the NGA decided to develop a common national set of standard as a way of addressing the weaknesses of the previous systems. In addition, studies such as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMM) compared the performance of students in the United States with those in other nations and found students in the United States ranking lower in performance (Bernard, 2013). Standards across the country were not at similar levels; what one state required at each grade level was not the same as another state. One conclusion drawn was that similar standards and a common assessment used by all states would be desirable for fair comparisons to occur. It would raise the level of expectation and performance similarly for all students across the U.S. Efforts at the state and federal levels to support this direction included the adoption of the CCSS and federal dollars for the Race to the Top initiative to create assessments and improve teacher quality (Hallet, 2016).

Race to the Top, often abbreviated as RTTT is one of these ambitious efforts put in place by the government to improve quality of education across the country. Created in 2009 through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this $ 4.35 billion initiative seeks to spur innovation in K-12 education by rewarding teachers and school administrators who embrace holistic approach of assessing their students (Shober, 2016). RTTT also awards states that satisfy specific educational policies and practices, such as performance-based evaluation of teachers and administrators based on multiple measures (Bernard, 2013). RTTT focused on encouraging states to adopt common standards when assessing students. One should note that RTTT did not require states and schools to adopt common core state standards. RTTT only encouraged using common assessment standards, which were expected to be broad (Bradford, 2013). However once the preponderance of states agreed to the 2010 CCSS, it became economically prudent to join together to develop assessments. Other than focusing only on academic capabilities of students, RTTT encouraged looking at broader developmental requirements, including co-curriculum activities (Ravitch, 2015). RTT also emphasized the need to embrace creativity when teaching students. Although the assessment of students was to follow a given pattern, teachers were given the liberty to be creative when handling their students as long as they ensured that the assigned syllabus was followed and completed as required.

According to Bradford (2013), the competitive nature of this initiative and the reward of funding that was given to the best written proposals forced schools and states to change their education policies and goals in line with the new standards. Most states embraced an aggressive approach to improving standards of education. Although it was not a mandatory requirement, RTTT led to the introduction of common core state standards among 46 of the 50 states as they struggled to align their systems with funding opportunities. Musty (2015) argue that RTTT made it possible for states to focus on lowest-performing schools with the view of identifying problems affecting them and addressing them effectively. Before the introduction of this initiative, most states had independent systems of education with varying standards. The problem with such non-standardized systems of education is that high school graduates have varying academic skills and capabilities when joining colleges across the country. For instance, a student from Arizona and that from Illinois may not have the same capabilities upon their graduation from high school, although they may find themselves in the same college. This problem attempted to be addressed by RTTT as it standardized the education expectations by establishing common standards across all states.

It is important to appreciate that RTTT had its weaknesses, as noted by some of its top critics. One of the main criticisms of this initiative is that it grants excess power to the federal government to influence school goals and priorities which is a right of the state as provided by the constitution. Zimba (2014) says that it also focused more on academic performance as measured by assessments and paid little attention to the co-curriculum activities which are equally important to students.

Wright (2014) believes that one of the greatest weaknesses of RTTT was that RTTT was open to political abuse. Political leaders at the state level had the liberty of influencing its implementation based on their political ambitions. For instance, the Virginia Governor who supported the initiative when he was campaigning for office, pulled the state out of the competition after the first round of competition in 2010 (Bradford, 2013). It is believed that his decision was influenced by the dismal performance of the state in the competition and it was a way of avoiding further public embarrassment.

