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Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards.

Cover of On the Road to Implementation

In 2009, 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), committing to a state-led process - the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). Achieve partnered with NGA and CCSSO on the Initiative and a number of Achieve staff and consultants served on the writing and review teams. On June 2, 2010, the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics (CCSS) were released, and since then, over 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards and are now working to implement the standards.

Advocacy & Communications

  • Achieve’s Grade-Band Guides to the CCSS and Parent Questions– Achieve developed these resources, organized by grade band, to explain the shifts occurring in students’ classrooms and illustrate concrete examples of what parents can expect their children to know by the end of each school year.  The grade band documents are available for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12

    The accompanying questions can be shared with parents to facilitate conversations among teachers and parents about how and why learning might look different and what they can do to help.

  • Resources for Parents and Families on CCSS - As teachers and students transition to higher, more rigorous standards, parents want and need information about what this means for their children, how and why schoolwork (and homework) may look different, and what resources are available to help them stay informed and able to support their students’ learning.  This overview provides a sampling of the resources that state education agencies, school districts, and third-party and national advocacy organizations have developed to empower parents to help their students succeed.  
  • The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has created grade-by-grade Parent Guides to Student Success on the Common Core State Standards that explore what students should be learning at each grade in mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy in order to be prepared for college and careers. The Guide is available in English and Spanish.
  • To explore the public's awareness of and support for the new Common Core State Standards and aligned common assessments Achieve commissioned a national poll in August 2011: Strong Support, Low Awareness: Public Perception on the Common Core State Standards. Achieve created an Engaging Educators Tool for state leaders to use in determining how they can engaged educators to ensure seamless and effective implementation of the CCSS. The tool focuses on two key areas: Developing a broad communication plan to reach all educators with basic information about the CCSS and engaging educators in the development and delivery of aligned instructional materials and professional development plans.
  • Achieve reviewed the final CCSS against a number of well-known and well-regarded benchmarks, including international comparisons, high performing states and NAEP and developed CCSS Content Comparison Briefs. These briefs help show how the CCSS compare to, and in many cases, build upon, the best benchmarks in the world.
  • The Council of Great City Schools has released Parent Roadmaps to support parents' understanding of the Common Core State Standards at the elementary grade levels. CGCS also released three minute videos explaining the Common Core in English and Spanish.
  • Connecting the Dots includes key questions for states to consider to align K12 and higher education policies, specific examples of activities underway in states, and a call to action to create strong, sustainable change around the CCSS and common assessments.
  • Follow #commoncore, #ccss and #ccchat on Twitter for regularly shared articles, resources, and tools on the Common Core State Standards.


