Alignment: Overall Summary

Mirrors & Windows Grade 12 materials partially meet the expectations of alignment to the Common Core ELA standards. The materials include some instruction, practice, and authentic application of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language work that is engaging and at an appropriate level of rigor for the grade.

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
20
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
16
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
15
22
25
N/A
22-25
Meets Expectations
16-21
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality and Complexity and Alignment to the Standards with Tasks and Questions Grounded in Evidence

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the expectations for high-quality texts, appropriate text complexity, and evidence-based questions and tasks aligned to the standards. Although the Mirrors & Windows program includes a literature anthology of full texts and supporting excerpts that support exploration of literary and informational texts, materials do not meet the distribution of text types required by the standards. Some texts are appropriately complex for the grade level. Although the program utilizes a gradual release of responsibility reading model, students often do not receive support as texts become more complex. The progression of complexity does not increase across the year. Students read a variety of text types and have choice in their independent reading selections. Oral and written text-specific and text-dependent questions support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied. Materials support teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions. Materials provide frequent speaking and listening opportunities for students, with some opportunities for teacher modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax; however, materials lack evidence of speaking and listening protocols. Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers; however, materials lack relevant follow-up questions and supports. While materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they are reading through various speaking opportunities, including opportunities that require students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these tasks are optional. Although materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, writing opportunities in each mode are unevenly distributed. While process writing includes opportunities for students to revise their work, Writing Workshops rarely include explicit instruction. While students have opportunities to write about what they are reading, including opportunities to support their analyses and claims using evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these opportunities are optional. Explicit evidence-based writing instruction is largely absent. Materials include limited explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage. Materials miss opportunities to address standards or address standards that are included in a subsequent grade level. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Although materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts, materials do not outline the program’s plan for vocabulary development or provide teacher guidance to support students’ vocabulary development.

Criterion 1a - 1e

Texts are worthy of students’ time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading.

10/14
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity. Materials include high-quality texts; however, text types do not reflect the balance informational and literary texts as required by the standards. Some texts are not appropriately complex and the progression of text complexity does not increase across the year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. 

Instructional materials contain a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction text types that are rich in content, relevant, and engaging for students. Selections were chosen with the intention that students be able to learn more about themselves and the world around them, while making many cross-curricular connections. Additionally, texts are organized around and speak to universal themes. Each unit covers a specific historical period and is divided into subsections highlighting different writings of the era. Each subsection includes its own anchor text. 

Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units and across the year-long curriculum are of high quality, consider a range of student interests, and are well-crafted and content rich, engaging students at their grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, subunit Courtiers, the anchor text is “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury” by Queen Elizabeth I. This speech has been used on tests such as the Advanced Placement exam and the Scholastic Assessment Test  (SAT). 

  • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, students read the anchor text The Tragedy of Macbeth by Wiliam Shakespeare. This is a timeless classic with universal themes. 

  • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read the lyric poem “Song (‘Why so pale and wan’)” by Sir John Suckling. Students also read an excerpt from The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys followed by a fictional journal titled A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe. These selections serve as examples of historical fiction.

  • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students read the anchor texts, “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning, and “The Lady of Shalott” by John William Waterhouse. Both poems have rich text and vocabulary, as well as historical connections.

  • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read the play The Rising of the Moon by Lady Augusta Gregory. This drama is set during the Irish struggle for independence. 

  • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students read the anchor texts, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, and “B. Wordsworth” by V.S. Naipaul. Both texts provide opportunities for students to engage in rich discussion around engaging content and historical context.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 do not reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. 

Reading selections support British Literature coursework including essays, sacred text, speeches, and historical nonfiction. Although materials contain a variety of text types, materials do not reflect an appropriate balance of informational and literary texts. Of the 137 core and supporting texts students read during the year, 29 of the selections are informational, resulting in a 22/78 balance of informational and literary texts.

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the grade level standards but do not reflect a 70/30 balance of informational and literary texts.. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449-–1066, students read the heroic epic poem from Beowulf by Anonymous, verse translated by Burton Raffel, prologue translated by Robin Lamb, followed by a graphic novel version of Beowulf by Gareth Hinds. Students read a total of nine core and supporting texts, two of which are informational core texts, resulting in a 22/78 balance of informational and literary texts.  

  • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read “Psalm 23” and “The Prodigal Son” from the King James Bible. Students make a cultural connection by learning about the story of David and Goliath and an art connection by viewing the painting, “Self-Portrait as Paul the Apostle” by Rembrandt van Rijn. Students read a total of 24 core and supporting texts, including three informational core texts and two Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 20/80 balance of informational and literary texts. 

  • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read an excerpt from The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys. Students read a total of 29 core and supporting texts, including eight informational core texts and two Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 34/66 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students read a novel excerpt from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Students read a total of 23 core and supporting texts, all of which are literary selections with the exception of one Informational Text Connection selection, resulting in a 4/96 balance of informational and literary texts. 

  • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read a play, The Rising of the Moon by Lady Augusta Gregory. Students read a total of 34 core and supporting texts, including seven informational core texts and four Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 32/68 balance of informational and literary texts.  

  • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students read a short story, “B. Wordsworth,” by V.S. Naipaul. Students read a total of 23 core and supporting texts, including one informational core text and one Informational Text Connection selection, resulting in a 9/91 balance of informational and literary texts. 

Indicator 1c

Core/Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation should also include rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

Grade 12 texts quantitatively range between 600L–1600L for the year. Most texts that fall outside of the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band have qualitative measures that make them appropriately complex for the grade. The relationship of the quantitative and qualitative analyses to the associated reader task is not appropriately complex. While some Extend the Text tasks serve as associated reader tasks, these tasks are optional and may not occur during core instruction. Although materials include text complexity information for quantitative and qualitative measures, the documentation does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. 

Core/Anchor texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anchor/Core texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. 

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, of the seventeen  selections students read, eleven do not have a Lexile level. Two fall within the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band, two fall significantly below it, and two fall above it. Students read and compare the anchor text, an excerpt from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a romance text by the Pearl Poet, translated by John Gardner (Non Prose-NP) to an excerpt from Le Morte d’Arthur, a romance text by Sir Thomas Malory (1240L). This text set also includes a Primary Source Connection selection, an excerpt from the treatise The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Cappellanus (750L). The anchor text has a Reading Level of Moderate with inconsistent capitalization, vocabulary and unfamiliar context and setting identified as Difficulty Considerations and action, dialogue, and compelling story listed as Ease Factors. Malory’s work falls within the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band and has a Reading level of Challenging. Difficulty Considerations include vocabulary and the Ease Factor is a familiar protagonist. Cappellanus’ work falls significantly below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band and has a Reading Level of Easy. Some language and vocabulary are identified as Difficulty Considerations, while Ease Factors include length and numbered lists. While reading the two main texts, students study the elements of Arthurian romance and the authors’ use of alliteration. After reading, students respond to Analyze Literature prompts addressing Arthurian romance and alliteration.  

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, of the  twenty-three selections students read, twenty do not have a Lexile level. The  three remaining texts fall within the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. One of the anchor texts students read is “To A Mouse,” a lyric poem by Robert Burns (NP). This text is noted as having a Challenging Reading Level, with unfamiliar Scottish language and the title being important to understanding the poem identified as Difficulty Considerations and the aaabab rhyme scheme listed as an Ease Factor. Students study dialect and meter as they read: “While you read, consider the effect the dialect has on your understanding and appreciation of the poem. Also notice the meter Burns uses throughout the poem.” Students respond to Analyze Literature questions addressing dialect and meter after reading.   

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, of the twenty-four selections students read, thirteen do not have a Lexile level and eleven fall below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. Students read the essay “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell (1060L), as one of the anchor texts in this unit. This text falls well below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band and has a Reading Level of Moderate. Vocabulary is listed as a Difficulty Consideration and simple sentence structure is listed as an Ease Factor. Students “identify Orwell’s thesis and look for the evidence he presents to support it. Also list the examples of irony in the selection. Consider what types of irony Orwell uses and how the use of irony supports his thesis.” Students “take notes on key details and the pages on which they appear.” Although students respond to post-reading Analyze Literature questions addressing thesis and irony, students do not complete an associated reader task addressing key details. Extend the Text options also do not address key details.   

  • Anchor/Core texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by an accurate text complexity analysis; however, the text complexity analysis does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

    • The text overview page for each selection includes the following text complexity information: Reading Level and Lexile level, Difficulty Considerations, and Ease Factors. Materials do not explain the educational purpose of the text and the reason for its placement in the grade level.

Indicator 1d

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1d.  

While series of texts are largely at a variety of complexity levels, the complexity levels of anchor texts and supporting texts students read do not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to grow across the year. Extend the Text tasks, while optional, often do not provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the focus area. When provided, associated reader tasks do not increase in complexity over the course of the year. While the program’s gradual release of responsibility reading model “emphasizes scaffolded instruction,” it is unclear which texts are Directed Reading selections and which are Independent Reading selections, as the Reading Support levels are not identified on the Scope & Sequence guide or on the text overview pages.

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • The complexity of anchor texts students read does not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth. 

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, most texts have a quantitative measure of NP, as this unit largely contains poems and sonnets. The small number of informational text selections range from 700L–1420L. Students read “One day I wrote her name upon the strand” (Sonnet 75) from Amoretti by Edmund Spenser (NP). Materials list the Reading Level of this selection as Moderate with difficult vocabulary listed as a Difficulty Consideration and length and some dialogue listed as Ease Factors. Students focus on alliteration and theme, responding to questions and prompts, such as “Ask students to summarize the theme of the poem. In what lines is it expressed?” and “Ask students to read the poem aloud to identify examples of alliteration and its overall effect.” Although the Narrative Writing option in the Extend the Text section addresses alliteration, there is no associated reader task that addresses theme. 

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, texts range from 920L–1600L. Students read two lyric poems by Richard Lovelace: “To Althea, from Prison” (NP) and “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars” (NP). The Reading Level for “To Althea, from Prison” is identified as Moderate with long sentences listed as a Difficulty Consideration and love theme listed as an Ease Factor. In the Set Purpose inset of the text overview page for both selections, materials include the following guidance: “As you read, identify the themes that Lovelace conveys in these poems and determine whether each theme is state or implied. Also note the symbols Lovelace uses. Make a list of the symbols you find in each poem, and label each as a conventional or personal symbol.” While reading, students respond to Analyze Literature prompts and questions that address theme and symbol. During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students “[w]rite a comparison-and-contrast essay examining how Lovelace’s poems ‘To Lucasta’ and ‘To Althea’ treat [the] topic [of freedom.]”   

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, texts range from 600L–1600L. Students read a text set containing three lyric poems by William Butler Yeats: “When You Are Old” (NP), “The Wild Swans at Coole” (NP), and “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (NP). The Reading Level for “When You Are Old” is listed as Easy with personification listed as a Difficulty Consideration and simple language and length listed as Ease Factors. The Reading Level for “The Wild Swans at Coole” is identified as Easy with ideas don’t end at line breaks listed as a Difficulty Consideration and descriptive and simply written listed as Ease Factors. The Reading Level for “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” is listed as Moderate with personification listed as a Difficulty Consideration and simple sentence structure and vivid images listed as Ease Factors. The Set Purpose section of the text overview includes this guidance: “These poems by Yeats seem to have commonplace subjects, yet their themes run deeper. After you read each poem, express its central message in a sentence or two. Consider which lines best support the theme of each poem. Evaluate whether the theme is stated or implied and universal.” After reading, students respond to the following Analyze Literature prompt: “The themes of the three Yeats poems are implied rather than stated. For each poem, combine the information explicitly stated with your own knowledge and observations to infer, or figure out, the author’s message. Use textual evidence to support each inference. Is the theme universal? How does identifying the theme help you appreciate and understand the work?” 

  • As texts become more complex, some scaffolds and/or materials are provided in the Teacher Edition (e.g., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings, skill lessons).

    • The front matter of the Teacher Edition explains the program’s gradual release of responsibility reading model: “Close Reading Models walk students through the selections and demonstrate how to analyze literature and apply reading skills and strategies to each genre.” Next, the gradual release reading model transitions students to Directed Reading. During this stage, “the teacher begins to transfer responsibility to the students. Students are directed through explicit pre- and post-reading instruction, but during-reading support is reduced to encourage students to practice reading skills and monitor comprehension on their own.” The reading model concludes with Independent Reading. This stage “advances the total release of responsibility from the teacher to the students, who can now apply the skills and knowledge required to read increasingly more difficult selections on their own.”

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, the first anchor text of this unit is “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury” by Queen Elizabeth I (1310L). The Reading Level for this text is listed as Moderate with vocabulary and style identified as Difficulty Considerations. The quantitative measure of the text places it on the high end of the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. The Build Background section of the text overview includes historical context information, while the Meet the Author section of the same page provides biographical information about Queen Elizabeth I. The Preview Vocabulary list on the text overview page contains two words. These words are defined in the footnotes as students read the text. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition also includes a Connecting with Literature: History annotation. The Analyze Literature inset of the text overview defines parallelism and the post-reading Analyze Literature inset includes additional information on Queen Elizabeth I’s use of parallelism.   

