Common Core State Standards Implementation Tools And Resources

Posted on April 04, 2011

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The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has developed this preliminary list of tools and resources to point states to some promising practices and products to help them as they implement the Common Core State Standards. This document primarily lists resources developed by CCSSO and the lead writers of the standards and is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the quality resources available. The resources are grouped into five categories: (1) communications and outreach, (2) mathematics, (3) English language arts (ELA), (4) CCSSO state collaborative and work groups, and (5) other CCSSO resources. If you have questions about any of these resources, please contact Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO senior associate for Standards, Assessment, and Accountability, at

Communications and Outreach

Communications Toolkit

Purpose: Provide state education agency (SEA) staff with common messages on the Common Core State Standards and vehicles for communicating the messages effectively. Public information officers (PIOs) and chiefs received the most recent copy of the communications toolkit in September 2010, and the toolkit is currently being updated by CCSSO with new messages, tools, and communication vehicles. The toolkit can be accessed by clicking here.

Creators: CCSSO and NGA

Who to contact: Kate Dando, communications director for CCSSO,

Status: Complete; Updated version of the toolkit projected in early summer 2011

PTA Parent Guides

Purpose: Provide grade-by-grade parent guides that reflect the Common Core State Standards. Individual guides were created for grades K-8 and two were created for grades 9-12 (one for English language arts/literacy and one for mathematics). Eleven Guides were created in all.

Website: State education agencies, school districts, state boards of education, and state/local PTAs may co-brand the Guides. The modifiable Guides are available online at: (Username: pta user, Password: global).

Creators: PTA and Common Core State Standards writers

Who to Contact: National PTA at

Status: Complete

PowerPoint Template

Purpose: Offer a PowerPoint template with general Common Core information that states can use, modify, and personalize for their own context. The PowerPoint is available by clicking here.

Creator: CCSSO

Who to contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Status: Complete

Public Information Officer (PIO) Professional Development

Purpose: Provide professional development to PIOs to build their capacity for internal and external communications and outreach, including specific guidance on communicating about college- and career-ready standards and common assessments.

Who to contact: Kate Dando, communications director for CCSSO,

Timeline: PIO professional development meeting tentatively scheduled for June 2011

Modular Videos on Key Issues of the Common Core State Standards

Purpose: Provide states professional-quality, modular videos they can share with educators, either sequentially or on an individual basis, that describe different important aspects of the standards and key implementation issues.

Creator/Lead Author: CCSSO, in partnership with the Hunt Institute and communications firm Glover Park Group

Who to contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Timeline: Completed in late spring/early summer 2011

Mathematics Common Core State Standards

Illustrative Mathematics Project

Purpose: Guide the work of states, assessment consortia, and testing companies by illustrating the range and types of mathematical work that students will experience in a faithful implementation of the standards.

Creator/Lead Author: Bill McCallum, lead math standards writer


Timeline: Under development; projected completion in fall 2011

Progressions documents for the Common Core Math Standards

Purpose: Produce a final version of the math progressions, which are narrative documents describing the progression of a topic across a number of grade levels, informed both by research on children’s cognitive development and by the logical structure of mathematics. The original math Common Core writing team will finalize and publish these documents.

Creator/Lead Author: Bill McCallum, lead math standards writer


Timeline: Under development

Math curricular analysis tool

Purpose: Help educators analyze curricular materials as they implement the math Common Core. There will be three tools produced: one looking at the treatment of key content areas in each of four grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12); one analyzing how well the standards for mathematical practice are integrated into the materials; and one assessing pedagogical aspects of the materials.

Creator/Lead Author: Bill Bush, University of Louisville

Contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Timeline: Projected completion in June 2011

Hyperlinked version of the math standards

Purpose: Provide a version of the math standards that has hyperlinks within the document so a reader can electronically navigate the standards with fluidity.

Creator/Lead Author: Bill McCallum, lead math standards writer


Visual depiction of the mathematical practices

Purpose: Display some higher-order structure to the mathematical practice standards, just as the clusters and domains provide higher order structure to the content standards.

Creator/Lead Author: Bill McCallum


Status: Complete

Classroom examples and tools for mathematics instruction

Purpose: Inside Mathematics is a professional resource for educators that features classroom examples of innovative teaching methods and insights into student learning, tools for mathematics instruction that teachers can use immediately, and video tours of the ideas and materials on the website. Inside Mathematics will be aligning its tools and examples to the Common Core.


Timeline: To be notified when the resources are available, visit:

Research-based professional development for math Common Core implementation

Description: Research study entitled “Articulating Research Ideas that Support the Implementation of the Professional Development Needed for Making the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics Reality for K-12 Teachers”

Purpose: This National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project will coordinate knowledge from different fields to develop recommendations for the design, implementation, and assessment of large-scale professional development systems consistent with the mathematics of the Common Core State Standards. Research results from diverse perspectives (e.g., mathematics education, organizational theory, professional development) will be articulated into a coherent framework and a set of recommendations for successful large-scale, system-level implementation of mathematics professional development initiatives. The recommendations will be disseminated through the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Creators/Lead Authors: North Carolina State University researchers

Contact: Project director and principal investigator Paola Sztajn,

Timeline: Grant expires on 2/29/12

Lead writer Bill McCallum’s blog

Purpose: Math Common Core lead writer Bill McCallum keeps a blog of math Common Core implementation projects that he hears of through his work.


