Standards Implementation Framework

The Framework is a compilation of ideas and lessons learned from a variety of sources, most recently the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) implementation plans. The Framework provides a general model for implementing new or revised content standards. The Framework is labeled as version 1.0, recognizing that it may evolve and be updated based on user feedback.

The Framework addresses the following categories of work associated with implementation:

  • Alignment Transition: From old to new standards
  • Curriculum
  • Assessment
  • Professional Development
  • Leveraging Cross‐Content Connections
  • Communication

Effective implementation of new or revised content standards occurs in a variety of stages. The stages addressed in the Framework are:

  • Adoption
  • Initial Implementation
  • Scale Up
  • Full Implementation
  • Maintenance/Refinement

The Framework provides guidance for each of the following roles:

  • State
  • District
  • School/Administrator
  • Teacher

Important notes about the Framework

  • Effective standards implementation requires that all categories of work be conducted in a synchronized manner. For this reason, the Framework addresses each category of work individually, but with attention to how it intersects or overlaps with other categories.
  • The Framework assumes a general ordering and timing of activities. Precise timing is not specified because timing will vary by state. In all cases, however, a gradual rollout is anticipated.
  • Effective standards implementation requires system‐wide commitment. The Framework assumes that all work is orchestrated at the state level, with involvement and response from the districts, schools, and teachers.
  • The Framework addresses what can be realistically asked of districts, schools, and teachers each year, but acknowledges the necessity to proceed in a timely manner with administration of assessments that measure the new standards. The challenge is to ensure that all teachers are provided the time and professional resources needed to teach the new standards and that all students in all schools have the opportunity to learn the content that will be tested.

Explore the framework below, or download a PDF version.

  Adoption Initial Implementation
(1–2 years)
Scale Up
(1 year)
Full Implementation
(2 years)
Maintenance/Refinement
(until next standards adoption)
1–2 years End-of-Adoption
Milestones

State

  • Complete crosswalk between existing standards and new standards.
  • Determine which (if any) previous standards are maintained in the new standards (i.e., common to both sets), which are to be added (i.e., in the new set, but not the old), and which are to be eliminated from instruction over time (i.e., in old let, but not the new).
  • Findings from a study of alignment conducted by an independent body or third party.
  • Develop implementation plan for state-level activities and recommendations for districts.
  • Recommend to districts an instructional transition plan from former standards to new standards.
  • Evaluate the impact of gaps in grade-level understanding from old to new standards (e.g., adding 2-digit numbers was in 3rd grade, but is now in 2nd grade, means one-year where upper grades need to compensate for missing understanding, aka “one-year gap of understanding”).
  • Develop guidance to help districts determine degree of alignment of previously adopted materials with new standards.
  • Develop guidance to help districts determine how to utilize previously adopted materials (including supplementation) to instruct, based on new standards.
  • Provide guidance on determining degree of alignment of previously adopted materials with new standards.
  • Provide guidance on utilizing previously adopted materials (including supplementation) to instruct, based on new standards (likely not a popular note, but practical).
  • Evaluate effectiveness of implementation across districts in all content areas and grades.
  • Monitor short-term and long-term consequences of instruction and assessment based on new standards.

District

  • Be involved in the state-level processes when presented with the opportunity.
 
  • Provide teachers time in schedules to understand difference in old versus new standards. (link to PD)
  • Determine the school year that new standards will be focus of instruction in the classroom.
  • Determine if a transition period (some former standards, some new standards) is appropriate for the district as related to the standards.
  • Address the one-year gap of understanding.
  • Ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn new content.
  • Acquire new materials as necessary.
  • Monitor implementation of intended curriculum, and provide support to schools where needed.
  • Vertically align instruction to capitalize on linkages across grades.
  • Collect evidence of alignment between intended and enacted curriculum, and share report with key stakeholder groups.

School/Administrator

  • Be involved in the state- and district-level processes when presented with the opportunity.
 
