Common Core Curriculum Rubric: Meeting the Needs of ELLs

The purpose of this rubric is to help teachers and school and district administrators assess whether a Common Core-based curriculum meets English language learner (ELL) needs. The rubric was initially developed to help the authors review a state’s ESL curriculum to see if it would help ELLs meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The one-page rubric is mostly based on Achieve the Core’s three shifts in the CCSS for English language arts, but the authors added criteria for alignment with English language development (ELD) standards, assessment, and other elements that relate to how ELLs can access the curriculum. The five criteria on this three-point rubric are:

  • Alignment between lessons, tasks, CCSS, and ELD standards
  • Regular practice with complex texts and their academic language
  • Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
  • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
  • Assessment 
Content Comments 

This simple, easy-to-use rubric fills a void in the tools and materials that align CCSS-based curriculum to the needs of ELLs. Although this rubric may not be detailed enough for teachers to plan lessons, it can be considered a starting point in thinking about the elements in a curricular unit that ELLs may need in order to access the content of lessons and tasks.