Common Core Resources

Common Standards & Assessments: The Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and English Language Development Standards are important tools for ensuring all students have access to rigorous content and college and career preparation. The Education Trust-West Needs Assessment can help district leaders and other stakeholders ensure that their school district is on track for Common Core implementation and our resource page is available to support the equitable and effective implementation of the new, common standards.

The Education Trust – West published “The Billion Dollar Question: How Can Districts and Schools Equitably Implement the Common Core?” in August 2013 to help guide stakeholders towards equitably implementing the new standards and spending the $1.25 Billion allocated by the state for Common Core implementation. The resource pages below are aligned to the ETW needs assessment, including resources related to the Next Generation Science Standards and English Language Development Standards.  These resources were hand-picked to help district leaders, practitioners, and community members to access high-quality, equity-focused materials and resources to ensure that the implementation of the new, common standards in schools, districts, and communities across California serve all students.

General Common Core

Achieve the Core

Student Achievement Partners offer a wealth of Common Core resources for a range of stakeholders, including practitioners and district leadership. Content on their site includes professional development, community engagement, and subject-specific teaching resources.

America Achieves Common Core Page

America Achieves hosts a Common Core page with excellent videos of Common Core aligned instruction from their Teaching Fellows, lesson plans, and additional resources.

Aspen Institute Common Core Implementation Resources

The Aspen Institute has produced high-quality transition guides, professional development modules, and family engagement materials related to the Common Core.

California Department of Education-Common Core Page

The California Department of Education’s Common Core Page has up to date information on all aspects of Common Core implementation in California, including timelines and resources for state, district, and community level stakeholders.

Council of Great City Schools, “Implementing the Common Core State Standards in Urban Public Schools (2012)

This comprehensive resource speaks to four key implementation areas; Planning for the Common Core, Professional Development, Measuring Implementation, and Communicating with Stakeholders.

Education Trust-West Common Core Webinar Series

A series of webinars hosted by ETW on Common Core implementation in California.

Engage NY

This one-stop-shop website hosted by the New York Department of Education has a wealth of resources related to instruction, professional development, and parent and family engagement. This helpful website was developed by the Higher State Standards Partnership in collaboration with the Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a broad group of education organizations and associations . The website offers links to organizations that support Common Core, resources for learning more about the standards, and avenues for taking action to support the Common Core standards.

Standards, Instruction & Assessments

Achieve EQuIP Tool
The “Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products” (EQuIP) rubric is a helpful tool for identifying high quality Common Core instructional materials.

Common Core Connect – Hosted by the Tulare County Office of Education
The Tulare County Office of Education has gathered a plethora of Common Core related resources for practitioners. Click on “Quick Links” under each subject tab for links to great subject-specific resources.

CORE Math and English Language Arts Performance Assessment Modules
The CORE districts conducted a professional development pilot over this last year to give teacher leaders in their network an opportunity to collaboratively develop 60 Math and ELA performance tasks. These teacher-developed modules are free to use.

Literacy Design Collaborative and Math Design Collaborative
LDC and MDC offer a framework for building the college-and-career-ready literacy skills specified by the Common Core State Standards. In addition, the Literacy Design Collaborative just launched to their new collaborative “Core Tools” webpage with Common Core focused lesson and video libraries.

Silicon Valley Math Initiative
A comprehensive initiative that operates in partnership with San Jose State University and the Santa Clara Valley Math Project to provide ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers and instructional leaders, formative and summative assessment support, and a clearinghouse of high quality resources to support the implementation of the Common Core Math Standards and accompanying Math Practices.

The Future of Science Education in California
The Promise of the Next Generation Science Standards for Students and Communities: This brief, written in collaboration between Education Trust-West, CSLNET, and Children Now, outlines the promise and potential of the newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards.

Tools for the Common Core Standards
This blog is hosted by William McCallum, one of the authors of the Common Core Math Standards. He provides timely tools and resources, including links to the collaborative Illustrative Mathematics project.

UT Austin and The Dana Center Mathematics Common Core Toolbox
This “toolbox” features information about the math content standards and standards for mathematical practice, useful guides for implementation, and sample curriculum frameworks.

Evaluation & Monitoring

Mathematics Assessment Project
MAP is a collaborative between University of California, Berkeley and the Shell Center team at the University of Nottingham to develop summative and formative assessments and professional development modules that are aligned with the CCSS-M standards.

Smarter Balanced Sample Items and Performance Tasks
Sample test items from the Smarter Balanced Consortium can give instructional leaders, teachers, parents, and students an idea of what the new assessments will expect students to know and be able to do.

Professional Development

California Department of Education Brokers of Expertise
A free account is needed to access a wealth of resources, training, community groups and information about Common Core implementation in the State of California.

