To access Quick Links, visit our text-only version.

. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS FAQ

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS :: FAQ


GENERAL ELA (K-12)


ELEMENTARY LANGUAGE ARTS


SECONDARY ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS


GENERAL ELA (K-12)

How can I stay informed of upcoming events and important publications from NCDPI?
Join the ELA list serve(s) for the grade(s) you teach:

{TOP}

How can I stay informed of important dates and resources from ELA state and national organizations?
Here are web addresses of some of the most prominent professional organizations for our field:

{TOP}

Where can I find NCDPI materials to support the implementation of the ELA Common Core State Standards?

{TOP}

Does NCDPI provide a required or recommended booklist for grade K-12?
NCDPI does not require or recommend any particular texts for students to read at any level. The selection of materials is a local, school, and individual teacher responsibility. Teachers should select texts based upon formative assessment measures, grade-level standards, and the complexity of the text. In addition, as stated in the Common Core State Standards (pg. 10):

"To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts. Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success."

Text exemplars are sample texts intended to guide educators as they thoughtfully select texts to use as vehicles for teaching the ELA Common Core State Standards (CCSS). While the texts serves as models for each grade span, they should not be considered required grade level reading lists. Students must read a wide variety of text in order to progress in their reading development. Teachers should select texts of various genres and range of complexity for use with their students allowing students to both read at ease and stretch to higher levels of complexity. Students must be challenged and supported with appropriate texts, and teachers should guide strdents through close readings of short pieces of quality text.

{TOP}

Who makes the decisions to purchase or use particular materials or programs for English Language Arts?
These decisions are made at the local system or school level. NCDPI does not endorse particular programs or publishers. The ELA Common Core State Standards provides what students should know and be able to do at each grade level but decisions about materials are made at the system, school, and classroom levels.

{TOP}

Where can a school or department find resources to address a challenge to books or materials used in classrooms or included in the library?
State law 115C-98 (b) requires all school systems have a board adopted selection policy that includes a process for reconsideration of instructional resources (challenges). For additional information about developing this policy, contact John Brim, Section Chief, Resource Development and Evaluation, NCDPI, John.Brim@ncpublicschools.gov. The National Council of Teachers of English offers support for addressing and preventing challenges by developing rationales at their anti-censorship center: http://www.ncte.org/about/issues/censorship?source=gs

{TOP}

Where can I find information about reading certification?
You can find information about licensure on the DPI webpage at the following link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/employment/add_license.html

{TOP}


ELEMENTARY LANGUAGE ARTS

Are local education agencies required to use the state's K-2 Literacy Assessment?
LEAs must meet state legislative requirements and North Carolina State Board of Education policies governing the assessment of children in kindergarten through grade two. LEAs may continue to use the current K-2 Assessment provided by the State Board of Education to satisfy legislative and policy requirements

State statute ( 115C-74.11) requires assessment instruments for first and second grades. "The State Board of Education shall adopt and provide to the local school administrative units developmentally appropriate individualized assessment instruments consistent with the Basic Education Program for the first and second grades, rather than standardized tests. Local school administrative units may use these assessment instruments provided to them by the State Board for first and second grade students, and shall not use standardized tests except as required as a condition of receiving a federal grant under the Reading First Program."

The NC State Board of Education Policy (HSP-C-016) also addresses K-2 Literacy Assessment. It reads as follows: "The State Board of Education requires that schools and school districts implement assessments at grades K, 1, and 2 that include documented, on-going individualized assessments throughout the year and a summative evaluation at the end of the year. These assessments monitor achievement of benchmarks in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. They may take the form of the state-developed materials, adaptations of them, or unique assessments adopted by the local school board. Grades K, 1, and 2 assessments should be implemented by all schools by the 2000-2001 school year."

The intended purposes of these assessments are (1) to provide information about the progress of each student for instructional adaptations and early interventions, (2) to provide next-year teachers with information about the status of each of their incoming students, (3) to inform parents about the status of their children relative to grade-level standards at the end of the year, and (4) to provide the school and school district information about the achievement status and progress of groups of students (e.g., by school and grade level) in grades K, 1, and 2.

{TOP}

Do we still use the K-2 Literacy Assessment with the Common Core?
The current K-2 Reading Assessment aligns with the standards for Reading Foundational Skills in the Common Core State Standards. The current K-2 Writing Assessment measure the developmental stages of writing and is still appropriate for use in assessing writing in kindergarten through grade two.

{TOP}

When will the K-2 Literacy Assessment be updated to align with the Common Core?
In December 2011, North Carolina was awarded a Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC). North Carolina’s grant specifies that the state will create a K-3 Assessment, which includes a Kindergarten Entry Assessment, by building upon the strengths of the current K-2 Assessment, broadening it to include all five domains of development and learning, and extending it to grade three. Alignment with the Common Core State Standards will be addressed during the development of the K-3 Assessment. The development and validation of the K-3 Assessment will occur during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, with professional development for LEAs beginning during the 2014-15 school year.

{TOP}

Where can I find resources for implementing the ELA Common Core State Standards?

{TOP}

What do you mean by the NC K-2 Literacy Assessment guided reading levels?
Books are grouped and graded for difficulty based on specific text characteristics. The characteristics of each level can be found on the DPI Webpage at the following link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/languagearts/elementary/k2literacy.

{TOP}

Where can we get books for the running record portion of the K-2 Literacy Assessment?
The state's summative list of books for the K-2 assessment has been revised and is available on the DPI web page at this link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/languagearts/elementary/k2literacy.

{TOP}

Can you tell me where to find the K-2 Literacy Assessment online?
The K-2 ELA Assessment is available on the DPI website at the following link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/languagearts/elementary/k2literacy.

{TOP}


SECONDARY ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

Is there a required or recommendation book list for secondary students?
NCDPI does not require or recommend any particular texts for students to read at any level. The selection of materials is a local, school, and individual teacher responsibility. Teachers should select texts based upon formative assessment measures, grade-level standards, and the complexity of the text. In addition, as stated in the Common Core State Standards (pg. 10):

"To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts. Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success."

Text exemplars are sample texts intended to guide educators as they thoughtfully select texts to use as vehicles for teaching the ELA Common Core State Standards (CCSS). While the texts serves as models for each grade span, they should not be considered required grade level reading lists. Students must read a wide variety of text in order to progress in their reading development. Teachers should select texts of various genres and range of complexity for use with their students allowing students to both read at ease and stretch to higher levels of complexity. Students must be challenged and supported with appropriate texts, and teachers should guide strdents through close readings of short pieces of quality text.

{TOP}

Which English Language Arts courses are required for graduation?
English I, II, III, and IV are the four high school courses required for graduation.

{TOP}

Which high school English Language Arts courses can be taken for honors credit?
For a course to be designated honors, it must adhere to the NC Honors Course Standards guidelines. Honors English courses required for graduation (English I, II, III, and IV) must also follow the course description and the Common Core State Standards. Local systems may use the Honors Course Standards guidelines to determine which English elective course(s) are eligible for honors designation.

{TOP}

Where can I find resources for implementing the ELA Common Core State Standards?

{TOP}

What is the purpose of the Online Writing Instruction system?
The Online Writing Instruction (OWI) is a resource designed to provide students with opportunities to have a variety of experiences with writing across disciplines and throughout the school year. OWI is not an assessment or prompt to be given as a writing benchmark, but rather it is a formative tool to monitor the progress of students in writing and enable teachers to adjust instruction accordingly.

{TOP}