The Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards were adopted in the early 2010s in most U.S. states across to high hopes of improving educational achievement and equity. Almost a decade later, there is little evidence of the hoped-for improvements at the state and national level. However, state and national averages obscure gains that occurred in particular schools and districts. This article shares findings from studies of successes in multiple states and in Chicago. The research shows that improvement was most likely when teachers engage in professional learning that is both flexible and specific, incorporates collaboration, focuses on practice, and offers guidance in using resources.

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in Phi Delta Kappan, 105(1), September 2023 by Phi Delta Kappa International. All rights reserved. © 2023