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students read a paired selection containing the villanelle, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” (NP) and the lyric poem, “Fern Hill” (NP), both by Dylan Thomas. The Reading Level for “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” is identified as Easy with figurative language listed as a Difficulty Consideration. The Reading Level for “Fern Hill” is listed as Challenging with abstract concepts, ideas do not end at line breaks, and vocabulary identified as Difficulty Considerations. Materials provide Literary Context information on each text in the Build Background section of the text overview. The Analyze Literature inset of this page defines villanelle and sensory details. After students read both selections, materials provide additional information on villanelles and sensory details in the Analyze Literature inset. Materials do not address the identified Difficulty Considerations.   

Indicator 1e

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1e. 

Students read texts of varying difficulty and lengths within units and across the entire year as they explore British history. As part of the gradual release of responsibility model, each unit has subsections that focus on forms of literature from the time period under study, with Directed readings followed by Independent readings. The end of each unit contains a section called For Your Reading List, a collection of suggested titles with brief summaries from which students choose for reading outside the classroom. Besides the independent reading selections found in the Teacher’s Edition and the Student Editions, the eSelections ancillary provides a collection of additional Independent Reading selections along with programmatic instruction. More Independent Reading selections can also be found in the eLibrary, an online collection of PDFs of excerpts and full texts, as well as through StoryShares, an online third-party resource of free materials searchable by interest and grade level. The Program Planning Guide contains a blank Reading Log that students can use to track their outside reading. This document includes columns where students can fill in the date, title, author, pages read, and summary/reactions each week. 

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and genres.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, in the Ideas Old and New subsection, students read five lyric poems, two sonnets, an epic poem, a Bible story, an allegory, a haiku, three novel excerpts, two essays, and two poems. Titles include: “Why So Pale and Wan,” a lyric poem by Sir John Suckling, “To Althea, From Prison,” a lyric poem by Richard Lovelace, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” a lyric poem by Robert Herrick, “To His Coy Mistress,” a lyric poem by Andrew Marvell, “How soon hath Time,” a sonnet by John Milton, an excerpt from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, an excerpt from The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys, and an excerpt from The Diary of Fanny Burney by Fanny Burney

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, in the Battling for Hearts and Minds subsection, students read a drama, a letter, a sonnet, three lyric poems, an essay, and a traditional poem. 

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in a volume of reading.

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, in the Songs and Tales subsection, students read four ballads, song lyrics, three frame tales, a travel article, an excerpt from an autobiography, and an excerpt from a morality play over the course of thirteen regular class periods or six and one-half block schedule periods. 

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625-1798, in the Life and Times subsection, students read excerpts from two diaries, a fictional journal, a newspaper article, a how-to document, an excerpt from a dictionary, a letter, an excerpt from a biography, an elegy, and a sonnet. The Visual Planning Guide allows twelve regular class periods to cover the texts. 

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students should read approximately fourteen texts in twenty-seven days. This unit contains a range of texts including short stories, poems, online articles and excerpts from novels. The Unit and Selection Resource contains additional reading and literary analysis support for the texts in addition to recommendations for differentiated instruction in the Teacher’s Edition. 

  • There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers (e.g., proposed schedule and tracking system for independent reading).

    • The Program and Planning Guide contains a Reading Log for students to track their reading. In addition, each unit contains a Visual Planning Guide that begins with the Directed Reading Selections and ends with the Independent Reading Selections. This guide provides lesson and pacing suggestions.

    • Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, in the For Your Reading List section, students choose from a list of suggested works from the time period to read outside the classroom. Selections include A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt, Elizabeth I by Anne Somerset, God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicolson, and Renaissance Women Poets, edited by Danielle Clarke. 

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, in the For Your Reading List section, students choose from a list of suggested works from the time period to read outside the classroom. Selections include Waverly, or ‘Tis Sixty Years Since by Sir Walter Scott, Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave by  Aphra Behn, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding, The Way of the World by William Congreve, Journals and Letters by Fanny Burney, and The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. by James Boswell. Students track their reading progress on a weekly Reading Log that is included in the Program Planning Guide. 

  • Independent reading procedures are included in the lessons.

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, the first Independent Reading selection is a collection of monologues and soliloquies from William Shakespeare’s plays. The Teacher’s Edition includes objectives for reading the selection, a suggestion for how to launch the lesson, a Mirrors & Windows question, prompts for analyzing the text, suggested reading skills, text-dependent questions and writing options. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832,  within the Independent Reading portion of the unit, the For Your Reading List section contains student guidance and suggestions for selecting and reading texts independently. In addition, the Teacher’s Edition provides recommendations for how teachers might assign student groups to select and dramatize an independent reading selection

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945,  within the Independent Reading portion of the unit, the For Your Reading List section contains student guidance and suggestions for selecting and reading texts independently.  In addition, the Teacher’s Edition provides recommendations for how teachers might engage a group of students in independent reading activities, such as a book club discussion.

Criterion 1f - 1m

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

10/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. Materials include oral and written questions and tasks grounded in the text, requiring students to use information from the text to support their answers and demonstrate comprehension of what they are reading. Materials do not include speaking and listening protocols. Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers; however, materials lack relevant follow-up questions and supports. Although materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, writing opportunities in each mode are unevenly distributed. Writing Workshops include revision and editing opportunities; however, materials rarely include explicit writing instruction. Although students have opportunities to write about what they are reading, including opportunities to support their analyses and claims using evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these opportunities are optional. Materials lack explicit evidence-based writing instruction. Materials miss opportunities for explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage standards. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Although materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts, materials do not outline the program’s plan for vocabulary development or provide teacher guidance to support students’ vocabulary development.

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f. 

The majority of the oral and written questions, tasks, and assignments require students to cite textual evidence to support their responses and claims. The Teacher’s Edition contains ample direction for teachers to follow in guiding these activities and in understanding what to look for in students’ work through sample student responses and Critical Thinking Discussion Guides. Text-specific and text-dependent questions can be found before and during reading in the Guided Reading section and after reading in the Directed and Independent Reading sections. Boxes alongside the text, labeled Close Read, contain text-based questions that students respond to during reading. The Teacher Wrap also contains questions of this nature even when the Close Read questions drop away as students move into Directed Reading. Each text contains an after reading section with text-specific and text-dependent questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge levels. Refer to Text questions require students to recall facts and Reason with Text questions require students to apply higher level thinking skills. Analyze Literature questions focus on a particular literary element or compare literature. Comparing Texts questions require students to analyze two reading selections by comparing and contrasting literary elements. Text to Text questions consider the relationships between literature, informational texts, and primary source materials. 

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students compare two elegies, “The Seafarer” by Anonymous, translated by Burton Raffel and “The Wife's Lament” by Anonymous, translated by Marcelle Thiebaux. After reading both texts, students respond to text-specific prompts in the Analyze Literature: Mood and Elegy section: “What is the mood of ‘The Seafarer?’ What words and images helped create that mood? What is the mood of ‘The Wife's Lament?’ Again, how is language used to create mood? What does the seafarer mourn? What leads you to this conclusion? What loss or losses has the speaker of ‘The Wife's Lament’ suffered? What does she repeat to express her grief?”

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, students complete a Literature Connection with the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s song, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” After reading, students answer a series of review questions, such as “Find the instances where the word dead or words relating to death are mentioned. Categorize the experiences of the ‘blue-eyed son.’ What tone do the lyrics convey?”

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read “When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes” (Sonnet 29) by William Shakespeare. After reading, students answer a series of text-specific questions and prompts such as “According to the opening lines in Sonnet 29, how does the speaker sometimes feel? Infer what makes the speaker feel this way.”

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read “To a Mouse,” a poem by Robert Burns. Post-reading tasks include the section Refer to the Text / Reason with Text. The Reason with the Text tasks support the questions posed in Refer to the Text. A Refer to the Text task for this text is “In the first stanza, whom does the speaker address with the words thou and thee?” The Reason with the Text follow-up task is “Determine the speaker’s purpose in addressing this subject.” Another Refer to the Text question is “List five examples of Burns’ Scots dialect.” The follow-up Reason with the Text task is “Find a song that uses regional dialect or slang. Compare this modern use of dialect and slang to Burns’ use of dialect.” 

  • Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-based questions and tasks. 

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, while reading Act 1 of The Tragedy of Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare, the Teacher's Edition prompts teachers to “Remind students that figurative language includes similes, metaphors, and personification. Ask students to identify examples of figurative language in the Sergeant’s speech at lines 34 to 42. Answer: The Sergeant uses similes (sparrow and eagles, a hare and a lion), metaphor (bathe in reeking wounds), and personification (gashes cry for help).”

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, Students read the lyric poem “Song (‘Why so pale and wan’)” by Sir John Suckling. After reading, students answer a series of text-specific questions, and the Teacher’s Edition includes suggested responses. For example: “3a. What advice does the speaker give to the subject of the poem? 3a. He advises the subject to abandon the quest for his beloved’s affections.” The inclusion of possible student responses supports teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions.

    • Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read  “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a narrative poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  In the Analyze Literature section of the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher's Edition, teachers “Ask students to describe how the sun is personified in lines 25 to 28. Answer: the sun is twice referred to as he rather than it. Explain that many romantic writers saw nature as a living thing. In these lines, Coleridge personifies the sun in the masculine pronoun he.” The inclusion of possible student responses supports teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions. 

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read “Araby,” a short story by James Joyce. The post-reader section, Analyze Literature, addresses epiphany and point of view. In the Teacher’s Edition, the notes for this section state, “...Answers with respect to details and the changes caused by a third-person point of view will vary. Students may point out, for example, that the narrator never tells us the name of Mangan’s sister, nor does he mention his parents or his own age. A third-person point of view might detract from the story’s immediacy.” The inclusion of possible student responses supports teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions. 

Indicator 1g

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1g.  

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in speaking and listening activities and projects. Materials also include directions for conducting such exercises; however, there is no evidence of  protocols for these activities and projects found in the core materials, nor  guidance for how or when teachers should model speaking and listening techniques. At the end of each unit, materials include a Speaking and Listening Workshop where students can practice, present, and actively listen to oral presentations. These Workshops include steps on how to conduct a particular speaking and listening project, as well as a rubric and speaking and listening tips. 

Materials provide frequent opportunities for speaking and listening; however, speaking and listening opportunities do not include protocols. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials do not provide varied protocols to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read “The Prodigal Son” from The King James Bible. The Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on developing and presenting self-generated questions in a small group: “Divide the class into groups, and have each group write one or more important question for the selection. Then instruct each group to create musical answers for each question. Finally, invite the groups to present their questions and answers to the class.” While the Teaching Note includes directions for the activity, there is no evidence of a specific protocol used to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read a text set containing the following selections by William Wordsworth: “The World Is Too Much with Us,” “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” and an excerpt from the Preface of Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems.” During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students participate in a panel discussion. Directions include: “Use logical transitions to help listeners follow your arguments. Include rhetorical devices, such as parallelism and repetition, to help emphasize your points and to sway listeners. Allow time for questions.” While materials include directions for this optional activity, there is no evidence of a specific protocol used to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills.

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, during the End-of-Unit Speaking & Listening Workshop, students present an argument. For this Workshop, students choose a topic, locate supporting evidence, practice delivery, and listen actively to arguments. The Workshop includes a rubric for the task and evaluates Content, and Delivery and Presentation. Although materials include directions for students to complete this Workshop, there is no evidence of protocols for students to conduct the speaking and listening task and develop their speaking and listening skills.

  • Teacher guidance includes modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax during speaking and listening opportunities.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students read an excerpt from Beowulf by Anonymous, verse translation by Burton Raffel, translation of prologue by Robin Lamb. While analyzing the text, the teacher illustrates how a particular passage sets up the theme of good versus evil, noting that this theme occurs throughout the heroic epic. After reminding students that the original text predated Christianity, the teacher leads the class in a discussion on whether the theme “might have been present in the original pre-Christian version of the tale or might have been added to convey a religious message.” Students also “explore the idea that the theme of good versus evil is not exclusive to Christianity, and that ‘God’ may be a reference to a deity other than the Christian God.”   

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read the supernatural ballad “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The teacher uses specific lines of the text to “draw students’ attention to the poetic sound devices,” such as parallelism and alliteration, “that Coleridge employs to create the eerie, chantlike rhythm of the poem.” When reading a different passage of the text, students identify the author’s use of alliteration and explain its effect on the mood of the poem.

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students focus on style as they read the drama That’s All by Harold Pinter. The teacher defines style when setting the purpose for reading the text and discusses Pinter’s sparse style, dialogue, word usage, and phrasing during the reading. Students discuss the author’s style when responding to the following questions: “What kinds of sentences does he use? What kinds of words? Does the language sound natural or stilted? What elements affect the flow of the dialogue?”

