December 6, 2007
Dear Publishers of Kindergarten through Grade Eight Reading/Language Arts–English-Language Development Instructional Materials:
Publishers have had an opportunity to review the evaluation criteria from the 2007 Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, and attend three publishers’ briefings on the updated framework and evaluation criteria. Publishers have also had an opportunity to submit questions through the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Web site. As a result, we have received questions from publishers seeking clarification on the evaluation criteria as it pertains to specific program types. Responses are included in the attachment to this bulletin. The responses to the questions are based on information in the 2007 Reading/Language Arts Framework, and specifically Chapter 9, which contains the evaluation criteria for the adoption.
We will continue to compile questions from publishers that arise during the upcoming briefings.
REMINDER: The Invitation to Submit (ITS) Meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2008. The specific meeting information is listed below:
The Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources (CFIR) lead contact for the 2008 RLA/ELD Primary Adoption is Suzanne Rios, Administrator, Instructional Resources Unit. She can be reached at
916-319-0665 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. [Note, the preceding phone number and e-mail address are no longer valid. For more information, contact the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division at 916-319-0881.]
For questions regarding Programs 1, 2, and 3, please contact Irma Hernandez-Larin, 2008 RLA/ELD Primary Adoption Lead Consultant, Instructional Resources Unit, at
916-319-0440 or by e-mail at email@example.com. [Note, the preceding phone number and e-mail address are no longer valid. For more information, contact the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division at 916-319-0881.]]
For questions regarding Programs 4 and 5, contact Cynthia Gunderson, Consultant, Curriculum Frameworks Unit, at 916-319-0451 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions regarding the meeting or this announcement, please contact the CFIR office at 916-319-0881.We look forward to your participation.
Thomas Adams, Director
Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division
cc: Kenneth Noonan, State Board PresidentRoger Magyar, Executive Director, State Board of Education
Anthony Monreal, Deputy Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction Branch
Mary-Alicia McRae, Chair, Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission
Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission Members
Note: References to page numbers are from the 2007 Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools and the criterion statements in Chapter 9: “Criteria for Evaluating Instructional Materials, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight” (K-8).
A: For the basic programs, under Program Description, Criterion 2 states that the basic programs shall be evaluated for alignment with Table 1 and Table 2, as well as the English-Language Arts (ELA) Content Standards, Reading/Language Arts Framework, program description and all criteria categories. The purpose of Tables 1 and 2 is to guide teachers in teaching the technical skills of reading. For programs submitted for grades four through eight, the instructional materials must support the skills that are listed with the four through eight designation and align to the appropriate grade level standards. (Framework, page 292)
A: Both Criterion #23 and Criterion #22 are under the subheading of teacher edition support and must be included as features in all five program types. Criterion #22 provides for a linguistic, contrastive analysis chart in the teacher edition that shows and explains how new or difficult sounds and features of the English language are taught and reinforced. Criterion #23 references providing teachers with an audio or video recording that demonstrates the correct pronunciation of all the sounds taught. The purpose of these criteria is to provide teachers with instructional support for pronunciation of difficult sounds. When teachers are responsible for teaching sounds in grades six through eight, then audio or video support should be provided. No, audio readings of selections does not meet this criteria. (Framework, page 318)
A: The additional ELD materials should not be a new or separate phonics program. Criterion #29 highlights the design of the ELD materials to ensure students’ mastery of the English-language arts content standards and include instructional materials connect to, and are consistent with the unit or theme. In addition, materials include instruction, practice, review and application that lead to the acquisition of English. Criterion #27 notes that ELD instructional materials are consistent with and connected to the basic program and aligned to the ELA standards, the ELD standards and the framework. Materials demonstrate alignment through the ELA/ELD Standards Correlation Matrices and include lessons that address the Beginning, Early Intermediate, Intermediate, and Early Advanced levels of English-language proficiency at appropriate grade levels. The additional ELD instructional support is given to English learners beyond the basic program for up to one hour a day, but this additional ELD support may be presented in smaller segments. (Framework, pages 297-298).
