HANDOUT – Please See the Handout on Key Shifts in ELAOverall, with Common Core, MD has identified 10 instructional shifts. Schools across the state have started implementing them over the past three years for rigorous instruction and also in preparation for the next generation assessments from PARCC.
However, while the Common Core State Standards are a critical first step, they alone will not bring about the instructional changes necessary to improve student achievement and attainment. Creating common assessments grounded in common standards is the logical next step and will ensure the new standards truly reach every classroomU.S Department of Education set aside $350 million of Race to the Top funding for awards to consortia of states to design and develop common K-12 assessment systems aligned to common, college- and career-ready standards. In Sept. 2010, the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)
The types of questions on the performance based assessments are similar in format at the elementary, middle, and high school level. There are 2 types of questions and 3 types of tasks that each student will encounter in grades 3-11.These are – Evidence Based Selected Responses and Prose Constructed Responses.Of the PCRs, the assessment can focus on narrative writing, literary analysis, and research simulation.
At the elementary level,Grade 4 includes -4 Evidence Based Selected Response items (EBSR)-2 Technology – Enhanced Constructed Response Items (TECR)-1 Prose Constructed Response item (PCR)Students read a purpose setting statement for the task and then read the first passage. After answering EBSR and TECR items, they read a second passage and answer more multiple choice questions. These prepare them topically to respond in an essay form to the Prose Constructed Response item.
This is an example of an evidence based selected response where students are asked “Which statement best expresses one of the themes of the story?” Part B requires students to select the best text evidence to support their choice from Part A.
This is an example of a drag and drop technology enhanced item through which students can demonstrate their ability to select additional text evidence from the story.
After reading a second passage and answering similar questions, students will see the Prose Constructed Response question:It reads:“You have read two stories where one family member saves another. Write an essay describing the mosquito from “Cricket and Cougar” and one of the main characters from ‘Kira-Kira.’ For each character described, Explain how the thoughts, words, and/ or actions of the character help you understand what the character is like. Explain why the character chooses to save his or her family member. Be sure to include specific details from each story to support your ideas.”This combines language standards for grammar use and word choice with W.4.2 – Write informative/explanatory texts, W.4.4 – produce coherent writing with good organization, and W.4.9 – draw evidence from literary texts to support analysis.
At the Middle School Level, the texts in this case are informational and require writing to sources rather than to a de-contextualized or generalized prompt Students have to draw evidence from the text and cite this evidence clearly and summarize information for later use. This incorporates standards:RI.7.1 (use of evidence); RI.7.2 (summary of text); RI.7.10 (read complex texts).W.7.2 (writing to explain or inform); W.7.4 (writing coherently); W.7.9 (drawing evidence from texts).L.7.1-3 (grammar and conventions).As you can see, the PARCC test consistently combines several standards into one question.
An evidence based response item could be identifying three claims that one could make based on the article, which incorporates:RI.7.1 (use of evidence).RI.7.8 (author’s claims and evidence).RI.7.10 (complex texts).This item helps students gather information and details for use on the first and second Prose Constructed Response.Additionally, it requires students to employ reasoning skills, since all of the claims listed could be made, but only one is supported by the most relevant and sufficient facts.This reflects the key shift of reading closely and weighing evidence by offering credit for Part B only if Part A is correct.Technology enables students to highlight evidence that supports their understanding.
The culminating Prose Constructed Response is” You have read three texts describing Amelia Earhart. All three include the claim that Earhart was a brave, courageous person. Consider the argument each author uses to demonstrate Earhart’s bravery. Write an essay that analyzes the strength of the arguments about Earhart’s bravery in at least two of the texts. Include textual evidence to support your answer. This incorporates numberous standards including reading informational text, writing informative essays, and appropriate language use. RI.7.1 (use of evidence); RI.7.8 (evaluate claims in a text); RI.7.9 (comparison of authors’ presentation); RI.7.10 (complex texts).W.7.2 (writing to inform and explain); W.7.4 (writing coherently); W.7.7 (conduct short research projects); W.7.8 (gather relevant information from multiple sources); W.7.9 (drawing evidence from texts).L.7.1-3 (grammar and conventions).This measures the student’s ability to compare and synthesize ideas across multiple texts and the ability to analyze the strength of various arguments. Of these three articles, only one, the biography, has a clear claim amply supported by evidence. So in this case, students need to be able to identify the dearth of support in the other two and make a comparison. Asks students to write to sources rather than write to a de-contextualized prompt.Focuses on students rigorously citing evidence for their answer.Requires students to delve deeply into multiple texts to gather evidence to analyze a given claim, simulating the research process.Requires students to demonstrate they can apply the knowledge of language and conventions when writing.
At the high school levelAfter students have read Ovid’s Metamporphoses, for an EBSR they must first select the theme about human behavior and then in Part B, select three pieces of text evidence to support the theme selected above. Again, part A must be correct for Part B to count.
The second kind of EBSR requires students to discern the meaning of a vocabulary word from context. Then in Part B, they select the line of text that best helps the reader understand the meaning.
After reading an additional text, students will write a PCR: The student directions are: “Use what you have learned from reading “ Daedalus and Icarus ” by Ovid and “ To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph ” by Anne Sexton to write an essay that analyzes how Icarus’s experience of flying is portrayed differently in the two texts.Develop your essay by providing textual evidence from both texts. Be sure to follow the conventions of standard English.”This reflects RL.9-10.1 – Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text., RL.9-10.10-By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficientlyAnd particuarly CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).
MSDE Presentation on Reading, MSEA 2013 Convention
Reading/English Language Arts
Education Program Specialist
Common Core Instructional Shifts
• complex text
• close reading
• text- dependent
• text -based evidence
• balance of text types
writing from sources
speaking and listening
short focused research
From EEA 2012
• Common Core State Standards are critical,
but it is just the first step
• Common assessments aligned to the
Common Core will help ensure the new
standards truly reach every classroom
Designing the ELA/Literacy PBAs
Types of Questions and Responses
– Evidence Based Selected Response
– Prose Constructed Response
Three types of tasks
– Narrative Writing
– Literary Analysis
– Research Simulation
ELA/Literacy: Grade 7 Sample Item
Students read the text that introduces the topic
Items are designed to help students gather information from the texts
to lead to the final writing prompt
Items require different types of responses to allow students to
demonstrate a command of evidence with complex texts
ELA/Literacy: Grade 7 Sample Item
Earhart and Noonan lived as castaways on Nikumaroro Island.
Earhart and Noonan’s plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean
People don’t really know where Earhart and Noonan died.
Part A: Highlight the claim that is supported by the most relevant and sufficient facts within
“Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found.”
Part B: Click on two facts within the article that best provide evidence to support the claim
selected in Part A.
College or postsecondary career and technical training is
essential to earning sustainable wages
All high school graduates should be ready to enroll in
college courses or similar technical coursework without
PARCC assessments will aid student learning, not detract
We must measure what children learn in school, but we
must measure with meaningful assessments
In PARCC, students will engage with texts worth reading,
problems worth solving, and tests worth taking