Indicator 1h

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

Materials include opportunities for stand-alone and text-based discussions. Students may respond to Close Reading, Analyze Literature, Use Reading Skills, Refer to Text, and Reason with Text questions in writing or orally as instructed by their teacher. Where appropriate, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition contains Critical Thinking Discussion Guides, which provide opportunities for text-based discussions. Although the Discussion Guide includes a series of text-specific questions and suggested answers, materials do not provide evidence of follow-up questions or supports, such as entry points for students who may have difficulty initiating or engaging in conversation. Some Extend the Text options include speaking and listening opportunities; however, the enactment of these activities are based on teacher selection and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. Mirrors & Windows, and Use Reading Skills: Make Connections questions are often stand-alone in nature, allowing students to reflect on personal experiences while discussing sub-themes and topics related to texts of study. Materials do not include evidence of teacher guidance for monitoring students’ speaking and listening opportunities. Explicit speaking and listening instruction occurs during the end-of-unit Speaking & Listening Workshop; however, this Workshop is not a part of core instruction.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional support for teachers.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read an excerpt from the romance work, Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. In the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students find a modern version: “Select a modern adaptation of the story of Arthur to read or watch. Possibilities include The Once and Future King (1958), by T.H. White; Camelot (film version, 1967); The Mists of Avalon (1983), by Marion Zimmer Bradley; and Prince Valiant comics, by Hal Foster. After reviewing the work, discuss in a small group how it compares to Mallory’s story.” Though the materials include these directions, there is no evidence of  teacher guidance on monitoring the student discussion or instructional support for students who may be having difficulty starting or engaging in the conversation.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read an excerpt from The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition contains a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide to support the teacher with facilitating a discussion with students on “some of the ways in which the tone of the satire can be a crucial factor in the audience’s understanding and for the author’s purpose.” Materials include suggested answers, but there is no evidence of guidance for monitoring the student discussion or for supporting any learners struggling in taking part in the discussion.  

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition contains a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide for the excerpt from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The teacher focuses on the importance of setting by asking students the following prompts: “Pip describes walking through dark passages. How does the description of the inside of Miss Havisham’s house affect the mood of the story? Miss Havisham’s dressing room is also dark, with no daylight, lit only by candles. What does the appearance of the house inside and outside, and of Miss Havisham’s dressing room, suggest about Miss Havisham’s character or personality?” Materials include suggested answers, but there is no evidence of guidance for monitoring the student discussion or for supporting any learners struggling in taking part in the discussion. 

  • Students may have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Instruction occurs during the Extend the Text section, that contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read two selections from the King James Bible, “Psalm 23” and “The Prodigal Son.” After reading both selections, students work in small groups to “create a reader’s theater production of ‘The Prodigal Son.’” After dividing the story into scenes and assigning each group member a scene, individual members determine how they want the actors to move during their assigned scene before coming back together as a group to take turns acting out all of the scenes. Students must “give oral instructions about how [they] want the actors to move” when directing their scene and “follow the director’s instructions and monitor [their] understanding by asking questions if [they] need clarification” when acting in a group member’s scene. Students “perform the complete story for the class.” This Critical Literacy activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read two sonnets by John Milton, “How soon hath Time” (Sonnet VII) and “When I consider how my light is spent” (Sonnet XIX). During the Critical Literacy Extend the Text option, students take a closer look at the ideas about self-evaluation and goal setting that Milton expressed: “Analyze how his expression of these ideas reflects the cultural and social views of the seventeenth century.” Students “choose a new way to communicate his ideas by writing a contemporary media piece, such as a rap song, an infomercial, a newspaper editorial, or a magazine article” and share their work in a small group. Students then “discuss what is and is not effective about how each piece communicates its message” and “[a]nalyze whether Milton’s ideas have a modern application and how successfully each media piece reflects the cultural and social views of the twenty-first century.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, in the Extend the Text section for Thomas Hardy’s poem “The Darkling Thrush,” students have the option to form a poetry discussion group: “In small groups, discuss the following questions about the theme of ‘The Darkling Thrush’: (1) What does the speaker of this poem make of ‘terrestrial things’ both ‘Afar’ and ‘nigh around’? (2) What two possible references might the word His in line 30 have? (3) Whose air might this be? (4) What words in the last stanza have connotations of spirituality or religion? (5) What hope might the speaker be intimating by these references?” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

  • Speaking and listening work requires students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” and “‘Death, be not proud, (Holy Sonnet 10),” poems by John Donne. In the Collaborative Learning Extend the Text option for the selection, students research the stages of dying: “[i]n a landmark book called On Death and Dying (1969), Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. With four other classmates, locate Kubler-Ross’s book and other information and research the stages of death, assigning one person to each stage. Then together, plan and deliver a formal presentation about this topic.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read an excerpt from the epic poem, “Paradise Lost” by John Milton. In the Collaborative Learning Extend the Text option for the selection, students discuss gender roles: “Review Milton’s descriptions of Adam and Eve in lines 107-128. Then discuss these questions with a small group: How are Adam and Eve portrayed? How do they represent men and women? What similarities and differences do you find between the characterizations of men and women? Do you agree with these characterizations? Are these characterizations still relevant today? Generate other questions as a group and discuss the answers. Use details from the text to support your responses.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students read an excerpt from Jane Eyre, a novel by Charlotte Bronte. During one of the Extend the Text options, students perform a scene: “Jane says that if Mr. Rochester had been handsome and heroic, she probably would not have had the courage to help him. With several classmates, role-play a scene in which Mr. Rochester is a young and dashing man. How does Jane react to the situation? What evidence from the text supports your group’s interpretation?” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1i

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

Materials offer both on-demand and process writing opportunities for students primarily in post-reading Extend the Text tasks and End-of-Unit Writing Workshops. Extend the Text sections contain two, mode-specific writing prompts, and each Writing Workshop focuses on a specific mode of writing. The Workshops guide students through the entire writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing. Materials also include a student model and instructional guidance for teachers in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher’s Edition; however, there is no guidance to indicate where students should compose their writing. The Writing and Grammar Handbook offers in-depth lessons that expand on these Writing Workshops, and the Writing section of the Language Arts Handbook also offers detailed information for students on the writing process and modes and purposes of writing; however, these ancillary materials are not part of core instruction. Because teachers have the choice of which Extend the Text exercises to complete, there is no guarantee that students will complete the writing opportunities offered. Materials utilize digital resources where appropriate.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials include on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students read an excerpt from Beowulf, the heroic epic by Anonymous, translated by Burton Raffel. After reading, students may complete a creative writing assignment: “Write a script for a brief scene in an adventure movie about Beowulf. Decide how to update the dialogue and action to appeal to a contemporary audience.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, in the Extend the Text section for Act III of The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, one of the post-reading options is an argumentative writing prompt that reads, “In the role of a prosecuting attorney, write a position statement or argument that will convince a jury to convict Macbeth for murdering Banquo.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, the Writing Skills section of The Test Practice Workshop contains an on-demand writing assignment. Students have forty minutes to write in response to the following prompt: “For various reasons, including the cost of building and maintaining schools, there is increasingly more talk about schools having classes year round rather than closing during the summer. Some people think a twelve-month school year is a good idea. Others are opposed to lengthening the school year. In your opinion, should the school year be extended?” The Test Practice Workshop is an optional activity and may not occur during core instruction, as a result. 

  • Materials include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, the Writing Workshop focuses on narrative writing. The instructional materials provide support for students through each stage of the writing process. In the revision stage, materials include an annotated Student Model to support students with using a rubric to address changes in their drafts. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, during the Writing Workshop students “write a personal essay that captures an essential aspect of your character.” Students work through prewriting, drafting, and revising. In the revision stage, materials include student directions on how to evaluate their draft and revise for content, organization, and style. Materials include a student model as an exemplar for how revision and editing improved a student’s writing. After revising their work, students follow provided directions for proofreading before publishing the final draft and presenting their argument using guidance in the student-facing materials.  

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, the Writing Workshop focuses on argumentative writing through research. Materials provide instructional support to students for each stage of the writing process. During the revision stage, students focus on evaluating the draft and revising for content, organization, and style. Materials include an annotated Student Model based on the Revision Checklist. The Writing Follow-Up provides guidance on publishing and presenting, as well as approaches for students to reflect on their writing. 

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. 

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read Queen Elizabeth I’s “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury.” During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to compare speeches: “Throughout history, leaders have given speeches to inspire their followers. Memorable examples are Martin Luther King Jr. 's ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop' speech the night he was assassinated, and Knute Rockne’s ‘win one for the Gipper’ speech to the Notre Dame football team. An audio recording and a transcript of King’s speech can be found at http://lit.emcp.net/king. A transcript of Rockne’s speech is available at http://lit.emcp.net/rockne, and a dramatization is presented in the 1940 film Knute Rockne--All American. Choose one of these speeches, or another famous inspirational speech, and compare and contrast it with Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Speech to the Troops at Tilbury.’ Consider the audience, purpose, and occasion of each speech, and evaluate how differences in formality and tone reflect variations in these factors.”

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, students read The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. After reading Act V, students use digital resources to review a film or stage production during the Media Literacy Extend the Text option: “Find and view a film version of Macbeth—such as the 1978 version directed by Trevor Nunn or the 1982 version directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman—or attend a live performance of the play. Then write a review that comments on the quality and interaction of the acting, set design, costumes, and sound effects. Evaluate how closely the director followed the original play, pointing out instances of bias (the author’s personal opinions) that change the meaning of the work. Also evaluate how audience played a role in the director’s interpretation of the play.” 

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students read the lyric poems, “When I Was One-and-Twenty” and “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman, and the informational text “Cardiac Arrest in Healthy, Young Athletes” by Karen Asp. During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to research media coverage: “Choose a famous athlete from the past or present who interests you. Research coverage of this person in several different types of media, including television, print, and film. Evaluate the tone and formality of each piece you find and explain how these vary depending on the intended audience and purpose. Then create your own informative piece about the athlete.” 

Indicator 1j

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j. 

Materials provide some opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply different writing modes during on-demand and longer process writing tasks across the school year. Materials include  on-demand creative, narrative, informative, and descriptive writing opportunities during the post-reading Extend the Text section. Because these tasks are optional and based on teacher choice, there is no guarantee students will complete the provided tasks. Other opportunities for writing occur when students read eSelections that are available in Passport, or a digital component of the materials. With access to Passport, students have the ability to use Criterion, which is an online writing evaluation tool; however, it is unclear how to access it or use it. Without access to the digital platform, it is unclear how and where students compose their writing. Process writing instruction and tasks occur during the End-of-Unit Writing Workshops; however, explicit instruction is limited and materials do not meet the required distribution required by the standards.

Materials provide some opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:  

  • Materials provide some opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

    • Materials include the following Writing Workshops— three informative, three argumentative, one descriptive, two narrative—resulting in a mostly balanced distribution of explicit instruction on the writing modes required by the standards.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, during the end-of unit Writing Workshop, students ``[w]rite an explication of a poem in this unit...to explain the meanings of and relationships among the elements in the poem.” Materials cover all of the aspects of the writing process including prewriting, drafting, and revising the explication. The Workshop includes a table for organizing the analysis of the poem, a writing rubric, a revision model, a student model of a finished essay, a Revision Checklist for revising content, organization, grammar, style and a Writing Follow-Up rubric that addresses publishing and presenting, and reflection. Materials provide two more opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply informative writing—when writing a cover letter and résumé during the Unit 2 Writing Workshop and when analyzing an advertisement during the Unit 8 Writing Workshop.

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop, students focus on narrative writing as they write a personal essay “that captures an essential aspect of your character.” During the Prewrite stage, students select a topic, gather information, determine how they will organize their ideas, and write an organizing statement. During the Draft stage, students use a three-part framework—introduction, body, conclusion—to write their essay. In the Revise stage, students use the provided Revision Checklist to evaluate their draft and revise their work according to the Content & Organization criteria and the Delivery & Presentation criteria. The Writing Follow-Up rubric includes additional evaluation criteria on publishing and presenting, and reflection. Materials provide one more opportunity for students to learn, practice, and apply narrative writing—when writing a narrative poem during the Unit 1 Writing Workshop. 

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945-Present, during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop, students ``[p]lan, write, and revise a research paper that describes a contemporary conflict and presents an argument about it.” As students progress through the writing process, they gather general background information and specific information about their topic during the Prewrite stage. During the Draft stage, students complete a rough draft using guidance on organization, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and documenting sources. Lastly, they evaluate, revise, proofread, and polish their writing during the Revise stage. The Writing Follow-Up stage includes information on students publishing and presenting, and reflecting on their work. Materials provide two more opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply argumentative writing—when writing a satire during the Unit 5 Writing Workshop and when reviewing a short story or book during the Unit 7 Writing Workshop.

  • Different genres/modes/types of writing are distributed throughout the school year; however, there is no core instructional path. Writing opportunities may not occur during core instruction.

    • Students have opportunities to engage in argumentative writing. 

      • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read "Psalm 23" and "The Prodigal Son" from The King James Bible.  Students may respond to the following Argumentative Writing prompt: “You are running for student council president and need to state your position on whether to have an open campus, allowing students to leave school during lunch breaks and study times. Write a persuasive speech using a parable to make this point.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, in the Extend the Text section after reading The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act II by William Shakespeare, students may respond to the following on-demand Argumentative Writing prompt: “Write an argumentative essay arguing whether the Porter’s scene (Act II, Scene iii) adds to or detracts from the play’s serious mood. Present your argument using elements of a classical persuasive speech: an introduction that states your opinion, a body that outlines your arguments and evidence, and a conclusion that summarizes your points. Use logical transitions to help listeners follow your arguments, and include rhetorical devices, such as parallelism and repetition, to emphasize your points and sway listeners.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

      • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students read the essay, “Shooting an Elephant," by Geroge Orwell. After reading, students may complete an argumentative writing task during which they “[u]se the library or Internet resources to research the practice of imperialism, in both the past and the present. Write the introductory paragraph of a personal essay expressing your opinion on the issue of imperialism.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

  • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing.

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, students read “The Pardoner's Tale” and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales by William Chaucer. After reading, students may complete the following Explanatory Writing exercise: “Write step-by-step directions on how to travel from your house to a specific location in your town. Include a map or other graphic representation of your directions. Exchange directions with a partner and evaluate the structure (e.g., format and subheads of each other’s text for clarity (clearness) and organizational coherence (logical connections). Also evaluate the effectiveness of the graphic.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, in the Extend the Text section for Act IV of The Tragedy of Macbeth, students may complete the following Informative Writing task: “The word weird is derived from the old English word wyrd, meaning ‘fate.’ Some literary scholars say the predictions of the ‘weird sisters’ represent Macbeth’s fate, which arises out of his character. Others note  that Shakespeare’s audience would have believed in witches so they represent the evil that causes Macbeth’s downfall. Write an essay evaluating these two positions, using details from the play to support your analysis.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, in the Extend the Text section for the excerpt from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, students may complete the following Informative Writing task: “Dickens and Hardy approached storytelling in different ways. Compare their different forms of narration in Great Expectations and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Read or reread just the first few pages of the excerpts in your text, then write a brief essay explaining the authors’ different approaches. You may want to focus on differences in one literary element, such as point of view or tone. Include examples from the stories to support your position.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

  • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing.

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, in the Extend the Text section for the excerpt from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl Poet, translated by John Gardner and the excerpt from Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory, students may complete the following Narrative Writing task: “Write a children’s story for some youngsters you know that features alliteration. You may wish to illustrate the story yourself or ask for help from your intended audience.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, in the Extend the Text section for “Ozymandias” and “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, students may complete the following Narrative Writing task: “The speaker in ‘Ode to the West Wind’ recalls his childhood as a time when his own spirit equaled that of the west wind. He then describes how life has beaten down that spirit. Write a one-page memoir that compares your childhood with your present life. How have things changed for you?” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, in the Extend the Text section for the excerpt from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, students may complete the following Narrative Writing task: “In the role of Miss Havissham, write one page of a memoir. Describe what has made her so bitter and sad. What does she think about her life right now? What does she think about the people around her?” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

  • Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports).

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students read and compare the elegies, “The Seafarer” by Anonymous, translated by Burton Raffel, and “The Wife’s Lament” by Anonymous, translated by Marcelle Thiebaux. After reading both texts, students may complete an Informative Writing task addressing both selections: “Write an essay comparing and contrasting the themes in the two poems. Consider the realities of Anglo-Saxon life as well as Anglo-Saxon perceptions of life. Share your essay with the class.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, in the Extend the Text section for the narrative poems, “Kubla Khan” and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, students may complete the following Narrative Writing task: “Summarize the main plot of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ in writing. Then retell the story in graphic novel format, with the goal of visually capturing the poem’s more chilling moments. Where possible, include the poem’s original dialogue in the drawings. Share the poem with friends who have not read it.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, in the Extend the Text section for the dramatic poems, “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria's Lover” by Robert Browning, students may complete the following Informative Writing task: “Write a one-paragraph character analysis of either the Duke or Porphyria’s lover. Include examples from the monologue that illustrate the personality of the speaker about whom you are writing.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1k

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

Materials provide practice and application opportunities for evidence-based writing but lack explicit evidence-based writing instruction with the exception of some Writing Workshop tasks. During some post-reading tasks, students cite evidence from the text in their written tasks, make claims, and defend their claims using their comprehension and analysis of texts. Extend the Text tasks are optional and based on teacher choice, so there is no guarantee students will engage in evidence-based writing opportunities when offered. Other opportunities sometimes include the Writing Workshops students complete at the end of each unit, additional writing assignments found in the Grammar and Writing ancillary, and the Analyze Literature prompts. It is important to note that many of the writing activities are optional and do not consistently require students to support their analyses and defend their claims using textual evidence.

Materials include some opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials provide limited opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read a paired selection containing two sonnets—”Who so list to hunt” by Sir Thomas Wyatt and “With how sad steps” (Sonnet 31) by Sir Philip Sidney. Students focus on sensory details and conceit while reading Wyatt’s piece and personification while reading Sidney’s piece. During the Lifelong Learning task, students work in groups and “use the Internet and print sources to learn more about the moon.” Materials suggest an article by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and include a link to the article. One group of students focuses their research on “cultural and religious beliefs about the moon,” while the other group of students focuses their research on “scientific topics, answering questions about the moon’s surface, distance from the earth, phases, and so on.” Students must synthesize the information from their source, “making logical connections and using evidence from the texts to support their inferences and conclusions.” Students do not receive explicit instruction on using advanced searches to effectively gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, assessing the strengths and limitations of each source, integrating information into their written text to maintain the flow of ideas while avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source, and following a standard format for citation. This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose, and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read a text set containing three lyric poems by William Blake: “The Lamb,” “The Tyger,” and “London.” Students analyze parallelism while reading “The Lamb,” make inferences while reading “The Tyger,” and analyze synesthesia while reading “London.” During the Collaborative Learning activity, students work in small groups to “research changes in graphic elements used in British poetry across time periods.” Students “[c]hoose three poems from different time periods, and compare and contrast how the graphic elements work together with the text to express the theme of each poem,” citing “examples from the poems to support [their] inferences and conclusions.” Students do not receive explicit instruction on using advanced searches to effectively gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, assessing the strengths and limitations of each source, integrating information into their written text to maintain the flow of ideas while avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source, and following a standard format for citation. This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students read a paired selection containing two lyric poems by Seamus Heaney—”Follower” and “Digging.” Students analyze the speaker during their reading of “Follower” and flashback during their reading of “Digging.” Students also compare and contrast how the speaker feels about his father in both poems. During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students “write a one-paragraph analysis of [the speaker’s] relationship with his father,” using “details from both poems to support [their] ideas.” Students do not receive explicit instruction on drawing evidence from literary texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

  • Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence.

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, after reading Act IV of The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, students may complete the following Informative Writing task: “The word weird is derived from the Old English wyd, meaning ‘fate.’ Some literary scholars say that the predictions of the ‘weird sisters’ represent Macbeth’s fate, which arises out of his character. Others note that Shakespeare’s audience would have believed in witches, so they represent the evil that causes Macbeth’s downfall. Write an essay evaluating these two positions, using details from the play to support your analysis.This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, in the Extend the Text optional activities for “To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time” by Robert Herrick and “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvel, students may write in response to the following Informative Writing prompt: “Write an essay comparing and contrasting how Marvell’s and Herrick’s poems express the carpe diem theme. In the essay, provide textual evidence from the two poems to support your inferences. In addition, offer possible explanations for why the carpe diem theme or message may have been popular during these poets’ time, given what you know about that era.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    •  In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, in the Extend the Text activities for the excerpt from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, students may complete this Informative Writing task: “In the paragraph on page 274, Woolf seems to say that it would have been both impossible and possible for a woman in Shakespeare's day to have had Shakespeare's genius. Write a brief essay in which you explain the effect this sort of ambiguity has on the reader. Use textual evidence to support your inferences and conclusions.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1l

Materials include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for application in context.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l. 

Each unit contains several Grammar & Style Workshops, which have sections on understanding the concept, applying the skill, and extending the skill. The lessons connect to selections students read just before the workshop. Units also contain Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops with sections on understanding the concept, applying the skill, and spelling practice using words from unit text selections. Workshops may not occur during core instruction, as their enactment is contingent upon the teacher selecting the activity from the Lesson Plan for the text selection. On occasion, materials include informal grammar and convention activities listed in the Teaching Notes of the Teacher’s Edition. Although materials include an array of instructional components, there are missed opportunities for grade-level grammar and usage instruction, practice, and authentic application in context.

Materials include some explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for authentic application in context. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students have opportunities to apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is sometimes contested. 

    • No evidence found 

  • Students have opportunities to resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Garner's Modern American Usage) as needed. 

    • No evidence found

  • Students have opportunities to observe hyphenation conventions. 

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students complete a Grammar & Style Workshop on hyphens, dashes, and ellipses. In the Understand the Concept section, students learn that “a hyphen is used to connect elements in some compound words and expressions.” The Workshop includes three examples: part-time, shut-up, ink-dark. In the Apply the Skill section, students identify the need for hyphens, dashes, and ellipses by reading passages from the previous reading selection; locating hyphens, dashes, and ellipses; and explaining their function in the sentence, such as in this example: “Toward the end of her day in London Mrs. Drover went round to her shut-up house to look for several things she wanted to take away...Against the next batch of clouds, already piling up ink-dark, broken chimneys and parapets stood out.” Students complete a second exercise in which they read a paragraph based on the selection they just read and rewrite the paragraph, inserting hyphens, dashes, and ellipses where needed. Materials do not include opportunities for authentic application in context. 

  • Students have limited opportunities to spell correctly. 

    • The only instances of spelling practice occur as short Spelling Practice activities within an inset in the Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop. These quick lessons explain a rule and include a short practice activity connected to the selection read before the workshop. Spelling Practice exercises do not include opportunities for authentic application in context. For example, In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students complete a Spelling Practice activity within the Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on Classifying Words. Students learn about spelling vowel combinations correctly based on pronunciation, such as the ea combination in break and breakfast. Students work in pairs to pronounce the two words and note the difference. They then identify vowel combinations in a list of words from the previous reading selection, read the words aloud, and group them according to the sounds the vowel combinations make.

Indicator 1m

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

At the beginning of each unit, materials include an overview of all vocabulary words, academic vocabulary, and key terms. These words are also listed in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition alongside the corresponding selection. Words listed as Preview Vocabulary are taken from sentences within selections and are defined in the side margin or at the bottom of pages where they appear. Words listed as Selection Words are additional words from the reading that may be challenging, but are not central to the selection. These are Tier One words that can easily be understood by using context clues. Words listed as Academic Vocabulary are words that are used in the directions about the lessons. These are Tier Two words that explain what students should focus on, help establish context, clarify meaning of literary terms, and define goals or instructional purpose. Words that are listed as Key Terms are domain-specific Tier Three words. The repetition of these words throughout the program helps to ensure student mastery. 

Materials include two Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops within each unit. These Workshops correlate to two of the unit selections that use vocabulary words from the text that precedes the Workshop and contain instruction followed by practice exercises. The enactment of this Workshop is based on teacher selection and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. The Unit  Resources& Selection ancillary also includes vocabulary preview activities and lessons for each unit. The Vocabulary & Spelling ancillary also has lessons that build word study skills and instruction based on vocabulary words from selections. Although materials include multiple elements that address vocabulary acquisition and practice, these elements are not cohesive nor do materials provide teacher guidance on a year-long plan to support students’ vocabulary development. Additionally, ancillary resources are not a part of core instruction.

Materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts; however, the year-long vocabulary plan lacks cohesion. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component.

    • There is no explanation of a year-long cohesive plan for vocabulary instruction; rather, materials include multiple components that address vocabulary, and it is up to the teacher to decide which components to use for instruction. For instance, at the beginning of each unit, materials provide Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three vocabulary word lists with the corresponding pages for where the words occur in text. Materials also list the vocabulary words in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition with the corresponding page number in the section where they occur. Materials define the vocabulary words at the bottom of the selection in which they appear. Each selection includes a short Preview Vocabulary section where students try to unlock the meaning of underlined words from the selection before reading. Occasionally, the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition includes instructions for helping students understand the meaning of words. Materials include two Vocabulary and Spelling Workshops which focus on vocabulary skills instruction. If teachers want to explore selection vocabulary in more depth, they must use the Unit & Selection Resources ancillary. Since it is up to teachers to choose which of these program elements to include in instruction, there is no guarantee that the vocabulary development supports offered will occur during core instruction. 

  • Vocabulary is repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts; however, it is unclear how materials build students’ vocabulary development of Tier One and Tier Two words during core instruction.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, materials define the Tier Two Key Term parallelism in the Analyze Literature section of the text overview page for “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury” by Queen Elizabeth I and the subsequent Grammar & Style Workshop focuses on parallelism. The end-of-unit Speaking & Listening Workshop uses the term parallelism when discussing rhetorical devices orators use and their effect. The term repeats again during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop, as students use the Revision Checklist to ensure they have “used parallelism to express similar ideas in similar grammatical forms.”   

