Using Common Assignments to Strengthen Teaching and Learning

The Common Assignment Study (CAS) is a three-year effort being led by the Colorado Education Initiative and the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative was designed to address the gap between educators’ current instructional practice and the level of practice necessary to dramatically increase the number of students who master the knowledge and skills called for in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Conceptually, CAS builds on previous efforts to improve instruction through the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). LDC’s template-task approach to supporting key instructional shifts has demonstrated utility for teachers working to enhance literacy instruction across multiple content areas. RFA serves as the evaluator for the CAS; additional technical and implementation support for the project is being provided by multiple organizations including Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning & Equity (SCALE), Westat, and the Center for Assessment.