Private groups began to fund initiatives to support improvement including raising standards and improving teacher quality (Wong & Ortega, 2015). The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is one such initiative that was not only funded by government entities but also private groups keen on enhancing the development of the education sector. CCSS was sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association with the primary goal of establishing consistent standards of education for K-12 students across all states in the country, especially in fields of mathematics and English language (Brennen, 2013). It was meant to prepare students effectively before joining college so that they can easily gain skills needed in the job market. It was in line with changes demanded at the college level that seeks to align skills gained by students with the changing demands of the job market. Shober (2016) says that many employers have complained that most of graduates lack practical skills needed in the workplace. Stakeholders considered it appropriate to start addressing the problem at a K-12 level to ensure that skills and competence gained among these high school graduates are not only standardized but also aligned with the emerging training needs in the college. The need to improve the quality of education drew the attention of a number of top philanthropic organizations that agreed to sponsor CCSS. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and Pearson Publishing Company are some of the top charitable organizations that supported CCSS financially (Brennen, 2013).

English Language Arts Standards

According to Roberts (2015), CCSS was designed to ensure that students are career ready in literacy upon graduation from high school. It acknowledges the fact that the diversity in the country, especially the existence of immigrants who are learning English as a second language, makes it difficult for all students to be at the same level of fluency in the spoken and written language. However, architects of this initiative believe that there are basic standards that all students must meet before they can be considered ready to pursue different careers. CCSS require that high school graduates must be fluent speaking, reading, writing, and listening to the English language. These are basic requirements that one must have to progress to higher learning institutions. These basic communication skills are critical for students in college who are expected to be fully responsible for all their academic endeavors. Ravitch (2015) says that it is easy for one to assume that these are basic skills that all high school students who qualify for college education will have. However, studies suggest that some of these students are hardly capable of communicating fluently in English. Others find problems writing essays free from grammatical mistakes. These challenges limit their capacity to excel in college. CCSS also require students to gain media and technology skills before joining college. In the 21st century, technology plays a critical role in defining careers. As such, students are required to have basic skills that can enable them to use computers and the internet to conduct research and to complete assignments.

Mathematics Standards

In comparative research that was conducted by a team of experts commissioned by the Department of Education, it was reported that American standards in mathematics were below that of a number of countries around the world such as Finland, Switzerland, and Belgium (Bradford, 2013). The study found that lack of common standards across states in the country was one of the major contributing factors. As such, CCSS developed basic principles that had to guide the teaching of mathematics in the country. It explains the expectations that must be met, from a student in kindergarten through Grade 8. It also explains the concepts that must be learned by students in high school. They include algebra, numbers, functions, geometry, modeling, probability, calculus, vector, matrix, and statistics. Brennen (2013) notes that the primary goal is to ensure that when students graduate from high school, they can comprehend complex calculations and analysis related to their fields of specialization. It is true that some fields of study, such as anthropology and literature, may not have complex mathematical problems. However, these social sciences are not devoid of calculation, especially as one advances to higher levels of learning. Students will be required to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and that requires skills in mathematics.

Implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Policy Reform

The implementation of CCSS is critical in ensuring that skills gained in school are aligned with expectations in the job market. The initiative has received massive support from the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association (Harrell & Watson, 2014). This explains why most of the states have adopted the new standards. At the national level, Musty (2015) believes that the implementation of CCSS has been fairly successful. The Department of Education, working closely with state-level education officers, has ensured that stakeholders, especially teachers, understand concepts of the new standards and changes needed when teaching and testing students at different stages. However, it is important to note that national education officials have felt frustrated by states that opted not to implement the new standards. Alaska, Nebraska, Virginia, Florida, and Texas rejected the new standards completely and have never made efforts to test its suitability. Other states such as South Carolina, Indiana, and Arizona have repealed it, citing various challenges and pressure from parents. Brennen (2013) says that teacher quality is one of the issues often cited by these states struggling to adopt CCSS. Some say that the new system focuses too much on testing.

According to Greenhalgh and Fahy (2015), one of the drivers of CCSS was RTTT funding that was expected to motivate states to embrace the new system. To apply for the funds, states had to agree to assessments of the CCSS. PARCC and SBAC were formed as states partnered together in the formation and use of assessments (and consolidate costs relating to assessment development and meeting the CCSS assessment requirements) (Brown, 2016). Since most states already had one or more of their assessment systems in place, the prudent plan would have been to reduce state/local assessments and move to the PARCC/SBAC in their place. The problem that arose was that the benchmark assessments were not yet in place, so most states kept all that was state and local and added PARCC or SBAC which resulted in a plethora of testing and testing time. This was one of the implementation missteps rather than a policy reform shortcoming. Numerous tests cause frustrations among teachers and unfairness to students. The new system has been met by resistance from a section of stakeholders, especially parents and some teachers. They feel the new system is too demanding and is exerting unnecessary pressure on children. Some teachers feel the new system fails to understand unique problems faced by immigrants using English as a second language (Greenhalgh & Fahy, 2015). Although the uniformity of the new policy reform is widely supported, some stakeholders feel that some aspects of the CCSS are radical shifts from what was the norm, making it difficult for students and teachers to adopt it. Figure 1 below shows states that had adopted CCSS by 2015.

States that had adopted CCSS by the end of 2015 
Fig. 1. States that had adopted CCSS by the end of 2015 

Parental Involvement in the Common Core State Standards

According to Hallet (2016), one of the strongest criticisms of CCSS is that it failed to engage parents when developing policies that would affect their children. The report says that although the intention had some merit, the movement was too swift to include all stakeholders, especially parents. A team of experts, led by David Coleman, Phil Daro, William McCallum, and Jason Zimba was created by National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)(Musty, 2015). It was given clear instructions for developing new standards in line with the changing demands of the job market. Although the team made an effort to reach out to teachers when developing the new standards, the limited time they had and the complex nature of work assigned to them made it impossible to consult all stakeholders (Center for Strategic Research and Communication, 2012). Parents were not consulted as would be expected when making such a major change in the curriculum.

Brown (2016) says that one of the assumptions that architects of the new standards made was that parents would be enlightened by teachers at school level. They assumed that once teachers understood and appreciated the new standards, it would be easy for them to influence the perception of parents positively. However, that has not been the case. Hall (2015) says that not all teachers have embraced the new system. As such, most parents feel left out of an important process that has a significant impact on the education of children. Some have complained that numerous complex tests under the new system are frustrating students (Hallet, 2016). Some parents have opted to take their children to private schools while others now prefer home-schooling as a way of avoiding the new standards. According to Dumay and Cai (2015), the shift to Common Core State Standards has called teachers to augment their efforts to help students rigorously learn to read and write complex texts in different genres and content areas (Greenhalgh & Fahy, 2015). Teachers should acquire the appropriate content knowledge of the CCSS and be adaptable to teach students with a range of abilities, which is required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines (Wong& Ortega, 2015). The CCSS were originally adopted in 45 states, and the literacy education was expanded to include the study of discipline-based forms of communication.

It is true that Coleman and those Washington-based organizations (Council of Chief State School Officers and National Governors Association), which had the heavy financial sponsorship of the world’s most powerful mega-philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made an effort to develop a functional system in the education sector (Ashcroft et al., 2014). They also did an excellent job in convincing the states and U.S. Department of Education to adopt the new standards. According to Jenkins and Agamba (2013), a range of issues that were largely ignored when the initiative was adopted, including concerns over cost, teacher evaluation, accountability, and student privacy was brought to the forefront, as the policy had to be reconciled with existing systems and institutions. The researcher agrees with findings of LaRocque, Kleiman, and Darling (2011) that CCSS initiatives had some flaws, in that not all aspects of changes were considered. Some argued that the CCSS movement is an inarguably top-down initiative to which the states were forced to respond (Burke, Marshall, & Stotsky, 2013). The CCSS were created behind closed doors by an alliance of policy entrepreneurs and private Washington-based organizations that had the heavy financial sponsorship of the world’s most powerful mega-philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Convincing the states to adopt the standards, however, fell to the U.S. Department of Education (Ledgerton, 2013).

A study by Redford and Zukerberg (2013) looked at how parents can and is always involved when developing new policies. In their study, they found out that a bottom-up approach of developing new policies is the best approach when parental involvement is necessary. In this strategy, a new concept is sent to schools for discussion during annual or special parents-teachers’ meeting. The new policy is discussed and the opinion of the parents integrated. Just like in many democratic settings, the opinion of the majority is often considered supreme. However, an effort should be made to influence their perception positively (Redford & Zukerberg, 2013). When introducing a highly controversial concept that may be opposed by a large section of these stakeholders, the scholars recommend that such public participation forums should be undertaken with care. A proper explanation may be necessary to let them understand why a new standard is necessary, and its benefits articulately stated. Issues that may yield resistance should be identified and addressed to make them believe in the concept. The goal is to ensure that parents will feel they participated in the process of developing the new standards (Redford & Zukerberg, 2013). There will develop a sense of responsibility and a need to support the system introduced if they own it. Table 1 shows an approach of involving parents and ensuring that necessary information is obtained from them.

Table 1: Parents’ Participation in School Activities

Attended General Meeting Attended scheduled meeting with teacher Attended school or class event Volunteered or served on a committee
Total 87 76 74 42
White, non-Hispanic 89 77 82 50
Black, non-Hispanic 85 76 68 31
Hispanic 86 73 64 32
Asian or Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic 84 72 65 37
Other, non-Hispanic 88 78 76 44
K – 2nd grade 93 89 78 56
3rd – 5th grade 92 89 83 51
6th -8th grade 87 71 72 32
9th – 12th grade 79 57 68 28
Poverty Status
Above poverty level 89 77 78 45
At or below poverty level 82 71 60 27
highest education level
Less than high school 77 64 48 19
High school diploma or equivalent 82 72 62 28
Vocational/technical or some college 88 77 77 41
Bachelor’s degree 92 80 85 55
Graduate/professional school 95 82 89 61
Parents’ language
Both/only parent(s) speak(s) English 88 77 78 45
One of two parents speaks English 88 69 62 29
No parent speaks English 82 65 50 23


California is one of the states which formally adopted the CCSS. According to Choy (2014), the California Department of Education, through local education agencies (LEAs) identified three phases to facilitate smooth transition from the state standards to the new standards. The first stage is the awareness phase which involves the initial planning of the system for implementation and creating a platform for collaboration of different stakeholders (Redford & Zukerberg, 2013). The second stage is the transition phase. It involves development of fundamental resources, implementation of needs assessments, defining new learning opportunities, and proper expansion of collaboration among all stakeholders (Jenkins & Agamba, 2013). The last stage is the implementation phase where all the plans are put into practice. The education officials opted to use the step-by-step approach when implementing the new curriculum because of the concern that had been raised by a section of the parents and some stakeholders. There was a feeling among these stakeholders that there was limited consultation when developing the CCSS. The state opted to engage these stakeholders actively when implementing the new standards to minimize resistance by these stakeholders (Redford & Zukerberg, 2013).


Florida adopted CCSS only to drop it soon after in favor of its local state standards (Ravitch, 2015). The state was convinced that CCSS was designed to address the weaknesses of the previous curriculum. However, when it faced resistance from various stakeholders, especially parents and some teachers, it was forced to drop it (Redford & Zukerberg, 2013). In its place, it introduced Florida State Standards, which are anchored on the Common Core Standards (Jenkins & Agamba, 2013). The decision was made after a wide consultation among various stakeholders. Through these consultative forums that included parents, teachers, and policy makers in the state, it was evident that although it was necessary to adjust the curriculum to reflect the current forces in the education sector, CCSS was a radical shift from what was in use previously. As such, the stakeholders agreed on a hybrid system that borrows heavily from the new curriculum but takes into consideration local concerns in the state. For instance, the state has embraced standardized testing and grading the performance of public schools to ensure that knowledge and skills gained by learners are in line with what is expected at a national level.


Texas never made an effort to try implementing CCSS when it was introduced. It has always opposed the new system because of the belief of many stakeholders, especially parents, who believe that it is a radical shift from the previous curriculum (Redford & Zukerberg, 2013). The state issued a total ban on CCSS, meaning that teachers cannot use the new system in public schools. However, they agreed with the findings made by a team of experts in the Department of Education that the current curriculum needed major changes to align it with the demands in the job market. According to Jenkins and Agamba (2013), although the state has decided to maintain its own local standards, changes that have been reflect a move towards CCSS. A good example is in the new math standards. It is similar to the CCSS standards, although the state illegalized teaching CCSS. Choy (2014) explains that although the debate about CCSS is still raging on, the fierce resistance that it received when it was first introduced is becoming less relevant.

The New York City’s Approach to CCSS

CCSS was adopted by a number of states in the country (Brown, 2016). However, Texas, South Carolina, Nebraska, Alaska, and Virginia did not adopt these standards at the state level (Cheairs, 2015). South Carolina, Indiana, and Oklahoma adopted this new initiative only to repeal it later. New York is also one of the states that are yet to adopt the new standards because its implementation has been delayed because of lack of consensus among stakeholders. According to Choy (2014), parents have expressed their concern towards this new system, forcing the government to delay its implementation until 2022. Although the State Board of Regents commissioned a pilot study in 25 public schools in 2015, concerns of parents can no longer be ignored anymore (Cheairs, 2015). Parents and a section of teachers have come out to oppose the new system, especially the English Language Learner (ELL) parents (Hutchin, 2013). It shows that the future of these new standards in the country remains unclear (Lopez, 2012). Stakeholders agree that a number of fundamental concepts were ignored by the Washington-based organizations that failed to engage parents actively and effectively when coming with the new policy (Casbarro, 2013). There is a consensus that although the new system may be good, the flaws identified cannot be ignored. The study will help stakeholders in this city to understand how to deal with this situation. It will help them understand what parents think their role should be so that future efforts may include them appropriately in the process.

Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

When introducing new concepts and standards in an education system, Bryman and Bell (2015) say that it is important to take into consideration existing learning theories, especially when trying to determine their acceptability. One of the theories in line with the new standard is social learning theory. The theory holds that a child’s behavior will improve when reinforced (Dumay & Cai, 2015). The reinforcement should be done by people around the child and that that it trusts (Caillaud et al., 2016). It emphasizes the need for parents and guardians to support students in their learning process by being actively involved in their studies. It means that the ability of students to succeed academically partly depends on the encouragement and support they get from parents. When parents are not involved in the important process of policy development, they may find it difficult to participate actively in the academic affairs of their children, and that may affect students’ performance at school (Dunkle, 2012). The following conceptual framework is a summary of the work in this chapter.

The Relationship of Parent Involvement and Student Learning

According to a national survey that was conducted by Public Agenda in collaboration with the Center for Strategic Research and Communication, parental involvement has a direct impact on student learning (Horan, Casserly, Duvall, & Corcoran, 2013). The study found out that although most parents do not find time to engage with teachers directly, they are very concerned about the nature and frequency of homework that is given to their children. In the modern American family, it is common to find cases where both parents are in gainful employment, leaving in the morning and coming back late in the evening. They rarely find time to visit schools and engage with teachers as often as they would prefer (California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, 2014). The problem is more common among single parents who have to put extra effort to ensure that they provide for their families. However, these parents often check assignments given to students as homework. Based on the previous curriculum, most parents knew what was expected of students in each of the learning stages.

A survey conducted by Elish-Piper (2013) indicated that most parents were alarmed by the new standards and the kind of pressure it had on children. According to Ravitch (2015), the concern that parents have towards the new standards has made them more involved in their children’s education. Some make frequent phone calls and send e-mails to teachers seeking clarifications about the sudden changes. Other parents have opted to make physical visits to the school to inquire about the new standards and their relevance to students at different stages of learning.

Student learning is directly affected by parental involvement in the learning process. Elish-Piper (2013) explains that learning is a tasking process that needs constant motivation and support for one to achieve success. Children often look up to their parents and are greatly affected by their attitude and what they say about the learning process. When parents are enthusiastic towards the learning process, the same attitude will be transferred to their children. Such parents will always want to know about students’ performance. They will promise gifts and other benefits to their children if they present impressive academic performance. Such students would have reasons to put extra effort into their academics. They may find challenges along the way, but the support they get from their parents would be enough motivation to find ways of overcoming problems. Horan et al. (2013) argue that regular checking of assignments given to students is very critical. Sometimes students can easily forget to complete their homework because of the lack of direct supervision by their teachers. However, when parents are actively involved in the learning process, they will supervise the process of doing homework. In case their children encounter problems, they can offer reasonable help to boost their understanding beyond what they learned in classrooms.

According to Ravitch (2015), parents play a critical role in purchasing materials needed in school. In the modern learning system, resources needed by students go beyond books and writing materials. Learning is now being digitized, and it is necessary for students to have the right instrument that would facilitate digital learning. However, that depends largely on parents’ involvement. During parents-teachers (PTA) meetings, educationists get an opportunity to explain to parents about new requirements and their importance in the learning environment. When parents are reasonably involved, they understand these new needs and are likely to equip their children as required. However, the lack of parental involvement makes it difficult for them to support such important processes and new requirements. It is worse when their perception towards the new system is negative (California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, 2014). In such cases, they would consider such initiatives a waste of resources and time.

Professional Development and Parental Involvement in Common Core Learning

Professional development of children is significantly influenced by parental involvement in the learning process. According to Horan et al. (2013), the spirit behind the new CCSS is very noble as it seeks to ensure that students are fully equipped when they finally join institutions of higher learning or various careers. The current curriculum has been criticized by many stakeholders, especially educationists in colleges and universities, for its inability to equip students adequately, especially in fields of mathematics and English. The implementation of a national curriculum is expected to address such challenges. However, the new system can only achieve the expected level of success if parents are actively involved in the learning process. Some parents are lawyers, engineers, doctors, and nurses while others are accountants, architects, surveyors, businesspeople, or law enforcers. The adequate interaction between parents and their children makes it easy for students to understand what is needed to become what they aspire to be in their adult life (California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, 2014). For instance, a child may want to be a lawyer because the father, an uncle, or a family friend is in that profession. Such a child would need proper guidance from someone who is already in the profession.

When parents are adequately involved and support the common core learning, it becomes easier for these young students to focus on professional development at a tender age. A child who wants to become a lawyer must understand the most important subjects. A lawyer must be equipped with the ability to read, write, listen, and speak. One must be convincing even in cases where one seems guilty of a given crime. Students must understand that it may be impossible to become an effective lawyer if they fail to show impressive performance in English. English is one of the fundamental areas of focus for CCSS (Elish-Piper, 2013). When children are able to understand the significance of this subject in their future career, they will appreciate the need to put more effort to improve their performance. Parents must understand that sometimes their children may want to pursue a career that is different from theirs. For instance, a parent who is a doctor must be open-minded enough to appreciate that his or her son may want to be an engineer. Blanket condemnation of the CCSS based on parents’ knowledge of what it takes to become a doctor may be a major hindrance to a child’s ability to become an engineer. When parents are actively involved, they can nurture and mentor students, in line with the new curriculum, to enable them to achieve success in professions of their interest. Regular interaction with parents, especially in schools where their children are learning, helps in sharing of ideas and understanding of the new standards in a better way than when such interactions are lacking.

Parent and School Relationship during Times of Change

Parents’ perception of CCSS at a national-level can improve if there is regular and meaningful interaction between parents and school. According to Choy (2014), most teachers are as opposed to the new system as parents are because of the extra burden that it creates in terms of the increased tests that children have to go through. However, teachers have a better opportunity to understand the relevance of the new system because of regular seminars and other educational forums they often attend. Although most of them were reluctant to access the new standards, these seminars and educational forums have made them appreciate the need to embrace CCSS and ways in which it can be implemented without putting excess pressure on students and educators.

