ETW’s New Practice Brief Offers Guidelines to Support Equitable Common Core Implementation Efforts


Dear Friends and Supporters:

With Governor Brown’s announcement of an unprecedented $1.25 billion dollars to accelerate Common Core implementation, the Education Trust—West releases a new brief, The One Billion Dollar Question: How Can Districts and Schools Equitably Implement the Common Core? The brief is designed to be an easy-to-use primer for district, charter, county, and community leaders to assess local Common Core implementation efforts based on best practices nationally and in California.

The Common Core State Standards are comprised of rigorous academic standards which can, when implemented with sufficient supports, help us close persistent achievement gaps. All students must have access to the deeper learning expectations and experiences called out in the new standards. However, many students—English learners, students with learning disabilities and students struggling academically—require targeted supports to ensure their success.

The brief opens with a basic needs assessment consisting of a series of questions that school, district, charter, and county leaders can use to determine their readiness for and progress toward effective and equitable Common Core implementation. Then it lays out potential investments schools and districts might make in the three areas (professional development, instructional materials and technology) that can be funded with the $1.25 billion dollars to accelerate equitable Common Core implementation. In addition to these suggestions, the brief identifies potential pitfalls schools and districts should avoid. For some Local Education Agencies (LEA’’s) such as Sacramento City, the extra funding will boost thoughtful implementation efforts already underway. For others, it will jumpstart activity that has yet—but urgently needs—to begin. In either case, the brief is an accessible way for local education and community leaders to determine the strength of their efforts to implement the instructional, technological, and curricular changes necessary to effectively and equitably implement the new Common Core standards and the statewide assessments scheduled for 2014-2015.

Click here to get a copy of the brief. 


Arun Ramanathan, Ed.D.
Executive Director

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.