Committee Report | January 2011
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Standards Work Group
John B. King, Jr.
Approval of recommended additions to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts & Literacy and CCSS for Mathematics and approval of new Prekindergarten Learning Standards
December 30, 2010
Issues for Decision
Will the Board of Regents approve the recommended P-12 additions to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts & Literacy and CCSS for Mathematics?
Will the Board of Regents approve the recommended Prekindergarten Learning Standards?
This item will come before the Standards Work Group and the P-12 Education Committee for decision at the January 2011 meeting.
Reasons for Consideration
In July 2010, New York State adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and the CCSS for Mathematics to support the Regents Reform Agenda, with the understanding that additional K-12 expectations and prekindergarten standards may be added. According to the timeline adopted by the Board of Regents, the Board is scheduled to act on a decision to approve these recommended additions by January 2011.
Also supporting the Regents Reform Agenda and the Race to the Top initiative is the development of the New York State Prekindergarten (PreK) Learning Standards. These Learning Standards will strengthen instruction in PreK classrooms in all settings, as well as help administrators and educators align PreK Learning standards with the K-12 system.
In spring 2011, after Board action on the recommended additions and prekindergarten standards, the development of statewide P-12 curriculum models for English Language Arts and Mathematics will begin.
P-12 additions to the Common Core
In July 2010, groups of P-12 and higher education English Language Arts and Mathematics practitioners met in Albany to analyze the CCSS for ELA and Mathematics and make recommendations for additions. The proposed additions, which represent student achievement expectations for all students, were presented to the Board of Regents in October 2010, with a five-week period of public feedback during the fall. Over 800 teachers, parents, school administrators, and other stakeholders responded to the ELA and Mathematics surveys.
After the survey data was compiled, team leaders from the July Mathematics and ELA workgroups participated in a review and revision session with Department staff on December 6th, 2010. The group analyzed the survey results and made necessary edits based on public input. Included below is a summary of the revisions and final recommendations. The majority of the survey respondents were teachers, with the remainder representing parents, school administrators, and/or other stakeholders.
The drafts of the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics documents will be available at the SED Common Core State Standards website:http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/common_core_standards/
Development of Prekindergarten Standards
The Draft PreK Learning Standards have been developed collaboratively by a workgroup consisting of Department staff and representatives from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, the NYS Council on Children and Families, and other statewide partners linked to the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC). An earlier draft was vetted to early childhood administrators and practitioners representing all sectors of the kindergarten feeder system. The PreK Learning Standards include five domains: Approaches to Learning; Physical Development and Health; Social and Emotional Development; Communication, Language and Literacy; and Cognition and Knowledge of the World. The communication, language, and literacy as well as the mathematics sections are aligned with the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for ELA and Literacy and Mathematics. The adoption and subsequent dissemination of this set of standards will provide the impetus needed to begin to address high-quality early childhood education for children before entry to kindergarten. The initial Board of Regents discussion of the adoption of these standards occurred on July 19, 2010.
The Draft PreK Learning Standards were presented to the Board of Regents in October 2010, followed by a three-week public comment period. Over 500 teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders submitted responses to the survey. A workgroup was then convened to review and revise the PreK Learning Standards based upon the responses to the survey.
Recommended Additions to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy
In July 2010, the ELA Workgroup recommended additions to the Common Core ELA Standards in the following areas:
- Responding to Literature (Reading P-12 and Writing grades 5-12)
- Grade-level expectations for student inquiry were added—embedded into the Reading, Writing, and Listening and Speaking strands, 5-12
- Grade-level expectations for culture and diversity were added—embedded into the Reading, Writing, and Listening and Speaking strands, P-12
- Prekindergarten standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language were developed in alignment with the K-12 expectations in the Common Core State Standards. These expectations will be included in the new P-12 English Language Arts and Literacy Standards that connect to the five domains in the stand-alone Prekindergarten Standards document.
During the December 2010 revision session, the workgroup reviewed the survey data and made the following decisions:
- For Responding to Literature Reading P-12, the majority of respondents agreed (over 80%) with the addition of a Responding to Literature anchor standard and related grade-level P-12 expectations. The group suggested adding this anchor standard as # 11 in the Common Core Reading for Literature section, under the heading “Responding to Literature.” Below is the proposed anchor standard:
“Respond to literature by employing knowledge of literary language, textual features, and forms to read and comprehend, reflect upon, and interpret literary texts from a variety of genres and a wide spectrum of American and world cultures.”
