These papers explore important education practices and policies. They aim to explain and provide insight into issues facing students, parents, teachers, schools, and districts. 

High School and College Readiness During the Common Core Era

February 2018

The advent of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) advanced an agenda for a set of deeper and more rigorous set of standards. Perhaps the most significant change in instructional expectations in a generation, the CCSS emergence in public education was seismic in the impact on districts, schools and classrooms. However, these changes were not significant enough in supporting Californian students abilities in pursuing a college education.

This paper discusses how the California school system can better prepare its students for university. We outline in this white paper, the problems within the California public education system that have persisted beyond the implementation of the Common Core and give a set of policy recommendations intended to improve college readiness.

Strengthening Early Math: A High Leverage Strategy for Meeting the Common Core Challenge


The challenge of not only making sure our high school graduates are sufficiently competent in math, but that more excel in math to take advantage of the increasing STEM-related jobs, may be addressed by focusing on math early in a student’s career. In fact, math success in grade 3 is as good as, if not better, than reading in predicting future academic success. Strengthening math learning from PreK to grade 3 is a powerful strategy and investment for schools and districts.

This paper explains the importance of early math and highlights effective professional development resources. It demonstrates how to align ECE and K-12 instruction and lays out an action plan to move forward.

John Smith

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Jane Smith

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