This study by the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University surveyed a representative sample of teachers in five states (Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Nevada) as they prepared their students to take the new Common Core-aligned assessments in the spring of 2015. Teachers and principals were asked about the types and amounts of professional development they received, the textbooks they were using, the online resources they found most helpful, and the alignment between Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and teacher evaluations. The study analyzed these elements and related students’ performance on the new assessments, after controlling for students’ demographic characteristics and prior achievement on state assessments.
The study, which used a stratified random sampling strategy, identified several state- and district-level policies that can support students’ mastery of the new, more ambitious standards. Among other findings, which add value, was the discovery that more training, following classroom observations with explicit feedback on instructional practice, is associated with greater student achievement on the PARCC and SBAC math assessments. Its length and visual data add to its communication value for the reader. It will be useful for those looking for timely findings relative to state and district CCSS implementation, as well as specific practices that correlate with improved achievement outcomes.