This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • Implementing college- and career-ready standards and aligned, high-quality assessments for all students
  • Using data-based decision-making to improve instructional practices, policies, and student outcomes

Related work:
REL Southwest
Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance



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Supporting the Implementation of the C-SAIL Study

The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) was established in July 2015 with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education to serve as an objective source of information on the full breadth of college- and career-ready standards adopted by states. C-SAIL is conducting four studies, including the development and testing of a new intervention designed to support implementation of CCR standards in the classroom. This research agenda will produce usable information that will inform practitioners and policy makers engaged in the implementation of CCR standards. The studies also examine experiences and effects for subgroups, including students with disabilities (SWDs), English Language Learners (ELLs), and low-achieving students.

TXCC will provide support in developing and implementing protocols for recruitment, survey administration, and data analysis and serve as a thought partner to TEA to ensure that the study provides data that will inform CCR policy and practice in Texas. The full five-state study will generate a more complete picture of how CCR standards are being implemented in the classroom.

Previous Work Updates



TXCC staff facilitated communication and relationship building between the research team at the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) and new Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff who are partnering with the researchers. Results for the spring 2016 multi-state survey and interviews will be formally presented at a C-SAIL conference planned for November 18, 2016, in Washington, D.C.


TXCC staff collaborated with Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff and the research team from the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) to finalize the first round of data collection for the Implementation Study in Texas. The C-SAIL research team concluded the spring 2016 implementation survey administration in June and reported a high level of participation at the district, principal, and teacher level in response to the survey. Analysis of the data collected is underway. The preliminary results of the survey will be shared with TEA staff in late summer and a final report will be shared in the fall of 2016. District level interviews are being conducted throughout the summer, and the data will be shared with TEA in late summer. Penny Schwinn, the Deputy Commissioner of Academics at TEA, has taken on the role of the state champion for the study.


TXCC staff assisted Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff in providing guidance and support to the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) team in administering the implementation survey to all participating districts at the district and campus levels. Data leads from TEA and TXCC coordinated to fulfill an additional data request from the research team to manage the survey administration database. The final recruitment phase for the C-SAIL implementation study was launched in April. TXCC and TEA collaborated with C-SAIL to draft and send a second letter from the state champion endorsing the study to superintendents in districts reviewing study participation. Recruitment will conclude in mid-May. Survey administration will continue through early June in participating districts.


Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) staff collaborated with Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff and the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction and Learning (C-SAIL) research team to conduct ongoing outreach to districts for recruitment as well as the launch of the spring college- and career-readiness standards implementation survey. TXCC staff provided TEA and C-SAIL staff with coaching and modeling of recruitment strategies and consultation on protocol reviews before administering the survey in participating districts. The survey administration process began in select districts and will continue on a rolling basis as additional districts are recruited for the study. Data collection through district- and campus-level surveys will continue through early June.


Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) and Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff collaborated as expert reviewers for the surveys developed for the Center on Standards, Assessment, Instruction and Learning (C-SAIL) Implementation Study to ensure that language and wording were appropriate for the Texas context. Six versions of the survey were developed by the C-SAIL team with questions tailored to the roles of district staff. The six versions include a survey for a district administrator in the area of college- and career-readiness (CCR), a principal-level survey, and a specific version by content area for teachers of English Language Arts, Math, English Language Learners, and Special Education. The district administrator survey was designed to collect information about the district’s policy, support, and guidance for implementation of CCR standards. The principal survey was designed to collect information about principals’ instructional and organizational leadership and their guidance and support for standards implementation. The teacher survey was designed to collect information about teachers’ CCR standards implementation in their classrooms, as it relates to instructional practices, standards-aligned curricular materials, and student assessments. The teacher survey will also include questions about professional development and the availability and sufficiency of supports that teachers receive from various sources, including such materials as detailed curriculum guides, frameworks, and/or pacing sequences. The surveys will be administered to participating districts across Texas using an online format beginning in March 2016.


TXCC and Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff coordinated the distribution of the letter to district superintendents from Chief Deputy Commissioner, Lizzette Gonzalez-Reynolds, introducing the C-SAIL study and endorsing participation. The C-SAIL research team and TXCC staff collaborated on outreach activities with districts that included conference calls and email communications to ensure districts were aware of the opportunity to participate and TEA’s support of the study. TXCC staff and TEA staff will continue to support the C-SAIL team with outreach activities, data requests, and review of study materials including the review of surveys drafted by the research team.



The TXCC team met with Texas Education Agency (TEA) leadership to discuss next steps to support the study launch in Texas, including district outreach by the research team. For the initial outreach to selected district superintendents, TXCC and TEA agreed on an email from TEA to introduce and inform Texas superintendents about the study and endorse participation by districts. TXCC, TEA, and the research team from the the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) are collaborating to develop and customize the email with relevant Texas-specific details prior to TEA sending the email in January. Additionally, the TEA implementation coordinator role was established, and the TXCC state coordinator and the TEA coordinator began to share biweekly updates from the research team. Data leads from TEA and TXCC coordinated fulfilling the data requests from the research team that will support district and school level randomization for the study. The TXCC team will review and provide ongoing feedback about the study sample, outreach activities, and materials produced by the C-SAIL study team.


The TXCC team began planning with Texas Education Agency (TEA) leadership for participation in a study by the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL). TXCC collaborated with TEA staff and the C-SAIL research team to establish and define study roles as well as timelines for collecting and sharing data with the research team. TXCC coordinated meetings with TEA staff and biweekly conference calls with the C-SAIL team to support the launch of the C-SAIL implementation study. TXCC also supported TEA in collecting and sharing data with the C-SAIL team in order to determine the sample for the study.