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What Accelerates a Community of Practice? Inflection Points That Changed the Course of the Math in Common Initiative

By Rebecca Perry, Stacy Marple, Frances Reade


Modeled on successful practices in business and healthcare, education-focused networks embody the belief that a group of organizations or individuals can learn more quickly and effectively by working together than by working in isolation.

This report describes the trajectory of the Math in Common (MiC) Community of Practice (CoP), including both its missteps and its successes, in the hope that designers or participants of other formal or informal CoPs can leverage the MiC experience and make progress more quickly in their own collaborations.

The Math in Common® (MiC) initiative, funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, supported a formal network of 10 California school districts as they implemented the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M) across grades K–8. This report is part of a six-part series summarizing key findings from the five-year initiative.

The report identifies seven inflection points — that is, points where the trajectory of the MiC CoP changed — that occurred roughly midway through the CoP, altering its trajectory by accelerating learning, and leading to more productive collaborative work.

Read this report to learn how these inflection points prompted a shift in the CoP, from thinking broadly about implementation to focusing on far more specific aspects of districts’ shared work to implement CCSS-M–aligned mathematics instruction.

Download this report and the Evaluation Brief to learn more.

Read the entire series of summative evaluation reports and the Executive Summary at

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Copyright: 2019
Format: PDF
Pages: 36
Publisher: WestEd