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Classroom Observations: Documenting Shifts in Instruction for Districtwide Improvement

January 26, 2015

Even seemingly straightforward education policy ideas are interpreted and implemented quite differently as they make their way through the levels of the education system (Cohen, 1990; Cohen & Hill, 2001; Spillane, 2000). Complex ideas that lack clear and specific instructional guidance, like the Common Core State Standards in mathematics (CCSS-M) -- with their increased emphasis on rigorous and coherent content, standards for mathematical practice, and instructional pedagogies that support students' deep conceptual mathematics learning -- may prove challenging as teachers attempt to interpret and implement them in their own classrooms. The combination of limited instructional guidance for the CCSS-M and individual teacher variation (resulting from each teacher's different beliefs, skills, knowledge, and interests) leaves room for significant variation in how the central CCSS-M reform ideas are interpreted and implemented in the classroom. As such, there will likely be wide variation in teachers' instruction as they implement the CCSS-M in their classrooms.Yet if, as research has shown, teachers affect student achievement more than any other school-related factor (Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005), Math in Common districts will need to understand and monitor how CCSS-M ideas are taught in classrooms in order to improve mathematics education for all students. Understanding the extent of teachers' instructional variation will help districts build on and spread best practices and support improvement of CCSS-M implementation.

Evaluation of the Expository Reading and Writing Course: Findings From the Investing in Innovation Development Grant

January 1, 2015

The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) was developed by California State University (CSU) faculty and high school educators to improve the academic literacy of high school seniors, thereby reducing the need for students to enroll in remedial English courses upon entering college.

Evaluation of the TechSF Workforce Innovation Partnership

January 1, 2015

An explosion of growth in San Francisco's technology sector has fueled an acute demand for local talent. Three challenges, however, prevented the public workforce development system from fully capitalizing on the tech boom:

Silicon Valley ALLIES Innovation Initiative Evaluation Report

January 1, 2015

Silicon Valley (CA) lacks sufficient resources to meet its growing demand for both adult English as a second language (ESL) training and technical career training for English learners.

Core to College Evaluation: Exploring the Use of Multiple Measures for Placement into College-Level Courses

January 1, 2014

Standardized tests alone may not be the most accurate measure for placing students into college-level courses. WestEd researchers have identified the use of multiple measures as a way to increase placement accuracy.

Core to College Evaluation: Statewide Networks -- Connecting Education Systems and Stakeholders to Support College Readiness

January 1, 2014

The Core to College initiative aims to facilitate greater coordination between K-12 and postsecondary education systems around implementation of the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments.

Core to College Evaluation: Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Articulating Course Sequences Across K-12 and Higher Education Systems

January 1, 2013

The Core to College Initiative is designed to promote collaboration between the K-12 and higher education systems in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and aligned assessments. The frequent lack of alignment between the content and rigor of high school courses and college courses has contributed to many college students being placed into non-credit-bearing remedial courses, limiting their chances of success at the postsecondary level. To address this challenge and to support students' successful transition to postsecondary education, the Core to College Initiative aims to improve the alignment between K-12 and postsecondary education systems in the initiative's participating states.

Core to College Evaluation: Placing College Students in Courses for Credit

January 1, 2013

The Core to College Initiative, a three-year, multi-state initiative funded by the Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is designed to promote collaboration between the K-12 and higher education systems in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments.

Core to College Evaluation: Building Bridges through Stakeholder Outreach and Engagement

January 1, 2012

What can K-12 and higher education systems do to foster increased collaboration in order to better prepare students for college?