  • Involve teachers in process and timeline development for transitioning instruction to new standards.
  • Address the one-year gap of understanding.
  • Ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn new content.
  • Prepare teachers for expectations of instructional shift. (link to PD)
  • Prepare teachers for expectations of instructional shift. (link to PD)
  • Monitor implementation of intended curriculum, and provide support to teachers where needed.
  • Provide teachers time in schedules to integrate new materials into instruction.
  • Support teachers' evaluations that present materials and instruction, in order to confirm that old standards that are not part of new standards are no longer part of instruction.
  • Determine that all present materials and instruction in school are aligned to new standards and not to old standards (if the old standard is not part of the new standard).

Teacher

  • Be involved in the state- and district-level processes when presented with the opportunity.
 
  • Address the one-year gap of understanding.
  • Develop lesson plans to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn new content.
  • Develop a detailed instructional shift plan, including phased adjustment to instructional materials (personal and school/districtwide) if appropriate. That is, do not attempt to transition completely from instruction to one set of standards to another set of standards from one year to the next.
  • Monitor impact of new instructional materials with formative tools and benchmark or summative outcome measures, and modify instruction accordingly.
  • Evaluate present materials and instruction, in order to confirm that old standards that are not part of new standards are no longer part of instruction. (The recommendation is that at least some of this occurs at the school level.)
  • Determine that all present materials and instruction in school are aligned to new standards and not to old standards (if the old standard is not part of the new standard).
  • Share lesson plans, syllabi, and student work products as evidence of alignment to intended curriculum and to new assessments.
  Adoption Initial Implementation
(1–2 years)
Scale Up
(1 year)
Full Implementation
(2 years)
Maintenance/Refinement
(until next standards adoption)
1–2 years End-of-Adoption
Milestones

State

  • Disseminate information about rollout of new standards to districts so that they can make informed decisions about revising timelines for textbook adoption and for purchase of new curriculum materials.
  • Stop new curriculum purchases.
  • Identify (likely to include educator groups) “focus” standards/strands in the new standards that must be fully addressed in any new materials.
  • Develop implementation plan for state-level activities and recommendations for districts.
  • Develop/release rubric/guidance for developing/selecting curricula and classroom resources based on crosswalks, “focus” standards, and including “must haves” for the state.
  • Ensure that all guidance/rubrics/recommendations for curricula and instructional materials include cross-grade alignments.
  • Identify “Deep Dive” standards/strands in the new standards that need to be included in professional development.
  • Begin state-level processes for materials adoption.
  • Identify model curriculum and/or exemplary resources, materials, and tools for instructional use.
  • Develop and roll out different types of support resources, supporting materials, curriculum supplements, and best-practice recommendations.
  • Ensure materials-adoption processes are focused on new standards.
  • Monitor district-level progress in rollout of new instructional practices and resources.
  • Continue identifying exemplary supplemental instructional materials and make available (e.g., post on state website).
  • Complete adoption of materials processes specific to state.
  • Continue review of curricula for endorsement, as necessary.

District

  • Maintain instructional focus on former standards, but consider revising timelines for textbook adoption and/or purchase of new curriculum materials.
  • Convene cross-school groups to discuss focus of new standards at each grade and implications for instruction.
  • Review old curricula for general alignment/misalignment to new standards using crosswalk.
  • Identify teacher-developed curricular materials for sharing/adoptions.
  • Review district curricula based on rubric/guidance from state.
  • Identify/adopt new curricula/resources/
    instructional tools based on rubric/guidance.
  • Retire old materials and adopt new, per timeline and plan.
  • Ensure full implementation of all district curricula, with professional development. (link to PD)
  • Continue expansion of supplemental curricular materials in the classroom.
  • Continue review of new curricular material as it becomes available.
  • Continue reviewing/sharing teacher-developed curricular materials.

School/Administrator

  • Maintain instructional focus on former standards, but ensure teachers are informed about impending changes.
  • Convene groups to discuss focus of new standards at each grade and the implications for instruction.
  • Identify strong teacher-developed curricular materials that are likely aligned to the new standards.
  • Review “focus” standards with staff, and identify any misalignments with current curricula/resources.
  • Begin making key shifts in curriculum use to align to new standards, with particular attention to “gap standards.”
  • Share understanding with school staff around the rubrics/guidance used to evaluate curricula/instructional materials.
  • Implement new curricula
  • Provide professional development for new curricula/transitional materials. (link to PD)
  • Work with instructional staff to determine interim assessment (link to Assessment) needs and formative assessment (link to PD) needs based on new curricula.
  • Ensure full implementation of all district curricula, with ongoing PD for new and veteran teachers. (link to PD)
  • Continue development and implementation of school-specific supplemental curricular materials.
  • Continue staff opportunities to refine formative assessment and supplemental materials. (link to PD)
  • Support teachers in continued refinement of instructional practices based on the new standards.

