State chiefs recognize that setting clear expectations for academic excellence is critical for student success.
We work with states to ensure that standards convey rigorous expectations for students, teachers, and leaders. We are supporting states in developing comprehensive and balanced assessment systems that effectively measure learning and growth, cover a broad range of knowledge and skills that reflect real-world demands, and provide timely and actionable information on every child's progress. We are helping states connect standards and assessments to policies and practices that hold decision makers accountable for every student's success.
College and Career-Ready Standards
Across the country, states have chosen to implement higher standards that will prepare all students for success after high school by adopting and implementing college-and career-ready standards. As a result, students are gaining a deeper understanding of subject matter, are learning to think critically, and are applying their learning to real-world problems. In 2009, we coordinated with the NGA Center on a state-led effort to develop the Common Core State Standards, a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and english language arts (ELA) that define clear and consistent K-12 learning goals for students in order to graduate high school prepared to succeed in college, entry-level careers, and life. Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core. Learn more about college-and career-ready standards.
Through our partnerships with national education organizations including the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, the Wallace Foundation and the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders, we are re-conceptualizing the ways school leaders are attracted, prepared, developed and retained. Our goal is to assist states in creating and implementing aligned, coherent, and comprehensive state systems that are based on high standards of performance, are accountable for results, and support, develop and reward educators across the career continuum. These partner agencies have worked with us to develop multiple documents which articulate the standards required to succeed in this profession. Learn more about effective leadership.
An effective teacher must be able to integrate content knowledge with the specific strengths and needs of students to assure that all students learn and perform at high levels. We assist states in implementing new standards through proactive engagement and outreach, and by connecting chiefs with the tools they need to help schools and teachers bring the standards to life for their students. Our standards are a corner stone for our members as they promote their expectations to the educator workforce. We do this by partnering with organizations who develop tools and resources to identify standards in teacher licensing, program approval, and professional development. Learn more about the teacher workforce.
As a result of information gleaned from an early learning workgroup that concluded in 2017, CCSSO identified a problem of practice (PoP) that is common across several states: “To increase the effectiveness of instruction and student achievement in early grades, states need to study the effectiveness of current policy and test the impact of innovative strategies to increase teacher knowledge and capacity to deliver evidence-backed instructional practice in math and literacy in PreK through third grade classrooms.” To tackle this PoP and work deeply with states around early literacy and early math instructional practices, CCSSO formed an Early Learning Network Improvement Community (NIC) for states interested in advancing policy in the area of early learning in PreK through third grade. CCSSO has embarked on a second phase of this work to move states into implementing high-quality, evidence-based instructional methods based on improvement science to achieve greater outcomes for students and teachers in early literacy and math. Recommendations and conclusions based on the first phase of this work are outlined here.
Improvement science deploys rapid tests of change to guide the development, revision, and continued fine-tuning of new tools, processes, work roles and relationships, and is explicitly designed to accelerate learning-by-doing. It's a more user-centered and problem-centered approached to improving teaching and learning. To learn more about this approach and methodology to policy, please check out the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.