NYS Learning Standards

Esteemed colleagues,

On Thursday, I have the opportunity to go over to the Erie 1 BOCES for a town meeting of sorts. Bob Bennett will be there along with other members of the State Education Department, and they will be gathering ideas as they start the process of reviewing the ELA standards. So, as there are quite a few English teachers who are WNYWP fellows, I thought I'd solicit some ideas. Undoubtedly, I'll see some of you there.
What improvements would you like to see in the ELA standards? What gets too much attention? What gets too little? What is outdated? What needs updating?
Please add your thoughts in the comment section of this post.

- Joel


Anonymous said...

I think the basic ELA standards (Reading/Writing/Listening/Speaking X 4) are just fine because they are broad enough to permit teachers to find authentic ways of addressing student needs while still meeting the standards. The performance indicators may need some revising, if only to broaden the possibilities. The KEY thing is to keep the whole program as flexible as possible so that teachers are not locked in and can use their judgment in deciding what and how to teach. So, beware of change if it's going to mean that SED can be more directive of what ELA teachers do.... rforni

Paul Lasch said...

Yes,the standards and PI's should be open enough to allow flexibility in choosing literature. Keeping them skills based gives us that freedom. However, I would like to see fewer PI's -- a realistic number of the ones that are truly important, not a clearinghouse of everything we may do in a classroom. Also, I'd like a closer mapping of the PI's to the state assessments. If the exams are well-constructed, we should be able to look at each question and know the PI being addressed. Currently, the connections are vague and best -- it is a real stretch to connect a question to a PI. If the exams are good, the PI's aren't; if the PI's are good, or current exams are not.

Mr. Malley said...

I'd really like to see the multimedia and digital communication PI's expanded. What the heck is a list serve discussion group anyway? I teach seniors and envisioning ever writing piece/project as a five page papers is a bit daunting (and largely ignored).

Lastly, the word portfolio dominates the writing standards. I'd like to see an actual attempt to have us assess those. That way, teachers might actually have their students create portfolios. Right now it seems like an empty gesture.