Downey Unified School District


Downey Unified School District wanted support for their 3rd through 8th grade teachers as they transitioned to the more demanding requirements of the Common Core State Standards.

Action Plan:

The UCLA Curtis Center collaborated with district leaders on a three-year plan. Each year teachers participated in:

  • a 60-hour summer institute aimed at improving teacher content knowledge through hands-on, interactive lessons that showcase the standards for mathematical practice.
  • In-person support to help teachers write grade-appropriate, mathematically-strong lessons
  • Classroom-based coaching to support teachers participating in a modified Japanese Lesson Study program.


Independent assessors reported that teachers showed large and statistically significant increases in content knowledge. 93% of teachers reported an increase in content knowledge and 95% felt they were provided with new instructional strategies.