Alignment Study Between the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards, 2007 Edition, PreKindergarten through Grade 12

This report presents the results of a study based on Dr. Gary Cook’s (2005, 2006, 2007) adaptation of Dr. Norman Webb’s (1997) alignment framework. For this study, Cook’s framework was used to examine the relationship between the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening) and Mathematics and the Model Performance Indicators (MPIs) of the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards. Results suggest adequate linking across all grade clusters between the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards Model Performance Indicators (MPIs) and the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening) and Mathematics investigated in this study. The overall relationship between the WIDA ELP standards and the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics meets Cook’s criteria, as elaborated in this report. Strong Linking was observed in most grade clusters. Moderate Linking was observed in Reading grades K, 3–5, Writing grades 2, 3–5, 7, 9–12, and Mathematics grades K, 6, 7, and 9–12. Limited Linking was observed in ELA Writing grade K and Mathematics grade 8. According to review committee members’ comments, limited Linking on some reporting categories indicated that the language functions and content stems in some MPIs did not adequately address or support those in the Common Core State Standards. Since the language function of the MPI served as a prerequisite to the Common Core standard, reviewers perceived that the stretch was too great to suggest that mastery of the MPI would lead students to access the content of a particular Common Core standard.

This report ("WIDA/Common Core Alignment Study") can be found in the Reports section under Research.

Content Comments 

This appears to be a very well-executed alignment study (with methods described in detail); however, the criteria used to establish Linking and Depth of Knowledge might be more rigorous.  As a result, alignment is more of a surface nature and does not indicate the degree to which the ELD Standards prepare ELs with the language competencies needed for independent participation in grade-appropriate academic activities. The information is well-organized and written, although the Summary could provide a synthesis and discussion of Review Committee Comments on what might be added to improve the quality of the ELD Standards. This brief will be used by many, due to the size of WIDA, but might benefit from updating in relation to the resources provided by the Understanding Language Initiative.