ISR Awards

Planning Grant to The Spencer Foundation: ?Under Construction: The Rise, Spread, and Consequences of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in American Education?

The planning grant will support the preparation of a major grant proposal submission to the Spencer Foundation. The proposal that we are planning to submit is tentatively entitled, ?Under Construction: The Rise, Spread, and Consequences of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in American Education.? The research we are proposing to conduct is multifaceted in nature and has been discussed on several occasions with Spencer Foundation officers and board members. At the broadest level, the research involves studying how the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative has been shaped by (and is shaping) organizational processes in the American education sector as whole. At an intermediate level, the research will examine how state education systems are organizing for instructional improvement in light of the CCSS initiative and with what consequences for local educational organization and instructional practice. The research also will include a targeted study of the extent to which the CCSS is leading to new patterns of instructional practice in schools and the conditions that affect any such trends. And finally, the research will include studies examining the extent to which the CCSS initiative is leading to changes in the stratification of student achievement outcomes within and between states in the US.

Purpose of Planning Grant Request. The planning grant funds requested here will: (a) provide salary support for Cohen, Reardon, and Rowan to plan for and prepare the major grant proposal; (b) provide salary support for research assistance by a small number of professional research staff and graduate students; and (c) fund travel so that Cohen, Reardon, and Rowan can meet with each other and collaborators in the proposed research. The planning grant period (as proposed) will run from September 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. During this four month period, Cohen, Reardon, and Rowan will prepare an extensive research proposal for submission to the Spencer Foundation and revise the submitted proposal in response to feedback from reviewers, all in preparation for a proposal submission by November 1, 2015 and a potential launch of the proposed scope of work by January 1, 2016.

Planning Grant Goals and Activities: The following document ?Overview of Spencer Planning Grant Activities?, describes planning work in four research domains: (1) studies of developments in the education sector as a whole; (2) studies of intergovernmental policy implementation processes; (3) studies of instructional change; and (4) studies of student achievement outcomes. In all domains, the researchers most centrally involved in the domain will work with collaborators to identify and schedule specific research studies, develop detailed research methods and analytic procedures for these studies, and develop detailed budgets accordingly. There is also a ?joint planning? component that involves harmonizing budgets and research processes across domains in order to build a coherent research plan within the budgetary limits set by the Spencer Foundation for this research program.