Get to the Core: ASCD Common Core Webinar Series
This website features an archive of all of ASCD’s Common Core webinars. A wide range of topics are covered with representation from a range of instructional leaders and Common Core experts.

Hunt Institute Common Core Channel
The Hunt Institute works at the intersection of policy and practice and has assembled a collection of videos via their YouTube channel related to Common Core implementation.

Los Angeles Unified School District, Digital Professional Development Library
Instructional modules and administrators toolkits developed by California’s largest school district.

Teach Plus Launch LA: Common Core Session Materials
In August 2013 Teach Plus LA, in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District and Cal State Dominguez Hills, hosted a Common Core Conference that was attended by over 1,000 teachers from across Southern California. Each session was led by a teacher leader and all of the materials covering a wide range of topics from each of the sessions are provided at the link above.

Teaching Channel Common Core Videos
Short videos highlight Common Core-aligned instruction featuring diverse teachers and students.

Special Education

California Department of Education Common Core Resources for Special Education
This website hosted by the CDE has resources from researchers and practitioners that include white papers, webinars, Powerpoint presentations, and tips for classroom practices.

National Center on the Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is “a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.” This comprehensive website provides information about UDL, teaching resources, research and community forums.

Leadership & Implementation Timeline

California Common Core Leadership Guide

This Common Core implementation guide for Superintendents and district leaders was developed by California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCESA) and provides a comprehensive guide to Common Core implementation centered on ten key components of implementation.

Catching Up to The Core: Common Sense Strategies for Accelerating Access to the Common Core In California

The report profiles best practices used in implementing the CCSS in forward-looking states and school districts, including some in California. It highlights promising work in teacher professional development, instructional materials, technology, and alignment with systems of higher education, particularly in teacher preparation. The report concludes with common sense recommendations for California policymakers to accelerate Common Core implementation.

Kentucky Innovation Configuration Maps: Guiding District Implementation of Common Core State Standards

These maps developed by the first state to adopt the Common Core “identify and describe the major components and a continuum of implementation levels” and provide a helpful framework for outlining an implementation plan.


Autodesk, Design the Future
Autodesk’s Design the Future Campaign provides free Autodesk 3D and 2D design software, Common Core-aligned, project-based curricula, and free training and certification.

Be Tech Ready: This website developed by the Sacramento County Office of Education in collaboration with the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) and the Technology and Communications Steering Committee (TCSC) promotes the statewide Technology Readiness Survey Tool and provides a host of resources to support districts in preparing for the technology demands of the new computer adaptive Smarter Balanced tests.

This organization is focused on ensuring every student in public schools in the United States have access to the Internet infrastructure needed for digital teaching, learning, and assessments. Their School Speed Test can assess your school’s Internet capabilities.

Washington State K-12 Educational Technology Standards
A great example of standards that map educational technology learning proficiencies from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

External Partners & Communication

Council of Great City Schools
Available in both English and Spanish, these short publications offered in grades K-12 offer a great guide for parents on what to expect and how they can support their child outside of school.

Early Edge California
A California-based nonprofit advocacy organization working to ensure all children have the early experiences necessary to be successful learners by the end of 3rd grade, setting them on a path to college and career readiness.

Get2theCore Parent Resources and Information: The nonprofit advocacy organization, Stand for Children, has put together a user-friendly set of parent resources related to the Common Core including a parent training toolkit and links to other helpful parent-focused resources about Common Core.

National Association for the Education of Young Children – Family Engagement Self-Assessment Checklist
A fantastic resource for documenting the strengths and gaps in your school or districts family engagement strategy.

National School Public Relations Association
Non-members can access a clearinghouse of resources related to communicating with stakeholders about the Common Core. Topics include general overviews, how parents can help, English language instruction, and getting ready for student testing.

English Learners

Californian’s Together
“Raise Your Voice on Behalf of English Learners: The English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit” is a useful tool for advocating for high quality instruction for English learners.

CCSSO Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards corresponding to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards
A useful framework for outlining the language practices and demands of the new standards and guidelines for aligning your state’s English Language Development standards to the Common Core and Next Generation Standards.

National Council of La Raza Common Core Implementation Guide
“Raising the Bar: Implementing Common Core State Standards for Latino Student Success” is a comprehensive guide to developing an implementation plan, addressing the needs of students and teachers, understanding assessments and engaging the community.

Understanding Language Sample ELA Unit “Persuasion Across Space and Time”
Created by the experts who work under the Understanding Language initiative from Stanford, this sample unit shows how rigorous ELA instruction can support students in reading complex texts and build on their background knowledge and rich linguistic resources.