A: Only the reading comprehension skills are listed in the criteria but the materials in the reading intervention kit should be consistent with those used in the basic programs, and should be designed for explicit, sequential, and systematic instruction. However, on page 33 in the Framework, in the section “Teaching Students to Read: A Special Priority” two important principles are noted in early reading instruction: 1) that skills from all strands must be a part of a student’s reading program, although emphasis on different skills will vary over time and from student to student; and 2) new skills must be integrated across strands to reinforce and extend learning. The materials should provide targeted instruction in one or more of the English-language content standards already taught, but may not have been mastered. Reading comprehension (Reading Comprehension Strand 2.0) is identified as one of the five beginning technical skills in the reading kit, along with phonemic awareness and phonological awareness, phonics and decoding, oral reading fluency, and vocabulary. The narrative analysis substrand under the 3.0 Literary Response and Analysis content strand (retelling stories, identify characters and settings, responding to questions, etc) could be added and integrated with developing reading comprehension skills but is not required. (Framework, page 296)
A. It is important to understand Appendix 9-C in the context of the English-language arts content standards. The English-Language Arts Content Standards in grade two, under Reading Comprehension in Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level Appropriate Text states:
2.3 Use knowledge of the author’s purpose(s) to comprehend informational text. (Framework, page 89)
Grade Three, Literary Response and Analysis states:
3.4 Determine the underlying theme or author’s message in fiction and non-fiction text. (Framework, page 106)
In this instance, the materials meet the goal of the Curriculum Content by aligning to the appropriate grade-level standards.
Specific language about the author’s point of view does not appear in the English-language arts standards until Grade 6 and above:
Grade Six, Literary Response and Analysis states:
3.5 Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first and third-person narration (e.g., autobiography compared with biography). (Framework, page 168)
Grade Seven, Reading Comprehension states:
2.4 Identify and trace the development of an author's argument, point of view, or perspective in text. (Framework, page 185)
Grade Seven, Literary Response and Analysis states:
3.5 Contrast points of view (e.g., first and third person, limited and omniscient, subjective and objective) in narrative text and explain how they affect the overall theme of the work.
A: Yes. Category 3, Criterion 1 states that all programs must provide guidance on the purpose, administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessments. In addition, Criterion 2.c. states that the diagnostic screening assessments either are listed as recommended or are provided under licensed agreements with the text publisher(s). If a publisher includes a commercial diagnostic assessment with a program it must have the right to do so. (Framework, page 310-311)
A: Yes, keeping in mind when designing any program the goal is to ensure universal access to high-quality curriculum and instruction for all students. Under Category 4, Universal Access, the basic program curriculum must encompass a range of materials to meet the needs of students at various levels of performance. Instructional materials should incorporate “optimal opportunities for teachers to scaffold instruction and check for understanding.” (Framework, pages 314-315)
In addition, program types 1, 2, and 3 require instructional materials that are aligned with the English-Language Arts Content Standards, provide instructional content for 180 days of instruction…, and require the following four instructional elements that reinforce and extend the basic programs 1 and 2, and the primary language program 3:
Extra Support for Struggling Readers, Kindergarten through Grade Eight
Extra Support for English Learners, Kindergarten through Grade Eight
Intensive Vocabulary Instructional Support, Kindergarten through Grade Three
Reading Intervention Kit, Kindergarten through Grade Three
(Framework, pages 293, 296, and 299)
A. The same instructional materials may address the different English learner levels; the adoption criteria do not require publishers to develop separate materials for each level. This is part of the design implementation of the publisher. Under Program Description, Criterion 8 states that support materials must address the Beginning, Early Intermediate, Intermediate, and Early Advanced levels of English-language proficiency at appropriate grade levels. (Framework, page 294)
A: If a publisher submits for Programs 1, 2, or 3 they need to ensure that their submissions meet the requirements for English learners for the specific program types as required in the R/LA Framework criteria for the particular type of program. For example, the Program Description for Program 1(which also apply to Programs 2&3) Criterion 8 states that support materials for English learners must provide materials that address the Beginning, Early Intermediate, intermediate and Early Advanced levels of English-language proficiency at appropriate grade levels. (Framework, page 294)
Each program description and criteria in Categories 1-5 have specific requirements to address the instructional needs of both English learners and the extra 30 minutes of support; and the additional one hour of ELD instruction for Programs 2 and 3. The ELD instructional materials include alignment with the ELA/ELD correlation matrices. In addition, both Chapters 3 and 4 include instructional profiles by grade level that provide guidance for publishers to assist students who are English learners.