Teacher

  • Maintain instructional focus on former standards.
  • Begin reviewing new standards.
  • Stop using misaligned curricula/resources/
    instructional materials in the classroom.
  • Begin implementing new standards into classroom instruction with particular attention to “gap standards.”
  • Identify curricular needs in implementing instructional changes.
  • Begin using new curricula/instructional materials.
  • Work with other staff to identify and use teacher-developed curricular materials.
  • Implement fully all district/school curricula.
  • Receive training on all curricular materials in use in the classroom.
  • Continue ongoing use of formative assessment materials that are aligned to the curricula used in class.
  • Use corresponding supplemental materials for all students in class.
  • Refine materials as needed for classroom instruction.
  • Continue refining of instructional practices based on the new standards.
  Adoption Initial Implementation
(1–2 years)
Scale Up
(1 year)
Full Implementation
(2 years)
Maintenance/Refinement
(until next standards adoption)
1–2 years End-of-Adoption
Milestones

State

  • Begin outlining timeline (by school year) of transition of statewide assessment to new standards. Timeline should consider implications for instruction, including the need to add new content and remove content no longer taught at each grade.
  • Maintain assessments fully aligned to existing standards.
  • Discuss with district administrators the possible changes to assessments at each grade.
  • Finalize timeline for statewide assessment transition. Include item field testing plan and how this will be integrated into existing statewide assessments.
  • Define a detailed transition plan to include item development, pilot testing, opportunity to learn, first-year operational implementation, and standard setting.
  • Include in plan item type transition timeline, if appropriate, based on standards.
  • Use standards gap analysis to identify areas of coverage necessary.
  • Adjust emphasis on “gap standards” in test blueprints over time.
  • Evaluate possible impacts on statewide accountability systems, and develop a transition plan.
  • Begin implementation of timeline for statewide assessments.
  • Develop a transition plan for statewide accountability systems that are dependent on statewide assessments.
  • Adjust assessment implementation timeline as necessary.
  • Begin transition plan for statewide accountability systems that are dependent on statewide assessments.
  • Continue implementation of timeline for statewide assessments.
  • Complete implementation of timeline for statewide assessments, culminating in standard setting on new assessments.
  • Continue transition plan for statewide accountability systems that are dependent on statewide assessments.
  • Finalize transition of statewide assessment development, if the implementation plan goes past standard setting (e.g., continued transition of item types, continued transition to online assessments).

District

  • Maintain focus on old standards, but review all information received from the state.
 
  • Keep teachers focused on instructing to old standards.
  • Evaluate existing district-level/wide assessments to determine if a transition plan is necessary.
  • Evaluate possible impacts on districtwide evaluation systems that are dependent on statewide assessments.
  • Develop and implement interim assessments to help transition to new standards; focus instruction on new standards, but include standards that will be included in summative assessments.
  • Develop a transition plan for districtwide accountability systems that are dependent on statewide assessments and/or assessments based on curriculum expectations.
  • Continue revising districtwide assessments to support transition, easing out old standards and including additional focus on “gap standards.”
  • Continue to review district results to address instructional change needs.
  • Complete transition plan for districtwide accountability systems that are dependent on statewide assessments and/or assessments based on curriculum expectations.
  • Support use of assessment results to inform instruction.

School/Administrator

  • Maintain focus on old standards, but review all information received from the district..
 
  • Keep teachers focused on instructing to old standards.
  • Evaluate existing schoolwide assessments to determine if a transition plan is necessary.
  • Develop and implement interim assessments to help transition to new standards; focus instruction on new standards, but include standards that will be included in summative assessments.
  • Begin implementing a transition of instruction from old standards to new standards.
  • Support teachers in participating in state and district assessment development.
  • Revise interim assessments as needed to ensure full focus on new standards and that gaps in standards instruction are avoided.
  • Continue to revise interim assessments as needed to ensure full focus on new standards and that gaps in standards instruction are avoided.
  • Support teachers in participating in state and district assessment development.
  • Use data from statewide and/or district assessments to inform instruction.

