How do standards translate into teaching and learning?
Course curriculum is designed by reviewing the Common Core State Standards, ACT College Readiness Standards, and discipline-specific standards like those outlined by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). These standards are then synthesized into the most essential learning outcomes and sequenced into units of study for each course. Individual lessons target the relevant standards in a particular unit.
The National PTA offers this overview of the Common Core State Standards in the English classroom. Please note their references to the importance of the use of standards, the development of argumentation skills including crafting claims and identifying thoughtful evidence, as well as developing skills in speaking and listening. Each of these is a key component of the York English Department curriculum.
What is the purpose of using explicit standards with students?
The use of standards as a basis for curriculum clarifies exactly what students are expected to learn. Because a letter grade is intended to communicate what the student has learned, grades should be comprised of assessments that measure the learning standards rather than including other variables such as attendance, behavior, conscientiousness, effort, or extra credit. Linking standards, assessments, and grades best ensures that the grade that is reported reflects the student’s learning.