Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs

The purpose of this brief from TESOL is to provide an overview of the policies behind the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. The paper outlines some initiatives that are in place (as of the time of publication) to address the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in relation to the new standards and their assessments. It also discusses implications that the new standards and assessment will have for teachers and ELL students.

Content Comments 

This resource provides educators and teachers of English language learners (ELLs) with context for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the consortia assessments aligned to those standards (i.e., PARCC and Smarter Balanced), and English language development (ELD) standards. Although much of the information in the brief is dated, such as timelines for testing development and the states that are in each testing consortium, the brief gives an ELL perspective to the standards development process and how each assessment will affect ELL students and their teachers. It also briefly describes the role of ELD standards in relation to the CCSS. Of particular utility is the table (p. 5) on English language arts/Literacy CCSS and English language teacher expertise. This table, written by Diane Staehr Fenner, addresses the CCSS ELA shifts and what teachers of ELLs must be able to do.