English Language Arts
The State Board of Education has the authority to adopt academic standards for each subject area in grades K-12.
The ELA standards are designed to prepare students with the most important knowledge and 21st century literacy skills necessary to succeed in post-secondary and workforce arenas. The standards emphasize critical and divergent thinking, problem solving, active listening, recognition of patterns and anomalies, and evaluation and questioning of source material.
The standards reinforce the three ELA instructional shifts: regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary; reading and writing grounded in evidence from literary and informational text; and building knowledge through content-rich literary and informational text.
All ELA standards from K–12 are placed in one document with a table of contents at the beginning. By presenting the standards in a vertical chart by standard—rather than separately by grade—we are seeking to emphasize how the skills for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language spiral through all of the grade levels, leading to postsecondary and workforce readiness.
- In grades K–5, the standards signal the importance of laying a solid foundation for reading and writing.
- In the middle grades, 6–8, the standards solidify the foundation while increasing the complexity of text selection and tasks.
- Finally, in grades 9–12, the standards focus on sophistication and style.
Because the standards build on each other over time, it is necessary for educators to review the standards of the grade level before and after their grade level in order to better understand how the standards in their grade level fit into the students' overall development.
Note: The State Board of Education sets the requirements for high school graduation (see the High School Policy). Per SBE Rule, students must achieve four high school level units of English in order to graduate with a high school diploma.