English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards

Publisher’s criteria for development of instructional materials

Purpose: Lay out criteria for consideration when developing or adopting instructional materials tied to the English language arts standards. For a copy of the document, please click here.

Creators/Lead Authors: Sue Pimentel and David Coleman, lead ELA standards writers

Contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Timeline: Draft available now; final version anticipated in late spring/early summer 2011

Text complexity definitions

Purpose: Offer further definition to one of the key components of the reading standards—text complexity

Creators/Lead Authors: Sue Pimentel and David Coleman, lead ELA standards writers

Contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Timeline: Projected completion in June 2011

Sample instructional unit

Purpose: Provide educators an exemplar unit called “Great Conversations” to address writing about what one reads, which is articulated in Common Core writing standard #9 and across the reading standards. The unit will contain 5-6 texts, which will be mainly literary non-fiction, and will show how several texts can be grouped coherently into a unit of study. The exemplar unit will illustrate the type of questions a teacher could ask students about a text and sample student answers that could be provided orally or in writing.

Creators/Lead Authors: Sue Pimentel and David Coleman, lead ELA standards writers

Contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Timeline: Projected completion in July 2011

Visual depiction of how the standards work together

Purpose: Create a visual depiction of (1) how each of the reading standards relate to one another, (2) how each of the writing standards relate to one another, and (3) how the reading and writing standards connect. This graphic is intended to illustrate how standards connect to and reinforce other standards and that standards should not be taught in isolation.

Creators/Lead Authors: Sue Pimentel and David Coleman, lead ELA standards writers

Contact: Carrie Heath Phillips, CCSSO,

Timeline: Projected completion in early summer of 2011

CCSSO State Collaboratives and Work Groups

CCSSO convenes numerous consortia and work groups of states to address common issues and to solve complex problems identified by states. Implementing the Common Core State Standards touches all of CCSSO’s initiative areas (educator development, information systems and research, and standards, assessment and accountability), so existing CCSSO consortia are addressing their role in implementing the Common Core State Standards. These consortia include the State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) and the Education Information Management and Assessment Consortium (EIMAC). CCSSO will update states as specific resources become available in these areas and others.

CCSSO’s State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) groups are also each addressing the policy dilemma presented by implementing the Common Core. The SCASS groups are:

• Accountability Systems and Reporting (ASR)

• Assessing Special Education Students (ASES)

• Career and Tech/Ed Assessment Collaborative (CTAC)

• Early Childhood Education Assessment (ECEA)

• Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers (FAST)

• English Language Learners (ELL)

• English Language Development Assessment (ELDA)

• Comprehensive Assessment Systems for Title I (CAS)

• Health Education Assessment Project (HEAP)

• Implementing the Common Core System (ICCS)

• Science Education Assessment (SCIENCE)

• Mathematics

• Social Sciences Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction (SSACI)

• Survey of Enacted Curriculum (SEC)

• Technical Issues in Large-Scale Assessment (TILSA)

The Implementing the Common Core System (ICCS) SCASS was specifically designed to help state education agencies (SEAs) with implementing the Common Core. Members of this consortium are addressing systemic approaches to managing the transition to the Common Core State Standards. The ICCS SCASS is providing an opportunity for states to share promising practices with each other and develop or commission specific tools and products for states to use in their implementation work. Each state has a coach who works directly with them. The state coaches are: Doug Christiansen, former Nebraska chief; Sue Gendron, former Maine chief; Rick Melmer, former South Dakota chief; Gavin Payne, former California deputy; and Bob Fuller, business process consultant and former Deloitte partner. Daniel Kim from the Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) is the adviser for the ICCS SCASS.

For more information on the ICCS SCASS or any of the SCASS groups, please contact Bob Olsen, director of the SCASS system at CCSSO, at

Other CCSSO Resources

Content Alignment Tool

Purpose: CCSSO’s long-standing Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) SCASS created an online tool in summer 2010 to help states compare their current state standards, their enacted curriculum (what teachers are actually teaching in the classroom), and the Common Core State Standards in order to identify their degree of alignment to one another. This alignment tool can be found at For a tutorial on how to use the tool, please visit

Creator: CCSSO

Contact: Rolf Blank, director for Information Systems and Research at CCSSO,

Timeline: Complete

Expanded Learning Opportunities Publication

Purpose: A long-standing project of CCSSO, the expanded learning opportunities (ELO) program, recently published, “Connecting High-quality Expanded Learning Opportunities and the Common Core State Standards to Advance Student Success,” which can be accessed by clicking here.

Creator: CCSSO

Contact: Taliah Givens, director for Expanded Learning Opportunities at CCSSO,

Timeline: Complete

Technical Expertise Exchange

Purpose: CCSSO started the Technical Expertise Exchange to support state and local education agencies through the creation of common information requests. Over the spring of 2011, CCSSO is releasing a series of information requests to providers from around the world to solicit their best practices and innovative ideas. In April 2011, CCSSO will release a series of information requests related to helping build state and local capacity to implement the Common Core State Standards. All of the information collected from these requests will be made freely available to state education agencies at

Creator: CCSSO

Contact: Margaret Millar, senior program associate at CCSSO,

Timeline: Late spring 2011