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The Use of Research in the Common Core State Standards
State education agencies and school districts across the country are in the midst of major changes, as they align their work with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Their decisions will have far-reaching implications for instruction, and it is important that they be informed by high-quality research. However, educators and policymakers do not always bring research to their decisions. Constraints on the decision-making process itself--financial, logistical, or political--sometimes make the careful consideration of research difficult. At other times, policymakers may feel that existing research is not suited to their context or that the gap between theory and practice is too wide. To help sort out these issues, the William T. Grant Foundation has sponsored several studies to track how research is accessed, interpreted, and used to inform policy discourse and practice. This forum will highlight how these studies can illuminate and strengthen the use of research in implementing the Common Core State Standards.
Dr. Lorraine McDonnell, University of California, Santa Barbara, will discuss how research was integrated with other types of evidence in developing the Common Core, and what the CCSS experience suggests for how research might be more effectively used in policy deliberations. Dr. Sandra Alberti, Director of State and District Partnerships and Professional Development, Student Achievement Partners, will share her experience working alongside states and districts to align their work to the Common Core using evidence-based strategies. Last, we will hear from a school district that is currently aligning its work to the Common Core. Nancy Gannon, Executive Director of the Office for Academic Quality in the New York City Department of Education will speak about how the department integrated research into selecting Common Core supports for teachers and schools.
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