Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Year Two Progress Report from the Great City Schools

This report presents the results from a second-year survey of progress made by urban public school districts as they implement the Common Core State Standards. The survey covers a wide range of implementation topics, including professional development activities in English language arts and math; strategies for measuring and collecting data on implementation; and communication strategies to inform stakeholders about the CCSS. This year’s survey asked respondents about the inclusion of English language learners, students with special needs, and struggling students in CCSS implementation plans. The majority of all respondents indicated that their district’s progress in implementing the CCSS was either “good” or “excellent.” The areas where implementation was most likely to be rated as “poor” included addressing the needs of special populations, adopting computer-based/computer-adaptive assessments, and integrating technology into the classroom. When aligning their instructional materials to the CCSS, the most common resources that all respondents indicated using were PARCC/SBAC sample items, CCSS math progressions, and resources from the Council’s Basal Alignment Project. Obtaining classroom-level information for thousands of teachers in large numbers of schools was among the most common challenges cited in measuring implementation of the CCSS.

Content Comments 

While based on self-ratings, this report provides interesting insights on the resources which have been most helpful to districts as they implement the CCSS and prepare for the upcoming PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments (e.g., PARCC/SBAC sample items, CCSS math progressions, and resources from the Council’s Basal Alignment Project). Areas of continued need include: special populations, adopting computer-based/computer-adaptive assessments, and integrating technology into the classroom.