Instructional Support & Alignment Resources

  • Progressions Documents are under development by members of the CCSS working groups and writing teams (via the Institute for Mathematics and Education) to give educators and curriculum developers information that can help them develop materials for instruction aligned to the standards. In addition, the Council of Great City School, working with IM&E has developed classroom tools for teaching progressions across grade levels, including resources for teaching fractions, which were developed in partnership with Achieve.
  • EQuIP Rubrics and quality review process were developed to evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units intended to address the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English Language Arts/literacy. EQuIP builds on the “Tri-State Collaborative” which was led by Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island and facilitated by Achieve. To access the EQuIP Rubrics and learn more about the EQuIP Collaborative and EQuIP E-Learning Modules click here
  • Achieve the Core is a website launched by Student Achievement Partners, an organization founded by authors of the Common Core State Standards, to share free, open-source resources to support Common Core implementation at all levels. Resources currently available include the most recent edition of the Publishers’ Criteria (designed to guide publishers and curriculum developers as they work to ensure alignment with the K-2 and 3-12 standards in English language arts (ELA) and literacy for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects) as well as for K-8 and high school mathematics and a series of tools for addressing the major instructional shifts in the CCSS, as developed by classroom educators.  
  • Achieve and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) launched a new tool hosted at OER Commons for users to rate the quality of open education resources. The tool allows educators to rate the quality of these teaching and student learning resources, align these resources to the CCSS, and evaluate the extent to which the individual resources align to specific standards. (Click here for more on Achieve's work with OER rubrics.)
  • The Teaching Channel aims to provide innovative videos and resources to educators to meet its goals of building teacher-driven professional learning, deepening and improving opportunities for teacher learning, and elevating and celebrating teachers in society. The website includes a growing collection of videos that focus on the CCSS, some of which focus on the background of the Common Core in certain grades/subjects, while others highlight instructional practices aligned to specific standards. 
  • America Achieves features videos of lessons focusing on the instructional shifts within the CCSS, editable lesson plans, and other instructional resources (the creation of a login required).
  • CCSS Model Course Pathways in Mathematics were developed by an Achieve-led expert group to help states and districts decide how to organize the standards into possible high school mathematics courses.
  • The Illustrative Mathematics Project offers guidance to states, assessment consortia, testing companies, and curriculum developers by illustrating the range and types of mathematical work that students will experience in a faithful implementation of the CCSS. The website features a clickable version of the Common Core in mathematics and the first round of "illustrations" of specific standards with associated classroom tasks and solutions. 
  • Achieve, in partnership with the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education (NASDCTEc), led a pilot project to help educators integrate the Common Core State Standards in math and Career Technical Education (CTE) expectations as they modify and develop instructional tasks. For more information on this project and the educator-developed tasks, see here. To access a set of resources to help state, district, or school leaders replicate such an effort, see here.
  • Prior to the development of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics, a series of documents were produced by writers of the Common Core that described a specific topic or concept across a number of grade bands. Classroom tools and videos for teaching fractions progressions across grade levels are available from the Council of the Great City Schools website
  • Beyond the Bubble is a site developed by Stanford History Education Group that includes easy-to-use history assessments, aligned to the CCSS in ELA/Literacy, that feature interactive rubrics, examples of student responses, and relevant links to Library of Congress primary sources.
  • The Council of the Great City Schools and Student Achievement Partners jointly launched the Basal Alignment Project (BAP) in an effort to increase district capacity for writing text-dependent questions to existing ELA textbooks. The new repository is located at "Basal Alignment Project" on the education site Edmodo. Simply create a teacher user name and password and use the group code "etuyrm" to join the Basal Alignment Project group and access the resources.
  • The IDEA Partnership has created a Collection of resources on the Common Core State Standards to provide stakeholders with access to a comprehensive collection of materials and resources to help them further understand the CCSS. Tools include fact sheets, dialogue guides, and videos on how to use the various resources made available.
  • Colorin Colorado includes materials on what the CCSS will mean for ELLs. Resources include articles, research reports, video interviews, and implementation guidelines. The site also features materials developed by the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (funded by their AFT Innovation grant) around ELL/CCSS such as video modules feature teachers from Albuquerque working with Dr. Diane August to create CCSS-aligned lesson plans for ELLs.


Implementation Planning Tools

  • Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute have developed a practical Common Core Implementation Workbook for all states. The workbook uses a proven performance management methodology known as "delivery" to lay out clear action steps for states and districts. It provides relevant information, case stories of good practice, key questions and hands-on exercises for leadership teams to complete together.
  • Achieve, in partnership with Education First, the Aspen Institute, and the Insight Education Group developed a resource for state legislators to help them understand the Common Core State Standards and their role in supporting the implementation of the CCSS and related policies. The paper includes background and key questions that need to be addressed by state legislators on the issues of curriuclum and instructional materials, assessment, teacher professional learning, teacher preparation, and teacher and principal effectiveness regarding oversight, authorization, and appropriation.
  • To assist states in gauging the strength of their implementation plans and to illustrate how to improve them, Education First and Achieve have partnered on the development of a new Common Core State Standards Implementation Rubric and Self-Assessment Tool. This tool sets a high quality standard for a strong state role, provides some concrete details and examples to help state leaders get there and profiles some promising state approaches. Recognizing differences in state tradition, restrictions and authority for education as well as the central role of districts and other partners in implementation, the rubric identifies a strong state role that attends to three essential outcomes: accountability for results, quality of services and products, and alignment of services and products with the expectations articulated in the CCSS.
  • Achieve, Education First and EDI have released a Common Core Survey Tool along with supporting materials (including guidance), to help state and district leaders track the quality of implementation of the new standards. The survey tool's item bank includes questions tailored to teachers and school leaders. State leaders can use the item bank as a base for creating customized surveys to determine how implementation of Common Core State Standards is playing out in classrooms; whether key messages are being heard; which instructional shifts are happening and their impact on student learning; and how they can identify roadblocks early and craft targeted interventions. Related webinar slides.
  • Achieve has developed a guide for states and districts to use as they move from adoption to implementation of the CCSS – On the Road to Implementation – Achieving the Promise of the Common Core State Standards. To realize the full potential of the CCSS and ensure the new standards actually reach the classroom level, states will need to think through a number of critical issues including: how to integrate the new standards into your state’s broader college- and career-ready agenda, including graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability, and how to best communicate about the new standards to key stakeholders. 


State Materials & Websites