Implementation Planning for State, District, and School Leaders

School and District Leader Supports

  • Common Core Survey Tool: Achieve, Education First, and US Delivery Institute released a survey tool to help state and district leaders track the quality of their standards implementation.
  • Aspen Institute Common Core Transition Guide for School Leaders: The Aspen Institute in partnership with Education First, Insight Education Group, Student Achievement Partners, and Targeted Leadership Consulting developed this implementation guide intended to be used as a reference and an action-planning springboard for school leadership teams.
  • Action Briefs Outlining Role of School Personnel in Common Core Implementation: Achieve, in partnership with College Summit, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), released a series of action briefs on the role of school counselors, secondary school leaders, and elementary school leaders in the implementation of the Common Core.
  • ASCD Education Leadership Article: The Common Core Standards: Starting Now: ASCD's Education Leadership Journal provides guidance on beginning Common Core implementation to
  • The Coherence Map: This tool helps identify gaps in student knowledge, illustrate how supporting and additional cluster standards connect with the major work of the grade, and provide direction for educators looking to design more coherent math instruction for their students.
  • The Compendium: The Center for Education Policy released this report which very briefly summarizes published research on many different aspects of the Common Core. The objective is to create an accessible and readable overview of current research that can inform implementation, policy discussions, and the development of future research on the Common Core.
  • Raising the Bar: Raising the Bar, a WestEd project, provides free tools for planning highly effective professional development, opportunities to collaborate, highlighted events, and services that can help educators with Common Core implementation efforts in English language arts and mathematics.

SEA Planning

Connecting Career and Technical Education

Defining College- and Career-Readiness

Coherence between College- and Career-Ready Standards Implementation and Educator Effectiveness Systems

Professional Development

Instructional Supports

Teacher Preparation and Certification

  • The Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation: The Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation has a library of training videos they created for faculty of education preparation programs. This training helps faculty prepare future educators for teaching under the Common Core.
  • Teaching Higher: The released report by Harvard's Center for Education Policy Research assesses educators' efforts to meet the demands of their state's recently adopted higher standards and finds that the standards have fostered significant positive instructional changes in classrooms and are garnering positive sentiment among a majority of teachers and principals.

Teaching Videos on College- and Career-Ready Standards

  • Teaching Channel Common Core Lessons by Teachers: The Teaching Channel features over 100 independently-developed free videos related to Common Core instruction.
  • America Achieves Video, Lesson Plans and Resources: America Achieves features analysis videos to accompany their video lesson modules in which teachers discuss lessons, their practice, and Common Core implementation in their school.
  • EduCore Digital Tool: ASCD created the EduCore Digital Tool as a repository of evidence-based strategies, videos, and supporting documents to help educators transition to the CCSS in both mathematics and English language arts and literacy.
  • Teaching the Core: This site holds a collection of classroom videos and associated lesson materials to help K-12 educators implement the instructional shifts required by the Common Core State Standards. Each videotaped lesson includes descriptive annotations that identify lesson elements and teacher and student actions and behaviors that support Common Core learning.


  • Principal Support Framework: The Principal Support Framework created by the Center for Educational Leadership in the University of Washington represents the best thinking of educators from across the country about the support needed to advance principal leadership focused on improving teaching and learning at scale.

Lesson Plans

Supports for Students with Diverse Learning Needs

English Language Learners (ELL)

  • Common Core State Standards Available in Spanish: The San Diego County Office of Education, CCSSO, and the California Department of Education completed a draft translation of the CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy and Mathematics into Spanish.
  • Understanding Language Project at Stanford University: Understanding Language Project at Stanford University aims to heighten educator awareness of the critical role that language plays in the CCSS.
  • Colorín Colorado: The Colorín Colorado site is a partnership between AFT and WETA that aggregates and displays unique resources on Common Core for English as a second language (ESL) teachers, including videos of teachers collaborating on CCSS instruction for ELLs.
  • The Role of Language and Literacy in College- and Career-Ready Standards: Rethinking Policy and Practice in Support of English Language Learners: This report discusses the role of language and literacy in college- and career-ready standards for English Language Learners (ELLs). It also discusses the initiatives already underway to help ELLs meet these challenges, and outlines how policy and practice must change to help ELLs graduate ready for college and a career.
  • CCSSO Supporting English Language Learners: CCSSO has been engaged with the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University in bringing national attention to the language demands of the new standards, translating this insight into a series of collaborative projects bringing together a variety of agencies. CCSSO has convened states and stakeholders of both the content and the English Language Proficiency assessments to gather and coordinate efforts to address their commitment to adopt a "common definition" of English Language Learner.

Students With Disabilities

  • Using Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to Implement Common Core The Council of Great City School's white paper encourages schools to embrace the needs of ALL students, and recommends implementing the standards within a framework of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) that will help ensure that all students succeed.
  • CCSSO Supporting Students with Disabilities: CCSSO hosts many state convenings each year to keep new assessment challenges at the forefront and give states opportunities to voice their concerns, suggestions, and recommendations around issues related to students with disabilities.

Communicating College- and Career-Ready Standards

Parents and Communities

  • PTA Parents' Guide: The grade by grade parents' guide explain what students will be learning in each grade in ELA and math under the CCSS, and how parents can support their students' learning.
  • Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core State Standards: The Council of Great City Schools developed Parent Roadmaps, which explains to parents what their child will be learning and how parents can support learning outside of the classroom in grades K-12 in both ELA and math.
  • Video: Public Service Announcement: The Council of Great City Schools developed two videos in both English and Spanish that tell the story of the Common Core State Standards to the public.
  • I Am Empowered The National Urban League launched a campaign to promote the Common Core directly to parents in cities across the country.
  • Great Kids Milestones: Milestones, developed by Great Kids, is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents understand grade-level expectations in grades K-5. Milestones show students demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing and math, grade by grade.
  • Common Core Math Explained in 3 Minutes: The article and video produced by helps address many of parents' and community members' concerns with Common Core math approaches. Unfortunately, the term "new math" is a misnomer; the math strategies suggested under Common Core have been employed in high-performing schools across the country for decades.
  • Parent Assessment Event Toolkit: The National PTA has created a new website for schools and districts to use in hosting face-to-face parent nights at schools.
  • Raise the Bar: Sponsored by America Achieves, Raise the Bar is a community of active parents helping each other in our most important job: raising healthy, happy, well-educated children who can pursue their dreams and tap their potential to contribute to an ever-changing world.


Reviewing Instructional Materials for College- and Career-Ready Standards Alignment

  • Toolkit for Evaluating Alignment of Instructional and Assessment Materials: In joint partnership, CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners have developed this toolkit, which is a set of interrelated, freely available instruments for evaluating alignment to the CCSS.
  • Tri-State Quality Review Rubric and Rating Process: Achieve is currently facilitating a collaborative initiative titled Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products (EQuIP) to evaluate and develop instructional units and tasks aligned to the CCSS.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER): The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is working to advance the understanding, adoption and implementation of open educational resources (OER) practices at state and district levels.
  • EdReports; Independent Reviews of Educational Materials: provides free, Consumer Reports-style reviews of instructional materials focused on alignment to the Common Core and other indicators of high quality as recommended by educators, including usability, teacher support, and differentiation.
  • Aligned: Blog: Student Achievement Partners launched a new blog site dedicated to the conversation around Common Core aligned instructional materials. The site shares experiences, advice, and opinions from state and district leaders, curriculum reviewers, publishers, and more.
  • UnBoundEd: UnboundEd offers materials aligned to Common Core State Standards. It will build on the framework developed by EngageNY, whose online resources have been downloaded more than 45 million times. UnboundEd tackles another problem that teachers are facing: Their students, especially those from low-income communities, aren't prepared to meet the Common Core State Standards' tough grade-level goals.