Collaborating for Success: Implementing the Common Core State Standards in California


  • August 14, 2012 - August 15, 2012
  • Sofitel San Francisco Bay
    223 Twin Dolphin Drive
    Redwood City, California


Cosponsored by REL West and the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd, the California Collaborative on District Reform at AIR, and California Education Partners, this two-day symposium provided opportunities for district and county office of education teams to learn from experts and each other, engage in discussions and planning activities, and collaborate to move forward with implementation of the Common Core State Standards. 

The event stemmed from discussions with district and state leaders throughout California who requested an opportunity to learn about early implementation efforts as well as local, state, and national resources to support their efforts. Goals for participants included:

  • Deepen understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), research supporting those shifts, and the issues associated with transition and implementation.
  • Understand the paths other districts have taken thus far in implementation of the CCSS.
  • Build relationships with colleagues from other districts to strengthen professional capacity and explore potential collaborative opportunities.
  • understand the challenges districts face, assets they can build on, and key actions to take to ensure effective CCSS implementation.

Featured speakers:

  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University
  • Philip Daro, Site Field Director, Strategic Education Research Partnership
  • David Liben, Consultant, Student Achievement Partners
  • Richard Carranza, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Kenji Hakuta, Professor of Education, Stanford University
  • Michael Kirst, President, California State Board of Education

A panel of early implementing districts, moderated by Jennifer O'Day, Managing Director and Policy Analyst, Education Program, American Institutes for Research, featured:

  • Susana Cordova, Chief Academic Officer, Denver (CO) Public Schools
  • Lynn Dougherty-Underwood, Director of K-12 Literacy, Hillsborough County (FL) Public Schools
  • Christpher Steinhauser, Superintendent, Long Beach (CA) Unified School District
  • Sandy Thorstenson, Superintendent, Whittier (CA) Union High School District

California Department of Education representatives Deborah Sigman, Barbara Murchison, and Nancy Brownell presented state resources and support for CCSS implementation; Bill Honig, Chair of the Instructional Quality Commission, updated participants on California frameworks and curriculum adoptions.

In addition to role-alike discussion groups and district team work sessions, breakout sessions provided opportunites for participants engage more deeply in specific content related to CCSS implementation and to work together on challenges they face in preparing California students to achieve the Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS Communication Strategies: Understanding Your Audiences and Crafting Your Messages
  • Practical Ways to Begin Implementing the Common Core English Language Arts Standards
  • Engaging Teachers in the Shifts in English Language Arts
  • Implementing the CCSS for Mathematics at Grades K-8 as a Joint Venture: You Are Not  Alone
  • Implementing the CCSS for Mathematics at High School as a Joint Venture: You Are Not  Alone
  • English Learners and the Common Core ELA Standards: What Might Rigorous and Well-Scaffolded Instruction Look Like?
  • How Might High School Redesigns Enable More Students to Reach the CCSS?
  • Planning to Support Academic Literacy in Middle and High School Science Courses
  • Shaping the Path for 21st Century Teaching and Learning: How Districts Can Leverage Transition to CCSS as an Opportunity to More Effectively Use Technology to Engage Students and Promote Deeper Understanding
  • An Untapped Resource: Partnering with Expanded Learning Time Programs to Advance Implementation of CCSS
  • Formative Assessment Approaches from Smarter Balanced and CORE

For more information, please contact Meg Livingston Asensio,, 415-615-3196.