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, the Tier Two Academic Vocabulary word benefactor appears in the unit’s historical introduction, “Renaissance Drama 1485–1642,” and in the Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on contractions during The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act I by William Shakesepare. Although the term appears in the Academic Vocabulary list for the historical introduction, the term is not identified or defined in this text or the Workshop. 

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, materials introduce and define the Tier Three term argument in the Understanding Literary Forms: The Essay pages. The Analyze Literature section of the subsequent text overview for “Mr. Sassoon’s Poems” by Virginia Woolf also defines the term. Students respond to Analyze Literature prompts addressing argument while reading an excerpt from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. Students also encounter the term argument when responding to the Review Questions for “Defending Nonviolent Resistance” by Mohandas K. Gandhi.

  • Attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words (e.g., words that might appear in other contexts/content areas). 

    • At the beginning of each unit, materials include lists of the Tier Two and Tier Three vocabulary words students will encounter over the course of each unit in the Teacher Edition. Each word is followed by the page numbers where the words appear. At the beginning of each selection, materials list Tier One and Tier Two words under the heading Words in Use followed by page numbers for each vocabulary word. Tier Two and Tier Three words often appear in the before reading information and in Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops. Materials repeat certain Key Terms (Tier Three words) throughout the unit to give students more exposure to and practice with vocabulary words. 

  • Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks.

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, students read excerpts from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl Poet, translated by John Gardner, and Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. The text overview page includes a definition of the Tier Three term Arthurian romance and directs students to look for the qualities of Arthurian romance while reading the texts. During the post-reading Text to Text Connection, Analyze Literature, and Extend the Text Informative Writing tasks, students consider and analyze the elements of Arthurian romance. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798-1832, students complete a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop addressing the Tier Three term syntax. Students learn how syntax, or word order, determines meaning. Students look at several examples, including examples from the selection they just read, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Coleridge. Students then complete two practice exercises. During one opportunity, students work with a partner to discuss and critique the effect of syntax on lines from the poem and rewrite them using conventional syntax. During the other opportunity, students write two different sentences with varying syntaxes using a list of words that have two meanings. 

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students read the dramatic poems “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning. The Analyze Literature section of the text overview page introduces and defines the Tier Three terms mood and dramatic monologue. Students examine the text and determine the mood, and identify the elements of dramatic monologue while reading the texts. After reading both texts, students explain how the use of dramatic monologue helped establish the mood in the selections.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Although texts are organized by theme, a historical period, and an essential question or guiding statement, it is unclear how the texts build students’ knowledge of the theme. While students closely read and analyze literary and informational texts, lessons do not always include a coherently sequenced series of high-quality questions that lead to a final task. The majority of tasks are optional. Culminating tasks do not always fully address the associated standard, and these tasks often do not integrate literacy skills. Materials include limited writing instruction that aligns to the standards for the grade level. While instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development, materials lack teacher guidance on the use of ancillary and optional writing supports. While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. Some questions and tasks align to grade-level standards while others do not align or do not meet the full intent of the standards. It is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. There is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards. Although the Visual Planning Guide for each unit includes suggested pacing for each text, there is no suggested timeline for the pacing of units nor for the curriculum as a whole over the course of the year. The amount of material cannot reasonably be completed within the suggested amount of time and is not viable for a school year. Due to limited teacher guidance on selecting activities, the volume of optional tasks distracts from core learning. Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

Criterion 2a - 2f

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

12/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for building knowledge. Texts are organized by units of study that feature a theme, historical period, and essential questions or guiding statements; however, it is unclear how the texts build students’ knowledge of the theme and answer the essential questions or guiding statements, as these items are not revisited during the unit. Close reading lessons do not always include a coherently sequenced series of high-quality questions that lead to a final task, and the majority of tasks are optional. Culminating tasks do not always fully address the associated standard and often do not integrate literacy skills. While instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development, materials lack teacher guidance on the use of ancillary and optional writing supports. While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2a. 

The materials are organized into nine thematic units of study which are aligned with a historical period in British history and progress chronologically. Each unit begins with a unit opener that “introduces the genre and connects students to the literature,” includes a “thought-provoking quote [that] gives insight into literature,” features “fine art and photographs [that] connect with the unit theme,” and introduces “essential questions related to the unit theme [that] generate interest and set the stage for learning.” Although the focus of each unit is a historical time period, as well as a theme related to that time period, each unit also includes a section titled Understanding Literary Forms that introduces a genre for quick study. The opening pages of this section include an illustrated timeline, an introduction to the historical period, and notable statistics from the period. Subsequent lessons are divided into sections, during which students explore various selections in the literary form and literary criticism as it is applied to a previously read selection; however, these activities are not connected to the essential question or guiding statement for the unit. The Scope and Sequence Guide lists sub-themes that connect to many of the selections. The Mirrors & Windows questions that accompany selections address these sub-themes, but they do not connect to the overall theme of the unit, and there is no explanation or guidance on how the unit theme and the Mirrors & Windows sub-theme work together. The individual components included in the program are not connected in a cohesive way that would build students’ knowledge of a topic or theme. 

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Texts are connected by a grade-appropriate cohesive topic/theme/line of inquiry. Texts miss opportunities to build knowledge, vocabulary, and the ability to read and comprehend complex texts across a school year.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, the essential question is “Why were tales of heroism so important to people during this time? What purpose did they serve?” The preview establishes that this was a time in history when England was a battle ground between the Anglos and Saxons and that heroic epics and tales of great kings survive from the time period until today. Some of the Mirrors & Windows questions relate to the unit theme, Heroes and Kings, but they do not connect to the essential question. Although the text selections are about heroes and kings, it is unclear how the texts are connected and how students use the texts to answer the essential question. For example, after reading Beowulf by Anonymous, translated by Burton Raffel, students respond to the following Mirrors & Windows questions: “What responsibilities do leaders have to the people they represent? What roles or duties are they expected to fulfill?” The Extend the Text options include one writing task that loosely relates to the essential question: “Draft an essay that analyzes how the modern Grendel, by John Gardner, relates to the ancient Beowulf. You might consider how the themes of each work relate to the Germanic society of its time; you might compare the portrayals of Grendel; or you might choose another topic to explore.” After reading the poem “The Head of Humbaba” from Gilgamesh, translated by Herbert Mason, students respond to the following Mirrors & Windows question: “Based on your personal definition of hero, who do you consider the hero of this passage: Gilgamesh, Enkidu, or Humbaba?” While this question connects to the unit theme, it does not connect to the essential question.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, the introduction provides an overview on the Age of Reason and poses the following essential questions: “What values do the selections in this unit promote? What are some of the most important aspects of a functioning society?” The introductory page is followed by a timeline of the target time period and information on seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to provide students with the necessary historical context for the texts in this unit. Some selections in the unit refer back to the essential question while others do not. For example, students read the poems, “To Althea, from Prison,” and “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars” by Richard Lovelace. The Reader’s Context questions are “What relationships and beliefs sustain and support you in times of distress?” While these questions may connect to the unit theme, Harmony and Reason, they do not connect to the essential questions. When students read the poem, “When I consider how my light is spent” by John Milton, the Reader’s Context question is “What are the benefits of having high expectations of yourself?”, and the Mirrors and Windows thematic questions for these poems are “How can people contribute to society? Should a greater contribution be asked or expected of people with power, privilege, and ability than others?” While the Mirrors and Windows questions connect to the essential question, the Reader’s Context question does not. Neither question connects to the unit theme. The Reader’s Context question for the excerpt from the novel Gulliver’s Travels and the essay “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift aligns with the essential question: “What are the best and worst qualities of the society in which you live?”, yet the post-reading questions and tasks, along with the Mirrors & Windows question, do not connect to the unit theme or essential question.  

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, the introduction includes the following overview and essential question: “A closer look at Victorian writing reveals a crisis of faith for many writers and a struggle to find balance between these conflicting ideas. How do you find balance when ideas diverge?” The anchor text for this unit is “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Students also read My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning, an excerpt from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, “The Lagoon” by Joseph Conrad, and “When I Was One-and-Twenty” by A. E. Housman. Although texts are from the same historical period, the text-dependent questions and Extend the Text options for the selections do not connect to the unit theme, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, or the essential question. The Mirrors & Windows sub-themes and questions also do not connect to the unit theme or the essential question. For example, students read an excerpt from the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The before-reading Reader’s Context questions include: “How would your life be different if you were suddenly wealthy or poor? How would it be better or worse?” The Set Purpose section guides students to look for clues about the setting and examples of direct and indirect characterization. After reading, the Mirrors & Windows questions are “What are the disadvantages of clinging to things from the past? What from your past have you found difficult to give up?” It is unclear how these prompts work together to build students’ knowledge of the theme.

Indicator 2b

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality questions and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2b. 

As part of the Close Reading Model, materials embed text-specific and text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and paired selections or text sets. Materials do not consistently include coherently sequenced questions that build to a task in which students demonstrate their understanding of these literary elements. Tasks often occur during the Extend the Text section and may not occur during core instruction, as these tasks are options from which the teacher may select. At times, questions and tasks do not meet the requirements of the correlated standard. 

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • For most texts, students analyze key ideas and details and craft and structure (according to grade-level standards). 

    • The materials contain some coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details.

      • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, students focus on characterization and irony characterization as they read “The Prologue,” “The Pardoner’s Tale,” and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Throughout each selection, students respond to Close Read questions that address characterization and irony. After reading “The Prologue,” students respond to Analyze Literature questions, such as “How much of the information comes from the characters themselves versus their fellow pilgrims? What are the major targets of irony? Use examples from the text to support your answer.” Students also “[w]rite a one-paragraph character analysis of one of the pilgrims introduced in [the text]” during the Informative Writing Extend the Text option. After reading “The Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” students respond to the following Analyze Literature questions: “Review Chaucer’s portrayal of the Pardoner and the Wife of Bath in ‘The Prologue.” How are these characters developed in greater depth in their individual tales? Identify instances of irony, especially situational irony, in [both selections.] What is Chaucer suggesting in each instance?” During the Creative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students use their Creative Writing character introduction from the Creative Writing Extend the Text option for “The Prologue” and expand it “to create a short tale told in verse.” In their essay, students “[r]elate the experiences of this pilgrim, providing an appropriate lesson or theme.” This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

      • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read the poems, “The Rear Guard” by Siegfried Sassoon and “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. Prior to reading the texts, the Preview the Selections portion of the Comparing Texts page directs “students to explore the author’s purpose for each of these poems after identifying their themes or main ideas.” Materials do not include questions on theme during or after reading. Materials also do not include a task in which students determine “two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account” or “provide an objective summary of the text.” 

    • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address craft and structure. 

      • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students focus on analyzing satire and irony as they read an excerpt from Gulliver’s Travels and “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. Teacher guidance explains the importance of identifying the author’s purpose when reading satire. During specified passages of Gulliver’s Travels, students respond to prompts in which they identify Swift’s purpose, “point out the irony in the closing sentence” of an excerpt, “identify the satirical target in [a] passage,”  “explain what is situationally ironic in context about the King’s reaction,” and “speculate what Swift’s satirical purpose is in having Gulliver reflect that the King possessed ‘narrow principles and short views’ in his reaction to the gunpowder discussion.” While reading designated passages in “A Modest Proposal,” students respond to prompts that require them to “develop a theory about what Swift’s shocking proposal is intended to satirize,” “explain how Swift uses satire in [a] passage,” and “discuss how Swift’s professed interest in brevity contributes to his purpose.” Students also use the Critical Thinking Discussion Guide to “discuss what lessons about the goals, methods, and reception of satire can be inferred from these selections.” The after-reading Analyze Literature questions are as follows: “What aspects of society does Swift satirize in the excerpts from Gulliver’s Travels?” Whom does he satirize in ‘A Modest Proposal?’ What changes does he want to bring about in British society?  How is the Brobdingnagian King being ironic when he says to Gulliver, ‘You have made a most admirable panegyric upon your country?’ Explain two other examples of irony from each selection. Discuss how the use of irony contributes to Swift’s satiric purpose.” In the optional Extend the Text Informative Writing task, students ``[w]rite an essay analyzing Swift’s use of satire and irony in Gulliver’s Travels and ‘A Modest Proposal.’  Using examples from both selections, explain how Swift uses irony to create satire. Also evaluate the effectiveness of each satire in bringing attention to a social problem.” This Informative Writing Extend the Text option is one of four after-reading activities from which the teacher may select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..

      • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read the short story “Araby'' by James Joyce. While reading, students respond to Analyze Literature questions addressing epiphany and point of view. At the start of the text, students identify the sentence “that tells them the perspective from which the story is told. What is the point of view? What is the most important clue?” During reading, students respond to the following prompt: “The narrator describes the ‘innumerable follies’ that he experiences in the days after making the promise to Mangan's sister. Ask students if they think the narrator is giving an accurate description of his feelings and actions.” After reading, students ``[i]dentify the epiphany the narrator has about his much-longed for visit to the bazaar. What does he suddenly understand about the reality of human relations?” Students also identify from what point of view the story is told and respond to the following questions: “How does the point of view make the story suspenseful and intense? What details does the narrator provide and not provide? How would the use of a third-person point of view change the telling of the story?” students examine how little the narrator revealed about himself as they ponder the following question: “Why did Joyce provide so little information about the boy?” Students ``[d]iscuss the question in a one-paragraph analysis that helps you understand the author’s literary technique.`` This Informative Writing Extend the Text option is one of four activities from which the teacher may select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • By the end of the year, these components (language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, craft) are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 499–1066, students read a text set that contains versions of the epic tale of Beowulf. Selections include an excerpt from the heroic epic Beowulf by Anonymous, translated by Burton Raffel, an excerpt from the graphic novel Beowulf by Gareth Hinds, and an excerpt from the novel Grendel by John Champlin Gardner. Students explore the theme of good versus evil, discussing whether this theme “might have been present in the original pre-Christian version of the tale or might have been added to convey a religious message.” During this discussion, students also “explore the idea that the theme of good versus evil is not exclusive to Christianity, and that ‘God’ may be a reference to a deity other than the Christian God.” The Teacher Wrap includes two Critical Thinking Discussion Guides that allow students to explore “the values that Beowulf, as an epic hero, embodied for Anglo-Saxon culture,” a well as “the themes of loyalty, fame, and courage as exhibited by the actions of the characters.” Questions include, but are not limited to: “Why might values such as strength, generosity, loyalty, and courage have been important to Anglo Saxon culture?” and “Why does Wiglaf emphasize the preservation of Beowulf’s fame as he attempts to bolster Beowulf’s courage?” During a Text to Text Connection question comparing the translated version to the graphic novel version, students reflect on why Beowulf insists “on fighting the monster Grendel with his bare hands” and “Beowulf’s one request if he dies in the battle.” When reading the novel excerpt, students create a Venn diagram that compares and contrasts the Beowulf excerpts and the Grendel excerpt. During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students respond to the following prompt: “Draft an essay that analyzes how the modern Grendel, by John Gardner, relates to the ancient Beowulf. You might consider how the themes of each work relate to the Germanic society of its time; you might compare the portrayals of Grendel; or you might choose another topic to explore.” This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students focus on theme and imagery as they read a text set containing three lyric poems by William Butler Yeats: “When You Are Old,” “The Wild Swans at Coole,” and “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” While reading “When You Are Old,” students respond to Critical Thinking Discussion Guide questions, such as “What is the message of the second stanza?” During the reading of “The Wild Swans at Coole,” students discuss “how they would state the theme of the poem.” Students do not respond to any questions addressing theme when reading “The lake Isle of Innisfree.” Instead, students ``identify images in the poem that appeal to the sense of hearing,” as they examine imagery. During the post-reading Analyze Literature questions, students respond to the following prompt: “The themes of the three Yeats poems are implied rather than stated. For each poem, combine the information explicitly stated with your own knowledge and observations to infer, or figure out, the author’s message. Use textual evidence to support each inference. Is the theme universal? How does identifying the theme help you appreciate and understand the work?” Students then “[w]rite a brief analytical essay in which you discuss what the speaker in each of the selections of Yeats’s poetry yearns for and why,” during one of the Extend the Text options. This Informative Writing Extend the Text option is one of four activities from which the teacher may select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 2c

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2c. 

As part of the Close Reading Model, materials embed text-specific and text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and paired selections or text sets. Materials do not consistently include coherently sequenced questions that build to a task in which students demonstrate their understanding of knowledge and ideas. Tasks often occur during the Extend the Text section and may not occur during core instruction, as these tasks are options from which the teacher may select. At times, questions and tasks do not meet the requirements of the correlated standard. Although students respond to questions that provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts, materials do not consistently provide students with opportunities to analyze those same elements within single texts.

Materials do not consistently require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Some sets of questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students read a paired selection containing selections from Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Saint Bede the Venerable: “The Conversion of King Edwin'' and “The Story of Caedmon.” As part of the Critical Thinking Discussion Guide, students “consider whether the arguments offered by Edwin’s counselors seem reasonable. Did Edwin have reason to forsake his old beliefs and embrace these new ones? Why or why not?” After reading both selections, students respond to several Reason with Text questions that allow them to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structures used in the arguments presented in each text: “Think about Paulinus’s speech to King Edwin. Describe Paulinus’s goal.”; “Compare and contrast the details presented about the old Germanic religion with those presented about Christianity.”; and “Evaluate Coifi’s argument. Determine whether he chose the best approach for his audience, the king.” During the Creative Writing Extend the Text option, students “[w]rite a one-page dialogue between King Edwin and Caedmon in which they discuss their experiences with religious transformation.” While students compare their dialogue with the dialogue of their classmates, students do not analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structures of their peers’ expositions. This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read several selections by Virginia Woolf: an essay excerpt from A Room of One’s Own, the essay, “Mr. Sassoon’s Letters,” and the letter, “Letter to Julian Bell,” which serves as a Primary Source Connection piece. Students analyze argument and rhetorical question while reading the two essays, responding to prompts and questions, such as “Ask students in what way the remainder of the paragraph provides the answer to [Professor Trevelyan’s view that genius could not be born among women.]”; “Ask students to identify the strongest point that Woolk makes, at the end of the essay, in support of her argument that women in Shakespeare’s day did not have the same opportunities as did men.”; and “Ask students what position Woolk takes when presenting her argument about the realism of Sassoon’s war poetry.” While reading “Letter to Julian Bell,” students read the first paragraph and “compare its tone with the tone of ‘Mr. Sassoon’s Poems.’” Students respond to the following Text to Text Connection prompt: “Compare, contrast, and synthesize the ideas that Woolk presents in her essay on Sasson’s war poems and her letter about Bell’s poetry. What elements does Woolf look for in a good poem? Use textual evidence to support your answer.” After reading all three texts, students respond to Analyze Literature: Argument and Rhetorical Question questions including, but not limited to: “How does Woolf develop her argument in each essay? State what she is proposing in each selection. Then choose three items from your list of supporting evidence and explain how each item supports Woolf’s perspective. Evaluate the effectiveness of the argument in each essay.” During the Argumentative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students choose an important topic of social interest, state their position on the topic, and “write a paragraph describing an imaginary person or situation that helps illustrate [their] position, as Woolf did with an imaginary sister of Shakespeare.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • By the end of the year, integrating knowledge and ideas is not consistently embedded in students’ work (via tasks and/or culminating tasks).

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students read “Psalm 23” and “The Prodigal Son,” both from The King James Bible. Both selections include embedded pictures of artwork. “The Prodigal Son” includes an Art Connection piece with the following Critical Viewing prompt: “In addition to the great level of detail, what other qualities do you observe in Rembrandt’s self-portrait? Consider the subject’s expression and posture as well as the painting’s use of color, light, and shadow. Infer what these qualities suggest about the artist’s personality. Also consider why someone might paint his own portrait so many times and, in this case, cast himself in the role of a religious figure.” Students “identify universal metaphors in the psalm and explain what they mean,” when reading “Psalm 23.” Students analyze imagery and purpose when reading “The Prodigal Son'' and respond to questions and prompts, such as “Ask students to identify specific images on this page. Discuss the purpose that Jesus’s use of imagery might serve.” and “Ask students to discuss Jesus’s purpose in telling this parable. What do they think he was hoping to accomplish?” After reading both selections, students respond to Analyze Literature: Purpose and Imagery questions including, but not limited to: “For what purpose or purposes was Psalm 23 likely written? What about the parable? What purposes might religious texts typically have? Why?” This sequence of questions does not build to a task in which students “[i]ntegrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem,” as noted in the standards. 

    • The Grade 12 standards correlation document notes that RI.8 and RI.9 are addressed in Grade 11, American Tradition. 

  • Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read a diary excerpt from The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys and an excerpt from the fictional journal, A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe. Students focus on diction and narrator while reading both selections. While reading Pepys’ work, students respond to questions and prompts, such as “Ask students to rephrase Pepys’s brief concluding prayer in contemporary language.”; “Discuss with students what his passage suggests about the narrator’s personality.”; and “Note how Pepys’ simile (‘like a fainting woman’) and the direct quotation emphasize the Lord Mayor’s sense of helplessness.” While reading Defoe’s work, questions and prompts include: “Have students note the unusual meaning of visitation in this passage.”; “Ask students to discuss their impressions of the narrator, based on this personal reflection about the ‘dreadful’ events he witnessed.”; and “Ask students to find examples of figurative language in this passage.” Students also use a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide to discuss what the selections “reveal about urban life in London during the mid-seventeenth century.” After reading both selections, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Diction and Narrator questions: “Does the diction of Pepys and Defoe reflect the informal language of a typical diary or journal entry? Explain your answer. How would you compare Defoe’s diction to Pepys’s use of language? Who is the narrator in each excerpt? How is each narrator’s knowledge limited? How does the choice of narrator affect the content of each selection?”   

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read Winston Churchill’s “Wartime Speech, May 19, 1940” followed by Mohandas K. Gandhi’s speech, “Defending Nonviolent Resistance.” While reading both speeches, students identify each author’s purpose: “Ask students why they think Churchill used verbs such as ‘clawing down’ and ‘cutting down’ to describe the success of the British Air Force.” and “Ask students why Gandhi lists all of the instances in which he served the very empire that is trying to convict him on this day.” Students also distinguish fact from opinion and identify rhetorical devices used by each author while reading each selection. After reading both selections, students respond to the following Text to Text Connection prompt: “Identify similarities and differences between Churchill’s 1940 speech to the British people and Gandhi’s 1922 address to the Indian court. Consider the reasoning behind each work, as well as the content, tone, use of rhetorical devices, ambiguity, contradiction, and paradox, and appropriateness of appeals to the audience. Which speech do you find most compelling? Why?” During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students explore how carefully speechwriters must select their words and write an analytical essay in response to the following question: “How does Churchill use language to persuade his listeners not to lose hope and to be prepared to sacrifice?” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 2d

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit's topic(s)/theme(s) through integrated literacy skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2d. 

Individual, paired, and text set selections conclude with Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions; an Analyze Literature, Compare Literature, or Text-to-Text Connection prompt; and four task options in the Extend the Text section. Earlier questions are incoherently sequenced at times and do not always build to a task. Teachers can choose from two writing options and two other types of tasks, such as Collaborative Learning, Critical Literacy, Lifelong Learning, and Media Literacy, in the Extend the Text section. Extend the Text tasks do not consistently relate to reading selections and are sometimes stand-alone in nature. Because there is no true core instructional path, completion of these tasks is optional and contingent upon teacher selection. As a result, there is no guarantee that all students will access the opportunities offered. 

Each unit concludes with three Workshops: Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Test Practice. Most of the Writing and Speaking & Listening Workshops are not connected to the literary form of study and do not require students to draw upon their knowledge of the texts in the unit. The Test Practice Workshops are not connected to unit content and are designed to help students practice taking standardized tests. The three Workshops are not integrated. 

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge through integrated literacy skills; however, it is unclear how tasks relate to the unit’s topic/theme. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Culminating tasks are evident and varied across the year and they are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, listening) at the appropriate grade level, and comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening).

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, during the Writing Workshop, students ``compose a narrative poem about a modern-day hero.” After selecting a topic, students ``[r]esearch your hero to learn more about his or her life” and “gather information about the foe, or challenge your hero has faced.” Students use a graphic organizer to record their findings, organize their ideas, and state in one sentence the main message they wish to communicate about their selected hero. The teacher encourages students “to reread some narrative poems to review meter and rhyme,” as students work on their drafts. Students self- or peer-evaluate their work using a Revision Checklist and then “[p]erform your poem for the class using costumed readers, props, and musical accompaniment, or show the class a videotaped presentation of your poem.” Students evaluate their work using a Writing Rubric. This task integrates reading, writing, and speaking and listening.

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, during the Speaking & Listening Workshop, students summarize factual information. After deciding on an interesting topic, students “focus [their] research by developing useful questions,” using research tools as needed to gather information. Afterwards, students develop a thesis statement, or main idea, and “prepare notes that are like an outline” to present their speech. Students rehearse their presentation and evaluate the task using a Speaking & Listening Rubric. This task integrates reading, writing, and speaking and listening. 

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students present an oral analysis of a literary selection. Students “select a short story you have read and enjoyed” or “one that you have not yet read.” After reading “the short story once to familiarize yourself with the plot and characters,” students “read it a second time and focus on specific elements of it.” Students jot down notes as they analytically read the short story and use their notes to develop their thesis. Afterwards, students “organize your notes into prompts, or cues, for your oral presentation.” Students practice their presentation before delivering it to the class and evaluate the task using a Speaking & Listening Rubric. This task integrates reading, writing, and speaking and listening.  