- For Responding to Literature Writing 5-12, the majority of the respondents (77%) agreed that these additions are necessary. Comments in the surveys indicated that there was some concern about why this anchor standard only started at grade 5, while the other Responding to Literature Reading Standard contains expectations for P-12. To ensure the two Responding to Literature standards are both P-12 and parallel, the group agreed to add Responding to Literature Writing grade-level standards for P-4 that connect with grades 5-12. The new draft version reflects these changes. Below is the proposed anchor standard for Responding to Literature Writing P-12:
“Develop personal, cultural, textual, and thematic connections within and across genres as they respond to texts through written, digital, and oral presentations, employing a variety of media and genres.”
- No changes were made to the Prekindergarten additions. The majority of the respondents (85%) agreed that these are necessary additions. These prekindergarten ELA additions connect to the 32 anchor standards (plus the Responding to Literature recommended additions) and the kindergarten level of the Common Core.
- A majority of the respondents (76%) supported the student inquiry additions, with some suggestions for revisions. The group made slight edits to some grade-level additions, which should improve the clarity of the expectations.
- A majority of the respondents (76%) supported the culture and diversity additions. The workgroup made some minor revisions based on survey comments.
The proposed P-12 English Language Arts and Literacy Learning Standards will include 34 anchor (College- and Career-Readiness) standards, plus the related P-12 grade-level standards and recommended grade-level additions for inquiry and culture and diversity.
In addition to the revisions described above, the ELA Workgroup discussed the need for the development of supporting guidance documents to assist administrators and teachers with responding to the needs of English Language Learners and students with disabilities. Additional suggestions were made to develop guidance to support native language arts, digital literacy, metacognition, connections to the arts, and cross-content literacy. The Workgroup also highly recommended that the Department prepare a New York State introduction to the P-12 standards that provides more context to the new set of P-12 standards.
Recommended Additions to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
The July 2010 Workgroup recommended additions to the Common Core Mathematics Standards in the following areas:
- One grade-level standard for Kindergarten: Develop understanding of ordinal numbers (first through tenth) to describe the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers.
- One grade-level standard for Grade one: Recognize and identify coins, their names, and their value.
- No new standards were recommended as additions to the rest of the grade levels (2-12).
The majority of respondents to the November public Mathematics survey agreed that the recommended additional grade level standards for Kindergarten (80%) and First grade (81%) were both necessary and appropriate. The majority of respondents (80%) also agreed that the proposed prekindergarten standards aligned with and supported the student achievement expectations included in the K-12 Common Core State Mathematics Standards. In addition, respondents agreed (61%) that the traditional pathway for the high school courses outlined in the executive summary was appropriate and the comments expressed that it is the preferred direction for New York State.
During the December 2010 revision meeting, the workgroup reviewed the survey data and made the following decisions.
- The two additional standards, added at the Kindergarten and First Grade levels, were necessary and appropriate additions to the Common Core State Standards.
- The Prekindergarten standards align and support the student achievement expectations included in the CCSS.
- The survey identified the preferred pathway for high school courses to be the traditional approach of Integrated Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.
- General themes regarding additional resources were identified from the survey and will be included in developing supportive material for the sequenced, spiraled, content rich, curriculum frameworks.
- The survey responses expressed that no additional recommendations were needed.
Development and Revision of Prekindergarten Standards
After the survey data was compiled, workgroup members participated in a review and revision session with Department staff. The group analyzed the survey results and made necessary edits based on public input. Included below is a summary of the revisions and final recommendations.
- For Domain #1 Approaches to Learning, the majority of the respondents agreed (90%) with the Benchmarks and Indicators as they were written. The workgroup made no changes to this section of the PreK Learning Standards other than to correct the dates of two research articles that were cited.
- For Domain #2 Physical Development and Health, the majority of respondents (90%) agreed with the Benchmarks and Indicators as they were written. While the workgroup did not make any changes to the text of this Domain, there was evidence in the comments that some children with physical disabilities may need to have support to master the benchmarks. These accommodations should be discussed in the curriculum guidance for Prekindergarten.
- For Domain #3 Social and Emotional Development, the majority of respondents (94%) agreed with the Benchmarks and Indicators as they were written. There were many strong comments from the respondents as well as the workgroup members regarding how to incorporate these kind of benchmarks within the K-12 standards system. Another significant comment was that strong home/school connections and parent involvement improve the social and emotional well being of children. The workgroup made no additions to this domain but will recommend that the previous comments be shared for guidance documents that will follow.
- For Domain #4 Communication, Language and Literacy, the majority of respondents (86%) agreed with the Benchmarks and Indicators as written. Suggestions were made to include the word “culture” in the introduction to this section so that it is included with background knowledge and word knowledge as a contributing factor to developing literacy, particularly for our young English Language Learners. Terms used in this domain need to be defined within the curriculum guidance for PreK and that guidance should offer explanations that communication, language and literacy development is integrated across all of the domains. The workgroup made only slight revisions to the indicators based upon the feedback from the survey.
