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Brief One: LDC and MDC Theory of Action and the Landscape of Implementation

To support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in the development and dissemination of two tools aimed at operationalizing classroom instruction based on the standards: the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)’s Framework and the Math Design Collaborative (MDC)’s Formative Assessment Lessons. These tools stress teachers’ attention to high quality instructional tasks, use of formative assessments embedded in those tasks, and professional learning opportunities that focus on both content knowledge and instruction. The first of four briefs on the LDC/MDC initiatives based on two years of research, Brief One presents key background information that will be referred to throughout the other three briefs. To describe the implementation and the scale-up of the LDC/MDC initiative, this brief includes: 1) The Theory of Action, which provides a comprehensive organizing framework for the presentation of our research results; 2) A national overview of the initiative, highlighting the extent of training on the LDC and MDC tools across the United States; 3) A detailed look at changes to the number of schools and teachers involved across Research for Action’s four LDC and four MDC study sites; 4) A description of our research methodology; and, 5) A short summary of Briefs 2, 3, and 4.