Teacher

  • Maintain focus on old standards, but review all information received from administrators.
 
  • Maintain focus on instructing to old standards until it is appropriate (based on statewide transition plan) to transition instructional focus.
  • Begin to transition instruction from old standards to new standards.
  • Engage in ongoing opportunities for teachers to be involved in state and district assessment development.
  • Ensure that instruction and all classroom assessments are in new standards only, with focus on “gap standards.”
  • Continue instruction and all classroom assessments in new standards only, with focus on “gap standards.”
  • Engage in ongoing opportunities for teachers to be involved in state and district assessment development.
  • Use data from statewide and/or district assessments to inform instruction.
  Adoption Initial Implementation
(1–2 years)
Scale Up
(1 year)
Full Implementation
(2 years)
Maintenance/Refinement
(until next standards adoption)
1–2 years End-of-Adoption
Milestones

State

  • Identify progression of topics for state PD.
  • Focus PD pertaining to conceptual shifts from old standards and implications for instruction.
  • Plan for supporting districts with PD.
  • Begin PD on structure and understandings of new standards, including instructional implications.
  • PD on conceptual shifts from old standards.
  • Focus PD on integration of CCSS language/concepts/lessons learned.
  • Develop PD around expectations of performance and performance shifts.
  • Develop PD around “focus” standards for some.
  • Develop PD around “All” standards for all.
  • Develop PD around “Deep Dive” standards for some (instructional leads, etc.).
  • Develop minimum PD requirements for districts.
  • Ensure that focus of PD in this stage is lateral (teacher-to-teacher), not top-down (state or district-to-teacher), with opportunities to share lessons learned and brainstorm solutions to challenges.
  • Develop PD around “All” standards for all.
  • Conduct PD focusing on deeper dives into new standards.
  • Ensure minimum PD requirements are being met.
  • Set PD targets for integrating PD across subjects (new standards and CCSS and other)—focusing on common aspects (e.g., academic language, DOK).
  • Continue with PD, focusing on deeper dives into new standards and integration across subjects.
  • Continue ensuring that minimum PD requirements are being met.

District

  • Develop multi-year PD plan.
  • Plan for supporting schools with delivery of PD.
  • Develop PD around expectations of performance and performance shifts, specific to district needs.
  • Conduct PD around expectations of performance and performance shifts, specific to district needs.
  • Develop PD around formative assessment for new standards.
  • Conduct PD on using formative assessment related to new standards.
  • Conduct PD focusing on deeper dives into new standards.
  • Conduct PD related to new materials use (especially if new materials are non-traditional; e.g., e-books).
  • Continue PD for new teachers.
  • Ensure that refresher PD is available for all teachers.
  • Continue with integrated PD across subjects.

School/Administrator

  • Provide input on district multi-year PD plan.
  • Assess PD needs of staff in school, and identify high-priority PD needs by subject area/topic.
  • Develop multi-year PD plan.
  • Involve staff in development of plan.
  • Plan for supporting teachers (short- and long-term).
  • Relay to teachers PD opportunities from district.
  • Identify high-priority PD needs by subject area/topic.
  • Include opportunities for teachers to collaborate on developing curricular materials, and share across staff.
  • Implement available PD (from state and district to address needs of school staff).
  • Identify areas of PD needed to address staff needs.
  • Identify external PD options to fill needs.
  • Re-evaluate PD plan.
  • Conduct PD around expectations of performance and performance shifts to appropriate staff.
  • Develop/deliver PD to teachers on how to communicate expectations of performance and performance shifts to parents, leveraging standards language. (link to Communication)
  • Provide teachers time in schedules to understand difference in old versus new standards. (link to Alignment)
  • Prepare teachers for expectations of instructional shift. (link to Alignment)
  • Identify teacher leads for PD.
  • Continue to include opportunities for teachers to collaborate on developing curricular materials.
  • Continue PD on new standards.
  • Conduct new PD, focusing on deeper dives into new standards and identifying areas of PD focus based on assessment results.
  • Conduct schoolwide PD on formative assessment.
  • Develop requirements to ensure that new teachers are getting needed training and that veteran teachers continue PD.
  • Continue staff opportunities to collaborate across grade levels/subjects to fully integrate instruction and development of materials.