  • Earlier text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced and will not give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness (or whether they are “on track”) to complete culminating tasks.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students read “The Head of Humbaba” from Gilgamesh, verse translation by Herbert Mason. Students examine figurative language and respond to the following prompt: “Ask students what comparison the poet makes in the description of Humbaba in lines 9–14.” After reading, students respond to Refer and Reason questions, such as “Evaluate Gilgamesh as a hero. What strengths and weaknesses does he have? What kind of friend is he to Enkidu? Is Gilgamesh an admirable hero? Why or why not?” During the Writing Options section, students write “an epic poem about a hero from today.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the end-of-unit Writing Workshop in which they write a narrative poem about a modern-day hero.

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read a text set containing three lyric poems by William Blake: “The Lamb,” “The Tyger,” and “London.” Students examine synesthesia and parallelism while reading, responding to prompts and questions, such as “Ask students to analyze the parallel elements that help balance stanza 2 with stanza 1.” and “Have students identify an example of synesthesia in stanza 2.” During the Collaborative Learning option in the Extend the Text section, students work in small groups to “research changes in graphic elements used in British poetry across time periods.” Later in the unit, students read a paired selection of lyric poems by George Gordon, Lord Byron: “She Walks in Beauty” and an excerpt from “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.” Students analyze simile and enjambment while reading the selections and respond to prompts and questions including: “Have students identify and describe the simile in the poem’s opening lines.”; “Ask students which words are connected by the enjambment in line 8”; and “Ask students to identify the lines in stanza 91.” During the Collaborative Learning Extend the Text option, students work in small groups to “prepare a speech that Byron might make to a high school graduating class.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Speaking and Listening Workshop in which they present an oral analysis of a short story.

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students read and compare the lyric poem, “Telephone Conversation” by Wole Soyinka to an excerpt from another lyric poem, “Midsummer XXII'' by Derek Walcott. Students analyze theme in each selection and respond to questions and prompts, such as “Have students read lines 4–5 carefully. What theme do these lines suggest?”; “Ask students to identify the tone of this statement and state how it relates to the theme.”; “Have students identify the allusions the author makes in lines 3–11. How do these allusions reflect a theme of the poem?”; and “Have students identify the allusions the speaker makes in lines 19–21. How do these allusions relate to the theme of the poem?” The Extend the Text section contains two oral presentation opportunities. Students ``research the causes and effects of the Brixton riot in 1981” and “[p]repare an oral report in which you outline the causes and explain one of the effects in greater detail,” during the Lifelong Learning option. Students work in a small group to “prepare a reading of ‘Telephone Conversation,’ during the Critical Literacy option. Students “practice reading the poem out loud, using your voices and facial expressions to convey the thoughts and feelings of the different characters' ' and “[p]erform the reading for the class. Later in the unit, students read “No Witchcraft for Sale,” a short story by Doris Lessing. Students focus on analyzing characterization and motivation and respond to questions and prompts, such as “Ask students what motivates Mrs. Farquhar to raise Gideon’s wages. Does she really care for Gideon?” and “Have students give an example of direct characterization and indirect characterization in the marked passage.” During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students ``[w]rite a one-paragraph analysis of the Farquars’ motivation for wanting to know about the secret root. Using evidence from the story, explore possible primary and secondary reasons for their motivation.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Speaking and Listening Workshop in which they present an oral analysis of a short story.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2e. 

The writing program design includes two on-demand, post-reading writing prompts selections. Prompts span creative, argumentative, informative, narrative, and descriptive writing modes. While some prompts are stand-alone tasks, others connect to texts students read and sometimes require students to use textual evidence in their responses. Each unit also includes an End-of-Unit Writing Workshop. During the Writing Workshop, materials explain what students should do during each step of the writing process but rarely provide instruction on the writing mode of focus. Writing Workshops include various supports and tools for monitoring writing development, such as rubrics, student models, literary models, graphic organizers, and checklists. Unlike their on-demand counterparts, these process writing tasks do not connect to the unit theme and are stand-alone in nature with some tasks requiring students to use evidence from sources. Materials include practice opportunities in the Writing Skills section embedded within the End-of-Unit Test Practice Workshop. During this Workshop, students practice timed writing responses and revision and editing skills. As with the Writing Workshops, Test Practice Workshop activities span various genres but are not connected to the unit text selections. The Writing & Grammar workbook may be used to supplant Writing Workshops, as the ancillary resource includes an additional in-depth writing workshop for each unit. Writing & Grammar activities begin with a Learn From a Literary Model section. This section draws upon one of the unit text selections. The Writing Rubric  ancillary contains four PDF files: a narrative writing rubric, an informative writing rubric, an argumentative writing rubric, and a four-point general writing rubric. Materials lack teacher guidance on enacting ancillary and optional writing lessons and tasks. 

Materials include a year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year; however, cohesion is lacking. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials include limited writing instruction that aligns to the standards for the grade level and sometimes supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year.

    • While there is an evident structure to the writing aspect of the program, including frequent opportunities for students to write in various modes and for various purposes, supports, and tools for monitoring student writing development, the structure lacks cohesion. Materials include the following Writing Workshops— three informative, three argumentative, one descriptive, two narrative—resulting in a mostly balanced distribution of explicit instruction on the writing modes required by the standards. Test Practice Workshops do not include explicit instruction and their mode of focus differs from that of the Writing Workshops. It is unclear how writing instruction and tasks build upon each other to promote growth in students’ skills over the course of the unit and across the year. 

    • While materials offer a number of writing opportunities, explicit writing instruction is largely absent. During the End-of-Unit Writing Workshops, students spend three regular schedule days or one and a half block schedule days transitioning through the writing process as they complete a process writing task on a specific mode of focus. Writing Workshop tasks include:

      • Unit 1—Narrative Writing: Write a Narrative Poem

      • Unit 2—Informative Writing: Write a Cover Letter and Résumé

      • Unit 3—Informative Writing: Write a Poetry Explication

      • Unit 4—Descriptive Writing: Describe a Character

      • Unit 5—Argumentative Writing: Write a Satire

      • Unit 6—Narrative Writing: Write a Personal Essay

      • Unit 7—Argumentative Writing: Review a Short Story or Book

      • Unit 8—Informative Writing: Analyze an Advertisement

      • Unit 9—Argumentative Writing: Write a Research Paper

  • Instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development.

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students complete a narrative writing assignment in the Writing Workshop. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note that guides teachers on having students look more closely at the different phases of the student sample included in the activity: “Have students mark the meter for the opening stanza of Sasha’s draft on page 71. Then have students mark the meter for the opening stanza of Sasha’s final poem on page 73. Ask students to read aloud the draft and the finished product and note how the revisions improved the meter. Point out the importance of reading one’s work aloud to check the meter.” 

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students write a poetry explication during the Writing Workshop. The Workshop outlines a step-by-step process for writing the explication, including a table for organizing the analysis, a Writing Rubric, ideas about what great writers do, a Revision Checklist, a multi-staged Student Model, and guidance for teachers to help students along the way.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students write a description of a character during the Writing Workshop. During the Revision stage of the process, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on grammar and style: “Review with students the importance of sentence variety, especially in an essay that focuses on a single character. Hold a class-wide brainstorming session that focuses, for example, on different structures for sentence beginnings, such as prepositional phrases, participial phrases, transition words, or subordinate clauses. Also remind students of the possibilities for combining short sentences.” 

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students write a reflective essay as part of the Test Practice Workshop. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Reflective Essay Rubric which contains the following criteria: Content, Organization and Development, and Grammar and Style.

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students write a research paper during the Writing Workshop. The Workshop includes a box titled What Great Writers Do. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note referencing this embedded support: “Read and discuss the What Great Writers Do box on this page. Remind students that quotations should not stand alone. They should be introduced or commented on so the reader understands why the quotation is part of the paper.” 

Indicator 2f

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2f. 

While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Short research tasks do not include standards-aligned, explicit instruction and typically occur during one of the post-reading Extend the Text options. These tasks are optional and may not occur during core instruction. Students have one opportunity in each grade level to conduct a long research project—during the Unit 6 Writing Workshop. During this end-of-grade level task, materials include directions to guide students through each step of the research writing process but provide limited explicit instruction of standards-aligned research skills. 

While materials provide opportunities to expand the Extend the Text research tasks, teachers must access the Extension Activities ancillary to do so. Materials also include a Language Arts Handbook ancillary with a section on Research and Documentation, but there is no guidance on how to use this handbook for instruction or how it ties to the specific tasks students complete. Ancillary resources are not a part of core instruction.

Materials do not include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Research projects are not sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards.  

    • While there are frequent opportunities for students to complete informal research tasks, materials lack teacher guidance to support students with completing these tasks. The Teacher Edition does not provide information on how to teach the research skills necessary to complete the after-reading research tasks, and it contains limited guidance for the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop research project. Materials do not include a sequence or progression of research skills, nor is there explicit instruction of research skills that aligns to the standards. During the one in-depth research project per grade level, students complete research tasks as outlined in the standards but receive limited explicit instruction when doing so. While the research-focused Writing Workshop provides detailed process steps to complete the task, the Workshop rarely includes explicit instruction or scaffolding during each step of the research writing process. 

  • Materials provide limited support for teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic via provided resources. 

    • There is no evidence of the instructional materials providing support to teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic via provided resources. Research-oriented Extend the Text tasks are not accompanied by instructional support for teachers to guide students through what they are being asked to accomplish. For example, after reading John Donne’s poems, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” and “‘Death, be not proud’ (Holy Sonnet 10)” in Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, students may complete a Lifelong Learning Extend the Text task in which they research religious differences: “Team up with a classmate to research the similarities and differences between the Anglican and Catholic faiths. Begin by reviewing the conditions under which the Church of England was formed. Also determine why it was advantageous for Donne to join this church.” Materials do not provide support for teachers or students on how to conduct this research or how the information should be evaluated or organized. During the one in-depth research project per grade level, teachers receive limited support for helping students complete the steps of the research project, such as how to write a thesis statement, incorporate parenthetical citations, paraphrase, or construct citations or a Works Cited page.  

  • Materials provide many opportunities for students to synthesize and analyze content tied to the texts under study as a part of the research process. 

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, students read “The Prologue” from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated by Nevill Coghill. In the Extend the Text section of the after-reading activities, the Lifelong Learning task reads as follows: “Using library and Internet sources, research social stratification (or class structure) in the Medieval Period. Identify the primary social classes and what determined membership in them. Make a research plan and adjust it as you narrow your topic. To which class does each character in ‘The Prologue’ belong? Create a chart that identifies the primary social classes and lists the pilgrims that belong in each class.” Through this task, students will demonstrate their comprehension and knowledge of social stratifications in the Medieval Period. This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, students read the poems, “The World is Too Much With Us,” “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” and an excerpt from Preface to Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth. In the Extend the Text section of the after reading activities, the Lifelong Learning task reads as follows: “Research how the ideals of Romanticism revealed themselves in the music and visual art of the period. Then pair one song or one piece of visual art with one of Wordsworth’s poems. If you choose a song, draw parallels between the music’s melody, lyrics, and instrumental choices and the Romantic ideals of the poetry. If you choose a piece of visual art, such as a painting or a sculpture, make connections between the imagery, subjects, emotions, materials, and techniques of the artwork and the Romantic ideals of the poetry. Present your ideas to your classmates.” This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, after reading the poems “War Poet” by Sydney Keyes and “Words” by Keith Douglas, students may complete a Media Literacy Extend the Text task: “A vast archive of newspaper and magazine articles, documents, films, speeches, and radio transcripts form World War II is available in libraries and on the Internet...select one aspect of the conflict—for example, British and American perspectives on staying the course to achieve victory—and examine the media coverage in terms of its intended effect on the audience and purpose.” This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..

  • Students are provided with opportunities for both “short” and “long” projects across the course of a year and grade bands.

    • In Unit 5,  Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read “Song (‘Why So Pale and Wan’),” a lyric poem by Sir John Suckling. In the Extend the Text section of the after-reading activities, students research a famous person who has been imprisoned for their beliefs during the Collaborative Learning task. Students explore the reason for the person’s imprisonment, what he/she has accomplished, then share with classmates. This is a shorter project that could be accomplished in one or two class projects. This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, after reading the lyric poems, “When You Are Old,” “The Wild Swans at Coole,” and “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats, students may complete an Extend the Text activity during which they research swans then compare Yeats’ view of the swans with a non-fiction portrayal of them. This is a shorter project that would take one or two class periods to complete. This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..

    • In Unit 9, Finding a Place in the World, Postmodern Era 1945–Present, students “[p]lan, write, and revise a research paper that describes a contemporary conflict and presents an argument about it” during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop. The body of the research paper must “[support] the thesis with detailed evidence gathered from research.” This long research project spans three class periods.

Criterion 2g - 2h

Materials promote mastery of grade-level standards by the end of the year.

4/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 do not meet the criteria for coherence. Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. Questions and tasks do not consistently align to grade-level standards or meet the full intent of the standards. It is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. There is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards. The amount of material cannot reasonably be completed within the suggested amount of time and is not viable for a school year. The volume of optional tasks distracts from core learning. Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

Indicator 2g

Materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2g.

Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. As a result, there is no true core instructional path. The Lesson Plan for each text includes the following sections: Before Reading, During Reading, After Reading. Within each section, teachers select or choose activities from a list of core and ancillary resources. Most ancillary resources, such as Unit & Selection Resources, do not provide explicit instruction nor do they identify correlated standards for the provided content. Some questions and tasks align to grade-level standards while others do not align or do not meet the full intent of the standards. Because assessments do not identify the standards addressed, it is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. Although the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page numbers covering the standards in each strand, without a true core instructional path and because the majority of questions and tasks do not align to grade-level standards, there is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards.

Materials do not spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Over the course of each unit, some instruction is aligned to grade-level standards.

    • In the Digital Teacher Edition, the Grade 12 Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page numbers for each standard in Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language; however, the page numbers listed do not always contain opportunities for explicit instruction or address the correlated standard. 

      • For example, the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page 498 in the EMC Pages That Cover the Standards column for RL.5 “Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.” This page contains Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions, an Analyze Literature: Dialect and Meter prompt, and the four Extend the Text options for the lyric poem, “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns. The page also contains an Analyze Literature inset that includes information on dialect and meter. While this inset explains the use of dialect and meter in the text, materials do not provide an opportunity for explicit instruction on the correlated standard.      

  • Over the course of each unit, some questions and tasks are aligned to grade-level standards. 

    • Questions often focus on comprehension strategies, such as Make Connections, Ask Questions, Draw Conclusions, and Visualize. These comprehension strategies do not align to grade-level standards. Some Extend the Text tasks align to grade-level standards, while others either do not align or do not meet the full requirements of the standards. Because post-reading questions and tasks do not have correlated standards identified, it is not always clear which question or task addresses the standard listed on the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document. 

      • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period, students read “The Prodigal Son'' from The King James Bible. During reading, students identify specific images and “[d]iscuss the purpose that Jesus’s use of imagery might serve.” Students also “discuss Jesus’ purpose in telling this parable” and “record the events of the parable on a brief sequence chart.” Students then “use the text in their sequence charts to draft a children’s book based on Jesus’s story.” The text also includes an Art Connection piece on Rembrandt’s painting, “Self-Portrait as Paul the Apostle.” Students respond to the following Critical Viewing question: “In addition to the great level of detail, what other qualities do you observe in Rembrandt’s self-portrait? Consider the subject’s expression and posture as well as the painting’s use of color, light, and shadow. Infer what these qualities suggest about the artist’s personality. Also consider why someone might paint his own portrait so many times and, in this case, cast himself in the role of a religious figure.” These questions and tasks do not address the correlated standard: “Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.” 

  • Over the course of each unit, it is unclear whether the majority of assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. 

    • Materials do not identify assessed standards on Selection Quizzes, Lesson Tests, Unit Exams, or Formative Surveys. As a result, it is unclear whether the majority of assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. 

  • By the end of the academic year, standards are not repeatedly addressed within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standard.

    • Because the page numbers listed on the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document for each standard in Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language are not always the standard addressed and because the majority of questions and tasks do not align to grade-level standards, materials do not consistently provide students with multiple opportunities to address standards within and across units to ensure mastery. It is also unclear which items address the correlated standard, because standards are not identified at the question or task level.  

      • The Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists the following page numbers for SL.3 “Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.”: 173, 187–193, 235, 659, 747–757, E237, E243, E248. On page 235, materials define drama, types of drama, and elements of drama on the Understanding Literary Forms page. This does not address the correlated standard. On page 659, students complete a Speaking & Listening Workshop in which they present an argument. While listening to their peers, students “identify the position taken and supporting evidence. Ask questions to clarify your understanding of the content. Assess the persuasiveness of the argument based on content, diction, rhetorical strategies, and delivery.” The provided Speaking & Listening Rubric contains evaluation criteria on Content and Delivery & Presentation.

Indicator 2h

Materials regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h. 

The materials include an overwhelming number of components with no guide for teachers to understand how to navigate and integrate the many ancillary resources. The Program Planning Guide includes the Mirrors & Windows College & Career Readiness Curriculum Guide Level VII (Grade 12), an alternative implementation schedule that focuses on selections and workshops necessary for students to “master critical skills that appear on state and national assessments.” Given the amount of time suggested and allotted for the core materials to be covered, there is little surplus time for covering the many extension activities, workshops and assessments located within and outside of the core materials. As a result, it is unclear how to assure grade-level standards are covered methodically or evenly when incorporating optional tasks or ancillary materials into daily lesson planning.  

Materials do not regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Suggested implementation schedules and alternative implementation schedules do not consistently align to core learning and objectives. 

    • In Unit 2, Social and Cultural Change, Medieval Period 1066–1485, students read “The Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, translated by Nevill Coghill. During reading, teachers have many options for implementing activities that do not align to the core instructional goals on characterization and irony. For example, during an enrichment activity, students research cathedrals and create an illustrated report. This task does not support students’ learning of the core skills for this text. 

    • In Unit 6, New Freedom and Equality, Romantic Period 1798–1832, students read “Ozymandias” and “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. In the Teacher Edition, the Launch the Lesson recommendation directs teachers to ask students to spend time outside and write a journal entry on how nature inspires them. A Teaching Note also provides caution on events in Shelley’s life concerning suicide. The pre-reading activity begins with a biography of the poet. In addition, materials provide literary context on both poems, terza rima, and purpose. During the reading of the text, students answer questions related to analyzing literature and using reading skills. Students also respond to Mirrors and Windows questions. After-reading tasks include responding to Text-Dependent Questions and Analyze Literature prompts addressing terza rima and character. The optional Extend the Text tasks include Creative and Narrative Writing options, as well as a Collaborative Learning option during which students write a fable and a Media Literacy option in which students review a film. The four Exent the Text options do not address character or terza rima. 

    • In Unit 7, Reconciling Ideals and Realities, Victorian Era 1832–1901, students read an excerpt from the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The objectives for the lesson include reading, interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating the excerpt; understanding how social conditions of the Victorian period influenced Dickens’s writing; and understanding and analyzing setting and characterization. The four Extend the Text options align to core learning and objectives for the text. 

  • Suggested implementation schedules cannot be reasonably completed in the time allotted.  

    • The Program Planning Guide notes the overabundance of material: “To help you meet the diverse needs of your students, the Mirrors & Windows program offers a wealth of material—much more than you can teach in one school year. As a result, one challenge you will face is identifying the resources that are best suited to your particular situation.” 

    • As an alternative to the Scope and Sequence Guide provided in each unit, materials include the Mirrors & Windows College & Career Readiness Curriculum Guide Level VII (Grade 12): “The selections and workshops listed here represent the core course of study students need to master critical skills that appear on state and national assessments. To ensure standards coverage, students who are having difficulty may concentrate on only these selections and workshops. Students on and above grade level may read more selections.” When utilizing this abridged course of study, the teacher must still select which instructional activities to enact during each Program Planning Guide lesson plan.

    • The Program Planning Guide contains lesson plans for each text selection and the three End-of-Unit Workshops. Text selection lesson plans include the following sections: Before Reading, During Reading, and After Reading. In the Before Reading: Preview and Motivate section, teachers “[c]hoose from the following materials to preview the selection and motivate your students.” The During Reading section contains two sub-sections, Teach the Selection(s) and Differentiate Instruction. Teachers choose from a list of resources to teach the selection and consider “alternative teaching options to differentiate instruction.” The After Reading section contains two to three subsections: Review and Extend, Teach the Workshop(s), and Assess. Teachers select activities from a list of options and resources to extend learning and teach the Workshop included, where applicable. Teachers do not select from a list of options during the Assess subsection. The lesson plan does not provide guidance on how many minutes each option should take or how long the lesson should last. Pacing guidance is limited to the number of regular schedule or block schedule days the lesson should take. 

  • Optional tasks distract from core learning. 

    • In Unit 1, Heroes and Kings, Anglo-Saxon Period 449–1066, students read the historical texts, “The Conversion of King Edwin” and “The Story of Caedmon” by Saint Bede the Venerable. The Scope and Sequence Guide outlines the lesson components, including the Literary Element: allegory and caesura, and the Mirrors & Windows theme: leadership and decision making. Before reading, students learn the definitions of allegory and caesura. During reading, students identify allegory twice and caesura once. Materials include several other during-reading questions on identifying the author's purpose, clarifying, identifying a miracle tale, making inferences, and connecting to the historical period. After reading, students respond to a few questions on allegory and caesura, but materials do not address the other skills and elements. One of the four Extend the Text options connects to the lesson components. During the Descriptive Writing option, students write an allegory for a sixth-grade student on the topic of accomplishing a certain goal.

    • In Unit 5, Harmony and Reason, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 1625–1798, students read the lyric poems, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick, and “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvel. The Before Reading material establishes the purpose for reading, which is to study the authors’ use of figurative language, in particular, metaphor and hyperbole. Students also practice the reading skills of visualization and paraphrasing. The optional Extend the Text tasks do not support the students’ acquisition of these skills, nor do they deepen the students’ understanding of the texts. The tasks include writing a letter to the speaker of “To His Coy Mistress;” writing an essay comparing the poems’ expression of the carpe diem theme; writing a review of a movie; and writing and delivering a poetry explication on any poem in the unit.

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, students read the drama, The Rising of the Moon by Lady Augusta Gregory. While reading, students study stage directions, dialogue, and monologue, and practice visualizing. The exercises and questions included during and after reading support core learning. The optional Extend the Text tasks do not directly connect to the goals of the lesson and could distract from students’ acquisition of skills. Tasks include creating a wanted poster for a fugitive in the play, analyzing the play for its relevance to a particular community, writing an editorial on the status of Northern Ireland today, and presenting a reader’s theater performance of the drama. 

  • Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

    • In Unit 3, Rebirth of Culture and Ideas, Renaissance 1485–1625, the paired Writing and Grammar ancillary activity for the unit is an informative writing workshop in which students make a comparison using figurative language. The workshop includes studying a literary model, practicing associated skills, then writing an essay using an analogy to compare two items or ideas. Materials provide a rubric for self-evaluation at the end of the workshop. The workshop connects to core learning solely through the use of a mentor text that appears in the unit. 

    • In Unit 4, Comedy and Tragedy, Renaissance Drama 1485–1642, while reading Act IV of The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, students may complete an enrichment activity in which they research Medieval castles and draw floor plans. While this activity is intended to help students visualize Macduff’s castle and deepen their knowledge of the time period, it does little to enhance core instruction or understanding of the play. 

    • In Unit 8, Struggle for Peace and Progress, Modern Era 1901–1945, after reading the lyric poems, “The Rear-Guard” by Siegfried Sassoon and “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen, students may complete a Differentiated Instruction visual activity during which they draw one or two striking images from the lines of the poems. This enrichment activity may familiarize students with the text on a deeper level while emphasizing the importance of imagery.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content.

Indicator 3a

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials to support students' literacy development.

N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials contain adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade/course-level concepts and concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject.

N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials include standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series.

N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials provide strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

N/A

Indicator 3e

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities.

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

The program includes a system of assessments identifying how materials provide tools, guidance, and support for teachers to collect, interpret, and act on data about student progress towards the standards.

Indicator 3i

Assessment information is included in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed.

N/A

Indicator 3j

Assessment system provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade, course, and/or series to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

N/A

Indicator 3k

Assessments include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level/course-level standards and practices across the series.

N/A

Indicator 3l

Assessments offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

The program includes materials designed for each child’s regular and active participation in grade-level/grade-band/series content.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards that will support their regular and active participation in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials regularly provide extensions to engage with literacy content and concepts at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

N/A

Indicator 3o

Materials provide varied approaches to learning tasks over time and variety in how students are expected to demonstrate their learning with opportunities for students to monitor their learning.

N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards to regularly participate in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.

N/A

Indicator 3s

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

The program includes a visual design that is engaging and references or integrates digital technology (when applicable) with guidance for teachers.

Indicator 3w

Materials integrate technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic software in ways that engage students in the grade-level/series standards, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3x

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3y

The visual design (whether in print or digital) supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

N/A

Indicator 3z

Materials provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable.

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/08/26

Report Edition: 2021

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Mirrors & Windows 2021 - Student Edition Grade 12 978‑1‑5338‑3669‑4 EMC School, Part of Carnegie Learning 2021
Mirrors & Windows 2021 - Teacher's Edition Grade 12 978‑1‑5338‑3676‑2 EMC School, Part of Carnegie Learning 2021

Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

ELA High School Review Tool

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

The EdReports rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of alignment to college and career ready standards and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum, such as usability and design, as recommended by educators.

Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators (gateway 1) to move to the other gateways. 

Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment to the standards. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?

Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. 

In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For all content areas, usability ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for effective practices (as outlined in the evaluation tool) for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, differentiated instruction, and effective technology use.

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations