C-SAIL Blog

Learn about standards implementation directly from stakeholders across the system – teachers, principals, policymakers, and researchers.

The views expressed by the C-SAIL bloggers do not represent the views of the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) or its funder, the Institute for Education Sciences (IES).

Adam Edgerton | February 27, 2017

Does nostalgia, or a policy environment's shared emotion toward education, influence implementation? How can we measure nostalgia to inform implementation? C-SAIL's Adam Edgerton weighs-in on the importance of understanding local context.

Laura Desimone | February 22, 2017

C-SAIL co-director Laura Desimone discusses how district leaders, principals, and teachers in Texas and Ohio differ in their perceptions of their states' policy environments.

Katie Pak | February 13, 2017

Highlights from C-SAIL's November 18 conference on state standards implementation with key administrators in our partner states California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas. Our panelists discussed their states' unique contexts, innovations, implementation challenges, upcoming initiatives, and advice for other states.

Guest Blogger: Rolf Blank | February 9, 2017

A new online reporting tool, developed in part using C-SAIL's research on state assessments, provides state and local education leaders with up-to-date details on state STEM assessment policies.

Morgan Polikoff | January 31, 2017

There is a high demand for rapid evidence about policy effects, and the early evidence often contributes overwhelmingly to shaping the narrative about whether policies are working or not. But are we rushing the research? asks Morgan Polikoff.

Morgan Polikoff | January 3, 2017

For the past dozen years the primary metric for measuring school performance in most states has been the proficiency rate. But a new regulation from the Department of Education allowing performance indexes go a long way toward improving the design of accountability policy and reducing unintended consequences, says Morgan Polikoff.

Adam Edgerton | November 10, 2016

With the Obama administration drawing to a close and the Department of Education partially retreating from 15 years of highly active, interventionist education policy, Adam Edgerton analyzes the effects of the signature Obama education policy, Race to the Top.

Shira Korn, Martin Gamboa, Morgan Polikoff | November 3, 2016

Not all Common Core states are created equal say researchers after comparing the text of Common Core standards in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

Laura Desimone | October 31, 2016

Laura Desimone gives a sneak peak of Year 1 Implementation Study findings from Massachusetts and Ohio.

Nelson Flores | October 10, 2016

Eighteen years after California voters passed Proposition 227, "The English in Public Schools Statue," voters have the opportunity to turn around one of its major provisions that creates barriers to bilingual education.

Morgan Polikoff | September 12, 2016

It's education policy poll season, revealing the tide of public opinion on national and state K-12 issues and raising questions about how policymakers will respond.

Katie Pak | September 7, 2016

Although the U.S. employs more reading specialists than other countries, kids report very low levels of reading enjoyment. How can we better engage students?

Nelson Flores | August 31, 2016

What do the major party platforms have to say about the education of English language learners?

Andy Porter | August 25, 2016

Are teachers more likely to teach, and therefore students more likely to learn, what is tested than what is intended by the state content standards? Probably. But there's more to the story.

Morgan Polikoff | August 15, 2016

Stories of standardized testing snafus are becoming increasingly common. It's crucial that education leaders turn the trend around.

Nelson Flores | August 4, 2016

ESSA improves upon challenges English language learners faced under NCLB, but is it enough?

Katie Pak | August 1, 2016

New education reforms in India can teach the United States lessons in stakeholder engagement, national standards, and aligned assessments. Researcher Katie Pak reports from India.

Morgan Polikoff | July 26, 2016

Dear U.S. Department of Education, Morgan Polikoff has a recommendation for a better way to measure school performance.

Nelson Flores | July 18, 2016

By failing to prioritize bilingualism in college- and career-readiness standards, U.S. education policy is missing a crucial element in preparing students to be global citizens.

Katie Pak | July 5, 2016

Our interactive maps incorporate high quality data from multiple sources, fill in knowledge gaps, and use state-verified data to culminate in the most comprehensive, well-researched, and current tool documenting college- and career-readiness standards implementation across 50 states.

Morgan Polikoff | June 28, 2016

If standards reform is all about alignment, why is alignment so difficult to achieve?

Katie Pak | June 22, 2016

Standardized tests can be helpful instruments if implemented in the right ways, in reasonable dosages, for the right end goals. But recent reforms have caused unintended consequences that cost students, teachers, and school districts.

Andy Porter | June 16, 2016

Why have two decades of standards reform been mostly inconsequential, and how does C-SAIL propose to change that?

Laura Desimone | June 9, 2016

What gives a policy power and what role does power play in standards-based reform? Laura Desimone discusses a second attribute of the policy attributes theory which guides C-SAIL's research.

Morgan Polikoff | May 31, 2016

Who opposes the Common Core? The answer might surprise you.

Katie Pak | May 23, 2016

These days, decisions to retain, revise, or replace statewide college- and career- readiness standards appear constantly in the news. In fact, the increasingly political nature of the Common Core State Standards, in particular, has stirred state activity to such an extent that legislators introduced over 770 bills concerning academic standards in 2015 alone. In this post, Katie Pak provides a downloadable overview of state legislative CCR activity since 2011 and discusses what our partner states are doing.

Nelson Flores | May 16, 2016

Is requiring schools and districts to report student subgroup data enough to ensure a quality education for America's English language learners? What do the Common Core State Standards say about the unique needs of ELL students?

Andy Porter | May 13, 2016

Last month, Michigan state superintendent Brian Whiston told legislators he wants to overhaul the state's assessment system, including an 'age-appropriate' component for kindergarten students. But how much testing is too much, and how young is too young for standardized testing?

Laura Desimone | April 28, 2016

Teachers play an important role in giving a policy authority, as part of stakeholder buy-in, which is necessary if standards implementation is to be successful, Laura Desimone explains.

Andy Porter | April 19, 2016

In Andy Porter’s AERA Distinguished Contributions to Education Research Award lecture in Washington, D.C., this week he discussed the history of standards-based reform and C-SAIL’s upcoming contributions.

Morgan Polikoff | April 14, 2016

Standards-aligned materials are only useful if teachers find them and use them, says Morgan Polikoff. In this post, he describes how C-SAIL’s original intervention might be the missing link to successful reform, by bringing resources directly to the classroom door.

Andy Porter | April 8, 2016

C-SAIL director Andy Porter and IES project officer James Benson discuss the Center’s key questions and goals for the years ahead.

Andy Porter | April 4, 2016

Policies can become effective through five different characteristics. In this post, C-SAIL director Andy Porter compares the Every Student Succeeds Act to No Child Left Behind in two notable characteristics, power and authority.

Katie Pak | March 30, 2016

Now that ESSA authorizes states to be the agenda setters for their respective educational systems, Pak revisits Follett’s book on state departments of education and their role in standards implementation and capacity-building.