English I – Maggie Dillon (Common Core/Essential Standards Review)

How do the Common Core Literacy Standards apply to your content discipline? I think it would be easier to explain how they aren’t related, seeing as I am an English major. The literacy standards focus on students working with different genres and levels of texts to achieve mastery. Many of the goals in the literacy standards are just basic goals for any high school English class and they include things like evaluating arguments, using textual evidence to support opinions, and making inferences.

How do the two sets of standards interact and what does this mean for you, the teacher? Basically, the CCSS are standards of what students need to learn while the ES are how they should learn them. They are very intertwined and have many of the same goals/objectives that are essential to an English classroom. For teachers this can be both good and bad because while the two are in sync, having both in place can be very restrictive. I feel that teachers know the way to teach something to their students better than someone in Raleigh who has never spent a moment with any of the children in the class who the teacher would know personally.

Which terms in the Literacy Standards are surprising to you?
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8 Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9 Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

I was really surprised at these two goals because they seem way above a 9th grade level. I understand that they are important historical documents that students should be familiar with in order to be an informed citizen. However, I don’t think it is necessary for a 14 year-old to have to analyze the archaic language in the Constitution or legal jargon in Supreme Court cases. I also believe that this standard is a lot closer to the history discipline than the English classroom.


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Teaching for Understanding

What does it mean to be literate in your discipline?



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