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Mar 14, 2016
Overview of the CCSSO Criteria Content Alignment in English Language Arts/LiteracyStudent Achievement PartnersJune 20141CCSSO Section B, Align to Standards ELA/LCriterion B.1: Assessing student reading and writing achievement in both ELA and literacyCriterion B.2: Focusing on complexity of textsCriterion B.3: Requiring students to read closely and use evidence from textsCriterion B.4: Requiring a range of cognitive demandCriterion B.5: Assessing writingCriterion B.6: Emphasizing vocabulary and language skills: Criterion B.7: Assessing research and inquiryCriterion B.8: Assessing speaking and listeningCriterion B.9: Ensuring high-quality items and a variety of item typesPAGE # 2
CCSSO Criterion B.1Assessing student reading and writing achievement in both ELA and literacy: The assessments are English language arts and literacy tests that are based on an aligned balance of high-quality literary and informational texts.
Key phrase: aligned balance Key phrase: high-quality PAGE # 3Aligned Balance of High-Quality TextsAligned Balance: CCR standards require an increased emphasis on informational text in the classroom and on assessments, with more informational than literary texts on high school assessments.Why? Reading informational texts is crucial for college and career readiness. The vast majority of texts that students will encounter in college and the workforce will be sophisticated nonfiction. High Quality:Texts must have the depth and quality that students need to grapple with on the path to readiness. Such texts usually are previously publishedthey have been subjected to professional selection and editing processes. Why? Because close, attentive reading of texts is required, texts should be worthy of students time. And without quality, complex texts, its not possible to develop quality, standards-aligned test questions.
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CCSSO Criterion B.2Focusing on complexity of texts: The assessments require appropriate levels of text complexity; they raise the bar for text complexity each year so students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the end of high school. Multiple forms of authentic, previously published texts are assessed, including written, audio, visual, and graphic, as technology and assessment constraints permit.
Key phrase: appropriate levels Key phrase: raise the bar PAGE # 5Emphasis on Text ComplexityAppropriate Levels: Texts are assigned to grade levels using both quantitative and qualitative tools. Data for released texts are published for stakeholders. Why is text complexity so important? Research in text complexity establishes that the greatest predictor of success in college and careers is students ability to read complex text independently and proficiently.
Raise the Bar: Also, assessments, like instruction, are raising the bar for text complexityWhy? Research has also shown that the complexity levels of the texts students have been required to read have been significantly below what is required to achieve readiness.
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CCSSO Criterion B.3Requiring students to read closely and use evidence from texts: Reading assessments consist of test questions or tasks, as appropriate, that demand that students read carefully and deeply and use specific evidence from increasingly complex texts to obtain and defend correct responses.
Key phrase: carefully and deeply Key phrase: use specific evidence PAGE # 7Reading Closely and Using EvidenceReading Carefully and Deeply: Test questions should arise from and require close reading and analysis of text. Questions should focus on the central ideas and important particulars of the text (not superficial aspects).Why? Close, attentive reading and full understanding of complex texts is requisite for students to reach readiness and is a focus of standards-based instruction.
Also, questions should assess the depth and specific requirements delineated in the standards at each grade level. Use of only traditional general reading comprehension questions is not sufficient.Why? Many such questions fail to reach the depth of textual analysis required by CCR standards, nor will such questions adequately mirror or measure instruction.
PAGE # 8Reading Closely and Using EvidenceUsing Specific Evidence: Many test questions should require students to directly point to textual evidence in support of a claim or inference.
Why? Research has shown that the ability to develop claims and support them with evidence from text(s) is crucial for college and career readiness.
Also, increasing students ability to command evidence is essential for students to make progress in reading as well as the other literacy strands.
Finally, assessments must mirror instruction, which is now focusing on textual evidence more than ever before.
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CCSSO Criterion B.4Requiring a range of cognitive demand: The assessments require all students to demonstrate a range of higher-order, analytical thinking skills in reading and writing based on the depth and complexity of college- and career-ready standards, allowing robust information to be gathered for students with varied levels of achievement.
Key word: range PAGE # 10Cognitive DemandRange of Demand:Assessments should exhibit a range of cognitive demand appropriate to CCR standards themselves, i.e., assessments truly aligned with the standards meet an appropriate distribution of demand. Why focus on cognitive demand? One of the most important aspects of rigor in ELA/literacy is students ability to read and write at the appropriate level of complexity and depth. Reaching the demand embodied in the depth and complexity of CCR standards is among the highest priorities of the standards movement.
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CCSSO Criterion B.5Assessing writing: Assessments emphasize writing tasks that require students to engage in close reading and analysis of texts so that students can demonstrate college- and career-ready abilities.
Key phrase: analysis of texts PAGE # 12Writing to SourcesAnalysis of Texts:CCR assessments shift away from a traditional emphasis on writing that calls for students to use only their prior knowledge or experience. Instead, assessments of writing focus on writing to sources, i.e., students using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Why? As mentioned under B.3, students must gain the ability to develop claims and support them with textual evidencein other words, write to sources.Also, we again see the importance of the link between instruction and assessment; as instruction embraces writing to sources, so must assessment.
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CCSSO Criterion B.6Emphasizing vocabulary and language skills: The assessments require students to demonstrate proficiency in the use of language, including vocabulary and conventions.
Key word: proficiency PAGE # 14Vocabulary and LanguageVocabulary:Test questions should reflect requirements for college and career readiness by focusing on general academic (tier 2) words, asking students to use context to determine meaning, and assessing words that are important to the central ideas of the text.Why? Vocabulary knowledge is essential to college and career readiness. Nearly a century of research has shown the strong correlation between students vocabulary levels and disparities in reading comprehension and academic achievement. PAGE # 15Vocabulary and LanguageLanguage:Test questions should mirror real-world activities (e.g., actual editing or revision, actual writing) and focus on common student errors and those conventions most important for readiness. Why? To build a foundation for college and career readiness in language, students must gain control over many conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics as well as learn other ways to use language to convey meaning effectively.
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CCSSO Criterion B.7Assessing research and inquiry: The assessments require students to demonstrate research and inquiry skills, demonstrated by the ability to find, process, synthesize, organize, and use information from sources.PAGE # 17
CCSSO Criterion B.8Assessing speaking and listening: Over time, and as assessment advances allow, the assessments measure the speaking and listening communication skills students need for college and career readiness.PAGE # 18
CCSSO Criterion B.9Ensuring high-quality items and a variety of item types: High-quality items and a variety of types are strategically used to appropriately assess the standard(s).
Key phrase: high-quality Key phrase: strategically used PAGE # 19Importance of Item Quality and VarietyHigh Quality:The previous eight criteria underlie this one. Items are high quality when they are based on complex text and are text dependent. Questions and prompts calling for writing are high quality when they are text based. Vocabulary and language questions have quality when they focus on requirements for readiness. Strategically Used: A variety of item types is requisite to assess the full depth and complexity of CCR standards. PAGE # 20CCSSO Section BThe CCSSO Section B criteria are based on key findings about college and career readiness in ELA/literacy. To be ready by the end of high school, students must:Be adept at reading high-quality, informational texts as well as literature (B.1).Regularly encounter texts with appropriate and challenging text complexity (B.2).Continually read and think deeply (B.3, B.4).Use and cite textual evidence in support of claims and inferences (B.3, B.5, B.9).Be proficient in vocabulary, language, and research (B.6. B.7), as well as speaking and listening (B.8).PAGE # 21