Teacher

  • Evaluate and pursue opportunities for PD in new standards.
 
  • Participate in PD opportunities, as provided.
  • Request PD, as needed.
  • Actively participate in PD opportunities with staff at the building or district level.
  • Identify areas of strength and weakness in instruction, and partner with staff to support and be supported.
  • Continue actively participating in PD opportunities.
  • Continue working with staff at school level to identify opportunities for collaboration, especially across grade levels and subjects.
  • Identify opportunities to take leadership role in PD for staff.
  Adoption Initial Implementation
(1–2 years)
Scale Up
(1 year)
Full Implementation
(2 years)
Maintenance/Refinement
(until next standards adoption)
1–2 years End-of-Adoption
Milestones

State

  • Formally study alignment between old standards and CCSS (including ELA/literacy standards and math process standards).
  • Begin developing model course mapping for middle/high schools.
 
  • Use common CCSS language in awareness/rollout of new standards.
  • Make model course mapping for middle/high school available, with implications for testing (EOC, SAT, etc.) and graduation requirements.
  • Develop guidance for integrating DOK and academic language demands into new standards implementation.
  • Continue to use common CCSS language in communications.
  • Identify supports needed for districts to implement course mappings.
  • Continue to use common language in communications and policy, especially in the refinement of existing standards, and adoption of new standards.
  • Continue to use common language in communications and policy, especially in the refinement of existing standards, and the adoption of new standards.

District

  • Begin developing model course mapping for middle/high school.
 
  • Modify model course mappings for districts.
  • Identify academic language/literacy needs for new standards.
  • Focus on integration of standards across subjects.
  • Focus on full integration of standards across subjects.
  • Ensure that assessments reflect integrated standards approach.
  • Continue to use common language in communications and policy, especially in the refinement of existing standards, and the adoption of new standards.
  • Continue refinements, ensuring parallel refinement in assessments and across subject standards.

School/Administrator

  • Begin developing model course mapping for middle/high school, and review impact on course pathways and staffing.
 
  • Modify model course mappings for school.
  • Develop cross-subject PD opportunities for ELA/math teachers to work with appropriate content area teachers.
  • Apply DOK scaffolding to new standards.
  • Identify academic language/literacy needs for new standards.
  • Include non-new-standards lead teachers in providing lessons learned during implementation and planning meetings, as necessary.
  • Ensure schoolwide use of language in discussing standards and instructional shifts.
  • Ensure PD is focused on academic language/literacy in new standards and implications for ELA.
  • Ensure ongoing PD opportunities are cross-subject to continue collaboration.
  • Continue to use common language in communications, both internally and externally.
  • Ensure ongoing PD opportunities are cross-subject to continue collaboration.
  • Continue to use common language in communications, both internally and externally.

Teacher

  • Begin reviewing pertinent CCSS.
 
  • Identify integration points across sets of standards.
  • Understand DOK and academic language demands of new standards.
  • Continue collaboration with other teachers to identify opportunities for cross-subject instruction.
  • Integrate CCSS cross-subject links into planning and instruction. (link to Curriculum)
  • Continue collaboration with other teachers to identify opportunities for cross-subject instruction.
  • Continue collaboration with other teachers to identify opportunities for cross-subject instruction.
  Adoption Initial Implementation
(1–2 years)
Scale Up
(1 year)
Full Implementation
(2 years)
Maintenance/Refinement
(until next standards adoption)
1–2 years End-of-Adoption
Milestones

