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Common Assignment Study

The Common Assignment Study brings together local educators and experts to develop exemplary units of study that embody the Common Core State Standards and enhance literacy across the curriculum. It is a three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The common units of study will build on the work of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), with common writing tasks and instructional modules serving as the cornerstone of the common units. In addition to developing units of study, the project seeks to explore the use of the units to support instructional improvement at scale as well as the utility of common units to inform conclusions about individual educator performance. Additionally, an exploratory study will be conducted to examine whether the LDC assessments can be used as part of an embedded teacher evaluation system focusing on curriculum based learning.

The project was launched in May 2013 in Colorado and Kentucky under the leadership of The Colorado Education Initiative and the Kentucky Department of Education. Through targeted professional development modules and site-based feedback, SCALE supports teachers’ development of units of study and provides technical assistance for implementation.

Key Deliverables

  • Enhanced district capacity to lead teachers in the continuing development of common units of study
  • Bank of exemplary assignments aligned with Common Core State Standards for use by participating districts
  • Report detailing research findings related to instructional improvement and educator performance


Currently in its initial phases, the project anticipates completion in 2016.

For more information, visit or contact Daisy Martin or Nicole Renner.