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The Center on Education Policy, with generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, convened two meetings in 2013 to focus on the need for a more relevant and coordinated research agenda on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The idea behind this project was that the research agenda for the CCSS and aligned assessments should be informed not only by the interest areas of leading researchers, but also by the needs of policymakers and practitioners. In order to do that, the traditional roles, relationships, and incentives that have long kept researchers, policymakers, and practitioners huddled within their own silos will need to change. This summary report details the key findings from those meetings and makes recommendations for developing a robust and timely research agenda for the CCSS that informs both policy and practice.View Report
This report, based on a spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, focuses on state efforts to prepare students with disabilities for the Common Core State Standards. The report also addresses the challenges states face with supporting teachers of students with disabilities and state plans for assessing Common Core mastery for students with disabilities and students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.View Report
This report, based on a spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials who oversee K-12 education in Common Core-adopting states, describes states’ perceptions about the variety of ways in which they are collaborating with their state’s postsecondary institutions to prepare for and implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Other topics covered in the report include the role of postsecondary institutions in providing professional development and preparation for current and future educators under the new standards and postsecondary review and use of the CCSS and aligned assessments.View Report
This report, based on a spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, highlights states’ efforts to prepare for the administration of Common Core-aligned assessments, including plans to assess students' mastery of the standards prior to the administration of the state consortia-developed assessments, efforts to prepare teachers to interpret and use the results of the Common Core-aligned tests to improve student learning, and actions to inform parents and other stakeholders about potential lower student pass-rates on the exams. The report also discusses state education officials’ views of certain features of the state consortia-developed assessments.View Report
This report, based on spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, broadly examines states’ efforts to implement the Common Core. Topic covered include states’ views on the rigor of the standards, timelines for teaching a Common-Core aligned curricula, a discussion of state actions to help schools and districts prepare for the standards, and an assessment of state education agency capacity to implement the Common Core.View Report
This report, based on spring 2013 survey of state education agency officials in Common Core-adopting states, provides information on state efforts to prepare teachers and principals. The report examines which entities are providing Common Core related-professional development services within the states, the estimated proportion of teachers and principals that have participated in such services, and the challenges that states face in preparing educators to teach a Common Core-aligned curricula.View Report
This report, based on a winter/spring 2013 survey of 40 Common Core State Standards-adopting states, examines state education agency (SEA) officials’ views on the federal role in implementing the standards. The report finds that, although a direct federal role in implementing the Common Core State Standards has been controversial, a majority of states in the survey support legislative and/or regulatory changes to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act to help them with their implementation efforts. The report also addresses the issue of within-state opposition to standards and finds that the vast majority of survey states do not anticipate their state’s decision to adopt the standards will be reversed, limited or changed in 2013-14.View Report
Upon his retirement from the leadership of CEP, Jack Jennings reviews in this paper the three major school reform efforts of the last 50 years, proposes an agenda focused on the classroom, and advocates for the creation of a federal civil right to a good education to advance that agenda.View Article
This report, based on a fall 2011 survey of 35 Common Core State Standards-adopting states (including the District of Columbia), examines states’ progress in transitioning the new standards. The vast majority of the states in the survey believe that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are more rigorous than previous state academic standards in math and English language arts. The vast majority of survey states are taking steps to familiarize state and district officials with the new standards and to align curriculum and assessments. However, most of the states in the survey do not expect to fully implement the standards until 2014-15 or later. In addition, a majority of the responding states caution that having adequate resources is a major challenge to full implementation of the CCSS.View Report
Education Writers Association's executive director Caroline Hendrie talks with Diane Stark Rentner of the Center on Education Policy about CEP’s report, Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts' Implementation, and how school districts are transitioning to the Common Core State Standards.View Multimedia
This report, based on a nationally representative sample of school districts, examines school districts’ perceptions and early implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The report finds that approximately three-fifths of the districts in states that have adopted the CCSS agree that the new standards in math and English language arts are more rigorous than the ones they are replacing, and a similar proportion of districts expect the CCSS to improve students’ skills in these subjects. The survey results also show that district officials see relatively little resistance to the standards from parents, community members, and local educators, with only 10% of districts in the adopting states considering resistance from teachers and principals to be a major challenge in implementing the standards, and just 5 percent view resistance from parents and community members as a major challenge. However, adequate funding to implement all aspects of the CCSS was viewed as a major challenge by 76% of districts in CCSS-adopting states, and as a minor challenge among 21% of such districts.View Report
This September 14, 2011 Huffington Post blog, written by Jack Jennings, discusses the Center on Education Policy Report, Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts’ Implementation.View Blog Post
On May 3, 2011, the Center on Education Policy issued an open letter to the member states of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which are developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The letter, which is based on CEP’s five-year extensive analysis of state testing results, raises some issues regarding the setting of the cut score for proficient performance and the reporting of results. The suggestions are offered in an effort to make the new assessment systems as useful as possible to policymakers, educators, researchers, parents, and the public. Also posted below is the response from SBAC.
On January 10, 2011, Jack Jennings, CEP's president, appeared on Washington Journal, a regular program on C-SPAN. The topics discussed included CEP's December 2010 report on the achievement gap, CEP's January 2011 report on common core state standards, the education agenda facing the 112th Congress, and many other issues.View Multimedia
In the fall of 2010, the Center on Education Policy surveyed state officials about their efforts to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards in reading and math. The survey found that states that have adopted the standards have plans for changing policies and programs, such as developing or adopting new assessments, modifying curriculum materials, and offering professional development for teachers, to ensure that the standards are fully implemented at the classroom level. However, many of these changes will not be fully in place until 2013 or later.View Report
In the fall of 2009, CEP surveyed state officials about their implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and included in this survey were some questions about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). We conducted a similar survey of school districts officials in the winter of 2010 and also included some questions on the CCSS. State responses to our CCSS questions can be found on page 3 and in figure 4 on page 9 in the state report. District responses to the CCSS questions can be found on page 15 of the district report. Links to the two reports appear below.View Report
The American School Board Journal (September 2009) contains an article on national or common academic standards written by Jack Jennings, CEP’s president.View Report