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Publications By Year

Center on Education Policy Publications

Common Core State Standards in 2014: Districts’ Perceptions, Progress, and Challenges

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner and Nancy Kober
Published: October 8, 2014

This report, based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of school districts in Common Core-adopting states, examines school districts’ efforts to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The report addresses district leaders’ views on the rigor of the CCSS and their impact on learning and instruction, progress on and challenges in implementing the standards, outreach efforts to inform various stakeholders about the CCSS, district collaboration with other entities on various implementation activities, and the types and helpfulness of CCSS-related assistance from the state education agency.

Download files:

Report (PDF format, 612 KB) * Direct link:
Press Release (DOC format, 83.0 KB) * Direct link:
Appendix (DOCX format, 1231 KB) * Direct link:

Listen to American Opinions

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: September 3, 2014

The annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is coming out. It always gives us an important view of what Americans are thinking about their schools and education in general. There are important issues covered in the poll and we would do well to consider what the public is saying about our schools and we in Washington and across the country make and consider policy and initiatives for our future.

Read the full article here.

A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards

Author(s): Matthew Frizzell
Published: August 7, 2014

This compendium includes over 60 research studies focused on the Common Core State Standards, and encompasses research from multiple sources, such as government entities, independent organizations, and peer-reviewed publications from academic journals and other outlets. For each study in the compendium, which have been categorized across nine topic areas, a short summary is provided as well as a URL link to the original research (when possible). The compendium is presented below both as a single document as well as individual PDFs of the nine topic areas. The compendium will be updated regularly as the body of CCSS-related research grows. Last up-dated on August 6, 2014.

Download files:

Full Compendium (PDF format, 797 KB) * Direct link:
Communications and Public Opinion (PDF format, 601 KB) * Direct link:
Comparison of CCSS Content to Wide-Scale Assessment (PDF format, 767 KB) * Direct link:
Content, Curriculum, & Alignment (PDF format, 953 KB) * Direct link:
Cost Analysis (PDF format, 745 KB) * Direct link:
Governance & Leadership (PDF format, 614 KB) * Direct link:
Implementation (PDF format, 653 KB) * Direct link:
Teacher Preparation (PDF format, 574 KB) * Direct link:
Teaching & Professional Development (PDF format, 784 KB) * Direct link:
Testing & Assessment (PDF format, 576 KB) * Direct link:

A Guide to Federal Education Programs That Can Fund K-12 Universal Prevention and Social and Emotional Learning Activities

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Olga Acosta Price
Published: May 7, 2014

The Center on Education Policy and the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools created this user-friendly guide that highlights 15 federal elementary and secondary education programs where the statutory language or the regulations/guidance that accompanies a program appear to permit funds to be used to support universal prevention programs and social and emotional learning initiatives. The guide also provides examples of schools, districts, and state education agencies that have successfully supported their prevention programs with federal education dollars. An annotated bibliography of significant research regarding the impacts of school-based behavioral and emotional health interventions on student academic performance accompanies the guide.

Click here to listen to the June 18, 2014 webinar on this topic.

Download files:

Guide (PDF format, 934 KB) * Direct link:
Annotated Bibilography (PDF format, 189 KB) * Direct link:
Press Release (PDF format, 517 KB) * Direct link:
Slides from June 18, 2014 Webinar (PPTX format, 3529 KB) * Direct link:

A Research Agenda for the Common Core State Standards: What Information Do Policymakers Need?

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Maria Ferguson
Published: April 3, 2014

As part of a broader project to better connect the research on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to policy and practice, CEP met with individuals from organizations representing state and local education policymakers to learn of their memberships’ research and data needs around the Common Core.  The conversations yielded four areas of policy-related research that will be needed in the coming year: (1) case studies of successful implementation of the CCSS; (2) studies of state and local CCSS outreach strategies; (3) studies of state education agency capacity to lead the CCSS implementation; and (4) analyses of the impact of federal education requirements on CCSS implementation.

Download files:

Report (PDF format, 150 KB) * Direct link:

Amid the Chaos of Washington Lies Opportunity

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: March 26, 2014

Several important education authorization bills are languishing in the U.S. Congress, victims of sharp policy and political differences with the White House. But things are somewhat quieter now, so it might be a good time for Democrats and Republicans alike to find some common ground by looking at what has worked to improve education in the past.

Read the article here.

Behind in Assessment and Losing the Shame Game

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: March 4, 2014

When the most recent PISA scores were released last fall, there was a flurry of headlines about America’s stagnant public schools. American students were characterized as being asleep at the wheel and in need of a major wake-up call. If we really wanted the public to look closer and try to understand why PISA, NAEP and other kinds of assessments are important, we would need to do more than just shame public schools. We would need to have a thoughtful and nuanced conversation about why some education systems have been able to improve student performance and others have not. We would have to look at culture, resources, leadership, teacher training and national sentiment. We would have to analyze gaps of all kinds, not just achievement. And we would have to use the information to help teachers and education leaders understand why others are making progress without humiliating them in the comparison.

You can read the full article here.

High Schools: Grow up!

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: January 30, 2014

CEP Executive Director Maria Ferguson is the author of the “Washington View” monthly column for Kappan magazine ( This month she focuses on the unique needs of high schools. Click here to read the column.

Failure IS an Option

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: January 16, 2014

CEP Executive Director Maria Ferguson is the author of the “Washington View” monthly column for Kappan magazine ( Her December column focuses on finding the value in failure and how educators and policymakers can learn from their efforts, even those that don’t turn out the way they hope. Click here to read the column.

Ten Big Takeaways from CEP’s Research on State Implementation of the Common Core

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner
Published: January 14, 2014

This October 2013 blog, written by CEP deputy director Diane Stark Rentner for the Hunt Institute’s  Intersection, summarizes the major key findings from CEP’s 3013 survey of state education agencies’ on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

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