Common Core ELA Standards
One aspect of the adoption of the Common Core is related to assessment. How do we know if students are meeting the required standards? That’s where PARCC comes in. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is committed to ensuring that today’s students have viable college and career options upon graduation, and the PARCC Assessment will be one measure to determine students’ growth and achievement with respect to these goals. First, the current curriculum of any given district needs to align with the standards so that the assessments accurately measure how students are faring with respect to Common Core-based instruction. To that end, PARCC has provided districts and states with a “Model Content Framework” for Math and English Language Arts. This Model Framework is a guidance tool that integrates the standards into a format that allows appropriate curricular planning.
The standards establish guidelines for English language arts (ELA) as well as for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Because students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, the standards promote the literacy skills and concepts required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines.
The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards form the backbone of the ELA/literacy standards by articulating core knowledge and skills, while grade-specific standards provide additional specificity. Beginning in grade 6, the literacy standards allow teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects to use their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.
It is important to note that the grade 6–12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are meant to supplement content standards in those areas, not replace them. States determine how to incorporate these standards into their existing standards for those subjects or adopt them as content area literacy standards.
The skills and knowledge captured in the ELA/literacy standards are designed to prepare students for life outside the classroom. They include critical-thinking skills and the ability to closely and attentively read texts in a way that will help them understand and enjoy complex works of literature. Students will learn to use cogent reasoning and evidence collection skills that are essential for success in college, career, and life. The standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person who is prepared for success in the 21st century.