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Roadblocks and Routes: Professional Development in Math in Common Districts

By Rebecca Perry, Stacy Marple, Frances Reade


This report describes several roadblocks that districts participating in the Math in Common (MiC) initiative faced in their early years of Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M) implementation, along with the routes that the districts took around those roadblocks in order to support teacher and student learning.

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 CCSS-M across grades K–8. This report is part of a six-part series summarizing key findings from the five-year initiative.

In working to build the understanding of different staff groups about implementing the CCSS-M, MiC districts faced several specific challenges related to how to provide effective and scalable professional development to staff, administrators, and teachers in support of CCSS-M implementation.

Despite the challenges that these roadblocks presented, they also created rich environments for innovation, problem solving, and learning across the MiC community of practice.

This report draws on years of conversation with — and observations of — MiC participants in their districts’ classrooms to offer a set of recommendations about providing effective professional development to support standards implementation. They include:

  • Developing an array of professional development strategies for differentiating in-service support to enable useful learning for all teachers
  • Examining ways to reallocate or augment funding in order to provide additional time and resources to support teachers’ collaborative work
  • Building greater math expertise across the district to support deeper learning for teachers
  • Considering how to evaluate the impact of professional development activities to ensure that they are helping staff to implement the district’s mathematics vision

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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Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2019
Format: PDF
Pages: 28
Publisher: WestEd