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Supporting High-Quality Teaching with the New Standards


California has adopted a new set of academic standards in mathematics, English Language Arts, and science. Faithful implementation of these standards will improve students’ readiness for life in the 21st century.

Shifting to these new standards is a significant undertaking for educators across the state. To support teachers, leaders and students in shifting their practice, the Foundation has two initiatives underway: Math in Common® and CA K–8 NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. These initiatives help districts provide the professional development, instructional resources and leadership capacity necessary for educators and students to successfully master the new standards in math and science.

Foundation Grantees Include:

Math in Common®

Through the Foundation’s Math in Common® Initiative, ten school districts serving over 300,000 California youth are leading the way by developing and enacting thoughtful plans to implement Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M) in grades K–8. Over a five-year period, participating districts are helping educators address the new standards by: providing professional development opportunities to support strong instructional practices; updating instructional materials to align with CCSS-M; building leadership capacity throughout the participating districts; and developing strong evaluation plans, including formative and summative measures.

Together, these districts are part of a community of practice in which they share their progress and successes, as well as their challenges and what they have learned. Ultimately, the Foundation intends that the learning from these districts will be used to inform CCSS-M implementation statewide. The Foundation is partnering with California Education Partners and WestEd in this effort.

NGSS Early Implementers Initiative

The NGSS Early Implementers Initiative is a four-year demonstration project to support eight California school districts in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Initiative is led by WestEd’s K-12 Alliance in partnership with the California State Board of Education and Achieve; the Initiative is also a component of the California Department of Education’s NGSS implementation plan.

The Initiative consists of leadership training for teachers and administrators, teacher professional development in content and pedagogy to meet the shifts required by NGSS, and support to develop and implement a K–8 districtwide NGSS implementation plan. Participating districts also form a cross-district learning community to share best practices and address problems of practices.