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Case Studies

Following two years of extensive data collection in eight sites throughout the country, Research for Action (RFA) has produced case studies to illustrate how LDC tools have been adopted in different settings and contexts, and which approaches and supports have contributed to the successful adoption and use of the tools.

Learn more about Research for Action LDC studies.

Enacting Common Core Instruction: A Comparative Study of the Use of LDC Literacy Tools in Three Sites


By Research for Action, 2014: Jessica K. Beaver, Ph.D. and Rebecca Reumann-Moore, Ph.D.

Abstract:

In 2010, Research for Action (RFA) began a comprehensive, multi-year study of the scale-up and sustainability of the LDC Framework tools. In 2012-13, RFA conducted case study research on the implementation of LDC in three separate locations across the country: Kenton County, Kentucky (a medium-size urban/suburban district); Hillsborough County, Florida (a large urban district); and Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, Pennsylvania (a regional educational service agency). The three case studies illustrate how LDC tools were adopted in different settings and contexts, and which approaches and supports contributed to the successful adoption and use of the tools. 

This report provides cross-case analyses that identify the following:

  • Common best practices
  • Distinct approaches
  • Areas of opportunity

These analyses are grounded in the LDC Theory of Action, which contains three related conditions necessary for effective scale-up of LDC:

  • Effective leadership at multiple levels
  • Alignment with the CCSS, curricula, and state assessments
  • Meaningful and ongoing professional learning opportunities (PLOs)

 

Findings

  • Even within vastly different implementation contexts, there are common strategies and approaches to LDC implementation. These “Common Best Practices” are strategies that were employed in each of the three case study sites and were central to each site’s overall LDC approach.
  • The three sites also adopted “Distinct Approaches” that reflected their specific educational environments, and that took into account both their unique strengths and their recognized shortcomings.
  • Implementation Leaders across the sites noted that there were opportunities for improved implementation of the LDC tools. Describing these “Areas of Opportunity” in detail makes practitioners and policymakers aware of potential challenges during implementation process.

Enacting Common Core Instruction: How Intermediate Unit 13 Leveraged 
Its Position as an Educational Service Agency to Implement and Scale the LDC Initiative

Philadelphia: Research for Action. December 2013
By

Abstract:

 

Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit (IU 13) provides an example of how an intermediary educational service unit – or other regional organizations in other states – can offer leadership, leverage resources, and build district capacity to effectively use literacy tools aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and scale such initiatives. This approach to the implementation and scaling of a CCSS-aligned literacy framework also provides useful lessons for how states with similar entities can approach elements of their CCSS strategy. 

This document describes how Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) implemented the LDC initiative. It is composed of the following sections:

  • A brief overview of the educational reform and policy context in Pennsylvania and IU 13;
  • A summary of IU 13’s approach to LDC implementation—balancing the strengths and limitations of their role as an educational service agency; and,
  • Descriptions of 10 IU 13-initiated strategies, organized by the three supporting conditions depicted in the Theory of Action, that have impacted early adoption and success of the LDC initiative. 

Enacting Common Core Instruction: Strong Central Management and Strategic Delegation of Responsibility Drove Implementation of LDC in Florida's Hillsborough County Public Schools

Philadelphia: Research for Action. May 2013
By

Abstract:

 

This document describes how Hillsborough County Public Schools implemented the LDC initiative. It is comprised of the following sections: 

  • A brief overview of the educational reform and policy context in Florida and Hillsborough; 
  • A summary of Hillsborough’s hybrid approach to LDC implementation: strong central management combined with incremental and strategic delegation of responsibility; and, 
  • Descriptions of eight district-initiated strategies that have impacted early adoption and success of the LDC initiative.

The Trailblazer: Kenton County School District


By Katie Cristol and Brinton S. Ramsey

Abstract:

 

In Common Core in the Districts: An Early Look at Early Implementers (2014), Education First researchers Katie Cristol and Brinton S. Ramsey, in collaboration with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, profile four “early implementer” school districts to examine factors that are key to successful implementations of standards-based reform: communications, leadership, curricular materials, professional development, and assessment and accountability.

Part Three of the Fordham report (District Case Studies) presents four case studies, the first of which, The Trailblazer: Kenton County School District, profiles Kenton County (KY)—a key LDC district—now in its fourth year of implementation. 

Enacting Common Core Instruction: How School District Leadership Drove Implementation of LDC and MDC in Kenton County, KY

Philadelphia: Research for Action. December 2012
By

Abstract:

 

This document describes how Kenton County used district-level leadership to roll out the LDC and MDC tools. It is comprised of the following sections: 

  • A brief overview of the educational reform context in Kentucky and Kenton County; 
  • A description of the central role of Kenton County district leaders in shaping the early success of MDC and LDC implementation; and 
  • An overview and description of seven district-led strategies that have impacted early adoption and success of the MDC and LDC initiatives. 

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