Standards Review and Revision Toolkit

CSAI has collaborated with the College and Career Readiness and Success Center and the Midwest Comprehensive Center to develop the Standards Review and Revision Toolkit (“Toolkit”). The Toolkit includes information, examples, and associated resources to help state education agencies (SEAs) execute a research- and best practices-based standards review and revision process. SEAs may utilize the Toolkit as a whole, or reference discrete stages as their context requires.

Why this Toolkit Was Developed

The Standards Review and Revision Toolkit in response to numerous SEA requests for assistance in developing and implementing processes to guide state standards review and/or revision activities. A defensible and transparent standards review/revision process is important to ensure a successful implementation across all impacted components of the education system, including (but not limited to) professional development, curriculum, and assessment.

Scope of the Toolkit

The Toolkit is made up of five sequential stages:

  1. Development/Revision
  2. Initial Implementation
  3. Scale Up
  4. Full Implementation
  5. Maintain and Refine

The Toolkit stages may be utilized in succession to guide an entire standards review/revision process, or, depending upon the needs of the SEA, may be referred to independently.


Each stage includes:

  • a narrative overview,
  • a checklist outlining critical components and considerations for that stage,
  • embedded state examples, and
  • additional external resources.

The checklist, embedded state examples, and the additional external resources for all five stages are available for download in PDF form.


How to Use the Toolkit

The Toolkit is designed to empower SEAs to develop and implement replicable systems that will guide their current and future standards review and revision processes. Comprised of five stages that guide the standards review and revision process from initial planning through continued maintenance of the newly implemented standards, SEAs may utilize the Toolkit from stage 1 through stage 5, or reference stages separately to bolster existing systems and processes. Each stage includes examples from states that have already undergone recent standards review and/or revision processes, as well as resources SEAs may reference to gain a deeper understanding of that particular stage and its implications. Easy to read checklists accompany each stage description.


Stage 1 – Development/Revision

Stage 1 of the standards review and/or revision process requires the appropriate governing bodies to consider the following: identify the need for a review/revision of current standards, create a timeline for the review/revision process and subsequent implementation plan, and engage with the larger community to begin building a review committee and soliciting feedback from the public.

Stage 2 – Initial Implementation

During the initial implementation stage, attention should be paid to curriculum mapping, instructional materials, and professional development, all while keeping stakeholders involved and in the loop regarding plans and progress. The timelines and budget considerations outlined in Stage 1 may need to be amended based on feedback received from diverse stakeholder groups, guidance from experts, and on the number of iterations needed to reach this stage of the process.


Stage 3 – Scale Up

This stage of the standards revision process focuses on the monitoring and adjustments needed at the district and/or school levels to successfully implement standards. It is important to remember that the developed implementation plan isn’t a rigid document, and should be updated when new information is uncovered. Given that this stage typically occurs at the onset of implementation, it is desirable to have a significant amount of resource flexibility and support that can be applied.

Stage 4 – Full Implementation

During this stage there is a full implementation of the revised standards across the appropriate grades and content areas.

Assessments administered and materials utilized will reflect the full implementation of the new standards. During full implementation staff acquire competencies in how to implement content area standards with fidelity. There is a focus on deep knowledge of content area standards, seamless integration of instruction, cross-curricular planning, and active engagement in continued reflection and improvement of practice.


Stage 5 – Maintain and Refine

The maintenance and refinement stage should be ongoing until the next round of revisions occurs. This stage includes establishing structures to support continuous improvement surrounding implementation of new standards, including: ongoing, current, and timely adjustments, onboarding of new and transitioning teachers and administrators, and establishing processes/networks to address individual situations that may occur.




CSAI encourages SEAs to submit resources and/or examples for inclusion in the Toolkit for the benefit of the field. To do so, please send any applicable resources or examples to