Leadership Planning Guide (California) Common Core State Standards and Assessments Implementation

Focusing on implementing CCSS and SBAC at the school district level, the purpose of this product is to address the numerous and sometimes disparate “systems” that are barriers to coherent educational systems. The major components of a better system, according to the authors, include: leadership, communication, curriculum and instruction, instructional resources, electronic resources, professional development, student learning feedback systems and assessment, support and intervention programs, technology support, fiscal and human resources, and student transitions. The authors says that “these ten key components are based on a combination of research, years of practical experience, and lessons emerging from early implementing districts.” The authors contend that “the alignment of these components, together with a common focus on implementing the CCSS, is essential to effectively support the significant changes required for successful CCSS and SBAC implementation.”

Content Comments 

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) has produced an implementation guide for district and school leaders in planning for a multi-phase transition to the Common Core State Standards. The guide outlines the alignment of steps across ten components of an integrated educational system, and while it does not cite specific research, the guidance is based on best practice and lessons learned in the field. Each section begins with an overview of the needs and opportunities of that component, and then provides a suggested set of steps as well as key questions to drive decision-making. This is a clearly laid out document, and the organization by component makes it easy to determine what sections for which any staff/team within a district or school would be responsible. Initiating leadership planning for CA districts/schools is the target activity for this tool, and it is both relevant and comprehensive for this audience. The Checklist and Conceptualization Tool included at the end as appendices seem a bit like afterthoughts, and are neither comprehensive nor summative, but nonetheless useful in developing LEA-specific tools.