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Implementation Study

To generate a more complete picture of how states are implementing new English language arts and math standards, C-SAIL partnered with five states—California, Kentucky*, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas—to compare and contrast their approaches to implementation.

The geographically diverse states represent a range of policies and characteristics. These include both Common Core and non-Common Core states; states using PARCC, Smarter-Balanced, and other assessments; and states with differing concentrations of English language learners.

Research Questions

  1. How are educators at state, district, and school levels making sense of the college- and career-readiness standards?
  2. What kinds, and quality, of implementation supports and guidance do states, districts, and schools have available to them?
  3. How are schools and teachers changing their practices as standards are implemented?
  4. How do these practices differ for student subgroups, such as students with disabilities, English language learners, and low-achieving students? In English language arts (ELA) and math, in elementary and high school?
  5. To what extent are changes in understandings, support, and practice related to improved student learning, and how does that differ for student subgroups, and for ELA and math, in elementary and high school?

Innovative State Comparisons

Our Center’s work with diverse states allows cross-state comparisons grounded in the policy attributes framework. For example, how are Texas’ college- and career-readiness standards similar to and different from other state standards, and how does their policy system differ from other states? How are these differences related to the trends in implementation and student achievement? Are certain types of standards more likely to be well implemented and more quickly seen in student achievement results? Further, we can examine levels of policy attributes across states. How close do states get to “ideal” levels? What actions and conditions are associated with stronger policy systems?

*Kentucky was a partner state during Years 1 and 2 of the study (July 2015 through August 2017).