State

  • Announce publicly the adoption process.
  • Prepare new standards information in an easily digestible manner.
  • Obtain public input on decision to adopt new standards.
  • Develop and disseminate high-level talking points for various audiences (key take-away messaging).
  • Announce official adoption of new standards.
  • Clearly articulate high-level actions for each phase of the transition process.
  • Provide new standards to full educational community in state.
  • Provide information publicly on the variance between the old standards and new standards.
  • Make public the crosswalks between old standards and new standards
  • Make public the curriculum and assessment transition timelines.
  • Continue to disseminate talking points and materials for various audiences, including FAQs, ensuring that language is consistent across messengers.
  • Develop and share focused messages about CCSS/new standards integration.
  • Share progress of transition.
  • Highlight positive and identify mitigation strategies for negative aspects/impacts of new standards.
  • Update public and stakeholders on progress of implementation and successes related to implementation.
  • Continue with high-level updates on transition status.
  • Continue communications that highlight positives and that identify mitigation strategies for negative aspects/impacts of new standards; ensure that strands are continued across years.
  • Begin to showcase data results.
  • Describe data that helps to articulate the outcomes of transition to new standards.

District

  • Relay information from the state to schools and teachers.
  • Encourage involvement of administrators and teachers in input opportunities.
  • Refine high-level talking points for district administrators, and focus on key messages, timelines, and language used in disseminating information to staff and families.
 
  • Provide clear expectations of accomplishments for each phase of the transition process.
  • Communicate to stakeholders the transition from previous standards to new standards.
  • Describe impacts of adoption on district programs.
  • Prepare FAQs for teachers to share with parents.
  • Share progress of transition.
  • Highlight positive and identify mitigation strategies for negative aspects/impacts of new standards, with district specifics.
  • Update messages and FAQs as necessary.
  • Continue with updates on transition status for the district.
  • Continue communications that highlight positives and that identify mitigation strategies for negative aspects/impacts of new standards; ensure that strands are continued across years.
  • Begin to showcase data results for the district.
  • Update messages and FAQs as necessary.
  • Describe data that helps to articulate the outcomes of transition to new standards.

School/Administrator

  • Determine the set of teachers and other professionals who need to be informed about the pending new standards and/or involved in providing feedback.
  • Keep appropriate teachers informed using information from district and state.
  • Identify lead teachers to help develop communications based on district/state key points for rest of staff.
  • Develop and implement strategies for escalating questions/concerns from parents.
 
  • Ensure messaging to school staff is clear and consistent, with timelines, shifts, and other impacts.
  • Keep content-appropriate teachers informed using information from district and state.
  • Develop talking points and key messages for teachers to share with parents, including timeline, and introducing “language” of new standards.
  • Ensure all teachers are informed using information from district and state.
  • Ensure teachers are using talking points and key messages with parents.
  • Keep appropriate teachers informed using information from district and state.
  • Ensure new teachers are receiving key messages as part of PD and training.
  • Ensure teachers are using talking points and key messages with parents.
  • Begin to identify data results for the school.
  • Support teachers in communicating expectations of performance and performance shifts to parents, leveraging standards language. (link to PD)
  • Describe data that helps to articulate the outcomes of transition to new standards to appropriate teachers.
  • Support teachers in the response to data.
  • Identify messages around data for teachers to share with parents.

Teacher

  • Pursue opportunities to become involved in the state/district/school-level transition process.
 
  • Understand key talking points and share with parents.
  • Include CCSS/new standards language in communications with parents.
  • Focus on what implementation means at the classroom level. (What will homework look like? Will anything change in the classroom?)
  • Communicate expectations of performance and performance shifts to parents, leveraging standards language. (link to PD)
  • Communicate expectations of performance and performance shifts to parents, leveraging standards language. (link to PD)
  • Continue with consistent messaging to parents.
  • Share data results with parents.

Collections

The following are collections of resources that support and measure the implementation of College and Career Ready Standards.

 

College and Career Readiness Standards—Planning, Guidance, and Evaluation

This collection contains resources that are useful for implementing College and Career Ready Standards, focusing on planning, guidance, and evaluation. Included are resources evaluated through CSAI's review system or developed by CSAI.

Tools for Monitoring College and Career Readiness Standards Implementation

This collection includes resources that have been developed for use in the measurement of standards implementation across states and local education agencies (LEAs). Resources include tools, surveys, rubrics, and the reports resulting from those resources used to track and evaluate the implementation of standards.