This report is a pilot study intended to inform a larger analysis of the accountability systems in every state (and the District of Columbia) during the early years of Common Core implementation. We ask that the reader treat it as such and provide us with feedback on the accountability principles contained herein. We plan to apply these principles, once revised, to all fifty state accountability systems in order to appraise their quality. Our first national report is slated for early 2013, with follow‐up studies two and four years later. Tracking systems in this manner will prove beneficial because many states will be in "flux" over the next several years as they refine and adapt their systems based on the demands of the Common Core and on the plans and promises outlined in their recently approved waivers (and/or those provisions detailed by ESEA reauthorization legislation—assuming Congress one day gets its act together). Fordham is also conducting three other studies pertinent to CCSS implementation. The first is an analysis of Common Core implementation costs; the second, an in‐ depth study of district‐level implementation of CCSS; and the third, a nationally representative survey of English language arts teachers that assesses the rigor of their reading assignments both before and after implementation of CCSS (summer 2012 and spring 2015).