- For Domain #5 Cognition and Knowledge of the World, the majority of the respondents (85%) agreed with the Benchmarks and Indicators as they were written. Some minor revisions were made to the introduction of this section and to some of the individual benchmark indicators so that they were more clearly stated. It was recommended that curriculum guidance that accompanies the PreK standards include a glossary of terms and a brief discussion of the importance of the classroom environment.
- Responses to the questions 6 and 7 on the survey regarding children with disabilities and English language learners included suggestions to take the time to give guidance not just to teachers but to administrators regarding the necessary approaches and supports needed by these children in a classroom setting. Other suggestions indicated the benchmark indicators should include allowing the use of communication through alternate means such as American Sign Language, pictures, gestures, and electronic communication devices.
- Question 8 on the survey asked the respondents to suggest the pre-service or in-service training that will be necessary for the implementation of the PreK Learning Standards. A very strong recommendation included the need to work with higher education to develop teacher training courses that support young learners. Other suggestions for ongoing professional development and joint training for teachers and administrators were made frequently. Many teachers suggested that to implement the PreK standards effectively kindergarten and grade 1 teachers must be included in the training and technical assistance, so that there is continuity between the grade levels.
- In general, throughout all eight of the survey questions, there were comments about the benchmarks being indicative of a rich Prekindergarten program. Comments clearly indicated that many of the benchmarks could be accomplished and observed through the play and active engagement of 4 year olds within a well-designed learning environment. Individualized, standards-based practices will support all learners in meeting the PreK Standards.
Next steps for implementation of P-12 standards and development of curriculum models.
Rollout of New York State P-12 Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics
Throughout the fall, Department staff provided several presentations on the Common Core State Standards and proposed additions to curriculum specialists, teachers, and professional organizations. Additionally, a toolkit with Common Core resources, including a timeline with implications for school districts, was posted on the NYSED website to provide additional guidance to the field. Moving forward, specific training on implementation of the Common Core will be provided to LEAs via the RTTT Network Team structure. Specifically, a 3-5 day statewide summer training with Common Core experts will be provided to all Network Teams and this will be followed by quarterly trainings, the content of which will be based on continuous feedback from survey results and on-site observations in school districts.
Implementation of the new New York State standards (inclusive of the Common Core) will begin in all schools in 2011-12. The reporting of state assessment results for 2011-12 will include performance mapped to both the existing NYS standards and the new NYS standards (inclusive of the Common Core). In school year 2012-2013, classroom instruction is expected to be fully aligned and assessments will test to the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy and Mathematics.
Development of Curriculum Models
In December 2010, the Department posted a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input from stakeholders on the necessary components to include in the English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics curriculum models. After the RFI closes on January 31st, the Department will compile and analyze the information to help inform the development of a Request for Proposal for Curriculum Resource Centers to develop P-12 English Language Arts & Literacy and P-12 Mathematics Curriculum Models.
Based on priorities stated in both New York State’s Race to the Top application and the Department’s P-12 Strategic Vision, these curriculum models are expected to include:
- Grade-by-grade student expectations (standards, benchmarks and performance indicators), including the knowledge, skills, and understandings that students are expected to achieve at each grade.
- Month-by-month learning objectives/student expectations, organized in thematic units or genre-specific modules, which include formative instruction/assessment strategies to check for student understanding, and specific teaching activities and student tasks.
- Grade-level learning examples, which include developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and sample tasks to demonstrate how students can achieve the standards, including resources for teachers of students with disabilities and English language learners.
- An appendix of grade-by-grade recommended texts (fiction/nonfiction) that are representative of grade level readability as normed by various reading metrics to inform curriculum development.
- Formative instruction/assessment tools at each grade level to permit teachers to measure ongoing student grade-level achievement.
- Alignment tools to analyze existing programs and resources against new learning expectations.
- Supplemental curriculum guidance for teachers of English language learners, students with disabilities, and other student populations with diverse needs.
- Links to professional development resources throughout the models.
After the RFP is awarded in early spring, the curriculum resource centers will begin work on the development of the curriculum models with input from statewide stakeholders, including teachers, school administrators, higher education representatives, curriculum specialists, and representatives from various New York State professional organizations. The P-12 ELA & Literacy and Mathematics curriculum models will be created to facilitate student achievement of the new P-12 standards and are scheduled to be available to schools during the school year 2012-2013.
VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy; the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics; and the New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards.