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Leveraging Opportunities for Instructional Excellence: Implementing the Common Core

Meeting 23
November 21-22, 2013
Sacramento, California

The California Collaborative on District Reform convened in Sacramento for a two-day meeting, Leveraging Opportunities for Instructional Excellence: Implementing the Common Core. The meeting explored many of the opportunities and challenges facing California districts as they integrate the Common Core into classroom instruction, including the development and use of curriculum and instructional materials, capacity building efforts for teachers and leaders, shifts required at all levels of our K-12 systems, and identification and allocation of resources to support the work. Meeting participants used some of the efforts underway in Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD)—including an exploration of the district’s teacher-developed units of study and a conversation with a panel of principals and teachers—as a way of addressing broad themes of implementation facing all districts. All meeting participants received a briefing book of resources and literature on the SCUSD context and its approach to developing units of study, instruction for English learners within the Common Core, professional learning around the Common Core, and efforts to leverage resources and align systems in support of Common Core implementation. These resources are available below.

Meeting Summary (PDF 201 KB)


Briefing Book

Presentation Slides

Practice Brief produced as an outcome from Meeting 23.

California Collaborative Releases a New Brief on Common Core Implementation in Sacramento City USD (PDF, 1.26 MB)
March 2014

As district leaders search for the best ways to improve student learning with the Common Core State Standards, some early implementers are giving us an opportunity to learn from their experience. This brief describes Sacramento City Unified School District’s approach to developing units of study that guide teachers’ classroom practice. The units provide a valuable tool for designing curriculum and instructional materials, but just as importantly, they have driven teacher capacity building and engagement teachers in the implementation of the new standards. The brief examines the units of study strategy as it has unfolded in Sacramento, identifies some of the key points of evolution since the district began its work three years ago, and discusses some of the challenges and tensions facing districts that might employ a similar approach.