When parents and teachers engage regularly, some of the fundamental issues that parents have with the new system can be improved. Elish-Piper (2013) suggests that parents should have a very close relationship with teachers of their children. First, they need to engage them to understand the importance of the new system. The relationship should go beyond parents being informed about the new system. It may be necessary for parents to make regular follow-ups with teachers to understand the progress made by students, challenges they encounter, and how they can be addressed to enhance the ability to achieve the desired level of success. Such engaging relationship may transform the negative impression that some parents currently have of CCSS. They will be assured of the learning progress of their children. Parents will also have an opportunity to understand new roles they have to play under the new system to enhance the academic performance of students.


According to Horan et al. (2013), numerous barriers have negated effective parental involvement in the implementation of CCSS. One of the major barriers to parents’ involvement is their career development. Most parents are keen on climbing their career ladder. They spend most of their days of the week at work. They come from work very late and in most of the cases too tired to engage in the academic work of their children. Some rely on private tutors to help students with homework, while others assume that it is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that students can addresses all their assignments. Such busy schedules limit the ability of parents to interact with teachers effectively. Ravitch (2015) observe that policies that some schools embrace also limit effective parental involvement. Some of these institutions lack proper platforms and systems that would facilitate regular interaction among teachers, parents, and students. Other than the normal parents-teachers association’s (PTA) annual meetings, parents do not have proper reasons and avenues through which they can directly engage in the learning activities within these institutions.

In a study conducted by Elish-Piper (2013), some parents cited language as a barrier to effective involvement in the learning of their children. The problem is common among immigrants who cannot communicate effectively in English. Some of these immigrant parents are in the country illegally (Brown, 2016). As such, they prefer keeping a very low profile, including making limited contact with teachers and schools’ administrators to avoid possible arrest and deportation. Addressing these barriers may be critical in ensuring that parents understand and appreciate the relevance of CCSS.

Stakeholders in the education sector, including parents, have been keen on transforming the education system in the United States to ensure that once students graduate, they have the right skills needed for their career development (Herrboldt, 2008). Many parents and educators have agreed that the educational system in the United States is constantly changing. Over the past two decades, a massive amount of dollars has been spent on resources to reform and improve the education system (Zimba, 2014). However, many other curricula and initiatives have preceded the CCSS. Policymakers have imposed themselves on educators’ practices and curricula with a myriad of never-ending series of tests in the expectation of holding teachers and students accountable for improved performance (Ravitch, 2015). Parents indicated that they lack the training they need to assist their children. CCSS’s initiative has created several concerns, concerning parents and children’s academic development (Musty, 2015). There are many barriers to parent involvement in the CCSS. Some argue that parents are not equipped with the adequate knowledge to assist children with homework assignments. Devarakonda (2013) argues that in order to help students communicate with teachers; parents should be familiar with the CCSS language. Choy (2014) argues that parents’ involvement at home and school has a measurable impact on student performance in school, and should not be ignored when developing new policies.

Parents with children in the lower grades (pre-elementary and elementary) are concerned about stress on students, the challenge for teachers in instructing students with diverse learning abilities, how students would be assessed, and how the data will be used (Jarvis, George, & Holland, 2013). Some of the parents in states that still embrace CCSS allowed their children to opt-out of the examination that assesses proficiency on the CCSS (Jackson, 2013). The study will help in understanding parents’ perception of CCSS and its impact on students. The study will enable the policy makers to understand the relevance of putting into consideration views of parents when coming up with a major policy-change in public schools (Crawford, 2012). When parents are informed about new policies, such as CCSS, they are more equipped to support their children and teachers (Hutchin, 2013).The primary goal is to determine parents’ perception of CCSS and concerns they have about it. It will be possible to address these and other concerns by involving and empowering parents so that they can continue to engage, support, and advocate for students (Hall, 2015).

Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Framework


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