A Tool Designed for Transition

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) articulate inspiring, ambitious goals for student learning. The CCSS elevates what educators have always known to be good instruction – including development of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.

But the change required of school- and classroom-level practices is great: the translation of these goals into results for students will require significant shifts in instruction, professional learning, and school leadership in most schools.

This tool and the accompanying resources are designed to help you identify where your school is in the implementation journey – and how to drive forward to the next level of success for teachers and students.


The Importance of Contrast

Core Ready Schools is:

  • A springboard to support continuous improvement regarding implementation of CCSS, and a vehicle for organizing reflection and planning.
  • A reminder of a core set of practices and processes that are foundational to schools’ ability to make progress on improving instruction. The self-assessment highlights the deeply professional, collaborative nature of the work to implement the CCSS within a school.
  • Part of a multi-year endeavor: Meeting the goals of the CCSS requires schools to invest in and monitor efforts across multiple school years, and this tool is designed to support that work over time. The self-assessment results should be revisited (and the self-assessment taken again) in six months, a year, two years, and so on.

Core Ready Schools is NOT:

  • For accountability or evaluation
  • A compliance exercise or turn-key solution to implementation challenges
  • Separate from, or an add-on to, your school’s ongoing improvement efforts. We urge your school’s instructional staff to think about these self-assessment results in context of existing school improvement plans, frameworks, and/or processes.
Click to see what Core Ready Schools IS NOT
Who Should Use

Who Should Use This Tool?

Each school’s principal and leadership team should carefully consider how the self-assessment and planning processes are introduced to the school community. The tool is designed to be used by a variety of stakeholders in a school community from the principal to classroom teachers.

The optimal way to sequence participation in the self-assessment will vary by school; for the first administration of the self-assessment, your school may want to start with just the principal and leadership team(1), or begin by eliciting responses from the entire staff(2).

At the very least, the school principal and leadership team members should complete the self-assessment to support a discussion about what implementation of the CCSS means and how to formulate next steps, including whether others should also take the self-assessment


Using the Tool at a School Level

The goal of this tool is to help you honestly assess your school’s progress against the seven indicators necessary for implementation of the CCSS, and to organize your thinking about how to move forward with those implementation efforts.

The school leadership team members should consider taking the self-assessment individually as well as collaboratively, or both. Once the leadership team and other school staff have completed the self-assessment, the team should carefully review responses, taking particular note of aggregate scores as well as areas of consensus vs. disagreement regarding current conditions.

Factors that may contribute to an individual’s assessment rating may include classroom observations, professional learning taking place in the school and student work.  You will receive a customized report that indicates your self-assessment results and includes links to CCSS implementation resources that can help you plan next steps.


Using the Tool at a District Level

A final note of guidance for districts: This self-assessment tool is designed to facilitate candid reflection at the school level. We strongly encourage any district interested in disseminating the tool to its schools to carefully preserve the non-evaluative intent of the self-assessment.

Schools participating in a district-wide administration of the self-assessment should experience a “bottom up” opportunity to share with their district what they need to successfully transition to the new standard.

Districts should also think carefully about how they can link the self-assessment results to other district structures and conversations already in place for school improvement (such as planning templates, meetings and check-ins with principals, etc.) to ensure that CCSS implementation plans are fully integrated into each school’s ongoing efforts to advance teaching and learning.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions? We’ve collected answers to many of the most frequently asked questions to help you better understand the tool and how it can work for you.