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Sustaining Core Strength: How Core to College States Continue Alignment Efforts Between K–12 and Higher Education

By Becca Klarin, Lisa Le Fevre


The Core to College: Preparing Students for College Readiness and Success initiative is designed to promote collaboration between the K–12 and higher education systems in implementing the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments.

WestEd has been providing evaluation services over the course of the three-year initiative, resulting in a series of reports detailing the findings.

In this sixth and final report, WestEd evaluators use a case-study approach to explore how three of the Core to College participating states continue their efforts to align K-12 and postsecondary education systems to better prepare students for college.

The case studies include details about key components of each state’s respective Core to College work, including:

  • The state’s history with systems change efforts in education
  • Key staff and organizations that “championed” the Core to College efforts and promoted cross‑system collaboration
  • Specific strategies used to align the state’s K-12 and higher education systems
  • The state’s approach to standardized assessments and course-placement policies
  • Key outcomes of the Core to College-related efforts

Key Findings

The following factors contribute to successful college- and career-readiness standards implementation:

  • Environments that foster collaboration and innovation
  • People and organizations that are well-positioned to facilitate collaboration
  • Strong cross-system networks
  • Time, money, resources, and sustainability
  • Strategy and long-term planning

Read Other Reports in the Core to College Series

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2016
Format: PDF
Pages: 26
Publisher: WestEd