A: Category 3, Criterion 2. c. states, that programs must provide the following: “Diagnostic screening assessments (usually norm-referenced) in the six technical skill areas for use with selected students in addressing instructional needs. (The diagnostic screening assessments either are listed as recommended or are provided under licensed agreements with the test publisher[s].)” It is important for publishers to obtain a licensed agreement with any additional third parties on the use of diagnostic assessments when the publishers do not have their own copyright. (Framework, page 311)
A: Category 3, Criteria 1-9 are specific on what and when assessments in the basic programs must be implemented. These are the criteria, along with the criteria in each Program Description and Categories 1, 2, 4, and 5 which must be followed. (Framework, Chapter 9)
The instructional profiles found for each grade level, like the ones on pages 43 and 65, provide options and recommendations for specific progress monitoring. Both Table 1, Progress-Monitoring Assessment Schedule for Kindergarten Through Grade Three, and Table 2, Progress-Monitoring Assessment Schedule for Grades Four Through Eight, offer suggestions for some of the important measures available to teachers to inform them of the effectiveness of the instructional program and the progress of their students toward mastery of the standards. The assessments noted on the table are administered at the end of units or themes and assess what has been taught in the unit or theme or in previous units or themes. (Framework, pages 255 and 257)
A: The six technical skill areas are in line with the reading technical skills and are referenced in Criterion #7: phonemic awareness, phonics and decoding, oral reading fluency, spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. (Framework, page 312)
A: The answer is still being developed.
A: In describing specifications for decodable books, Category 1, Criteria 20 states that, “For those sounds with multiple spellings, two sound-spellings may be paired in one decodable book or reading passage.” The criterion is specific that only two sound-spellings can be paired together; however the option is given to use either a decodable book or reading passage. The criterion does not specify the length of a reading passage or how many reading passages can be in a book. The minimum is approximately 9000 words of decodable text. (Framework, pages 304-305)
A: The publisher has flexibility when reviewing sound-spelling combinations. In describing specifications for decodable books in intervention programs, Category 1, Criterion 22e in the framework defines the term “sufficient” in relation to the amount of decodable text. It states, “Approximately 9,000 words of decodable text: two decodable reading selections/passages per sound-spelling determined by the instructional sequence of letter-sound correspondence for students who still need this instruction.” The criterion states that two selections or passages per sound-spelling are required, and that approximately 9000 words of decodable text be provided. It does not specify how the 9000 words of decodable text should be presented, i.e. in passages, selections or books. Criterion 22 also notes that decodables are designed to be age-appropriate and engaging. Criterion 14 states that the order of instruction should be in a sequential and logical design. (Framework, page 304-305)
Note that “sufficient” decodable text is defined differently in Criterion #22 for kindergarten, first grade and second grade in the basic programs, and is specific about the number of decodable books required for those grades in the basic programs. (Framework, page 305)
A. The publisher has flexibility in the design of their instructional materials as long as the specific criteria are met. The list of words and sounds-spelling correspondences introduced in the text could be at the end of the passage, or at the end of the section. If the Intensive Intervention decodable reading selections/passages are located in one student workbook the list of high-frequency words and sound-spelling correspondence for each passage may be located at the back of the student workbook. Category 1, Criterion 21 states, “Each decodable text contains at the back a list of all the high-frequency words and sound-spelling correspondences introduced in that text.” (Framework, page 305)
A: Category 1, Criterion #22e states “Intensive intervention programs—Approximately 9,000 words of decodable text: two decodable reading selections/passages per sound-spelling …” There is no specific requirement to have the decodable text selections in a separate book format for the intervention programs. (Framework, page 305)
A: In the Program Description, Criterion 44 states that the program must have multiple levels and points of entry to appropriately address the skill levels of students. There is no requirement detailing the specific English language proficiency levels that must be addressed in Programs 4 or 5. (Framework, page 301)
A: For the intervention programs only the standards in the strands and substrands of the English-Language Arts Content Standards that are delineated in Appendix 9-A, Matrix 1 (Program 4) and Matrix 2 (Program 5) are required to be included in the program. (Framework, page 319-323)
A: A subtest is a group of test items aligned to the reading/language arts skills taught. Several subtests can make up a test. (Refer to Criterion #11, page 312-313). Progress monitoring assessments should be at the end of each set of lessons (every six to eight weeks) and based on the content taught, and if appropriate, previously taught skills and strategies. So, the subtest content will vary with the content covered. Page 259 of the Framework has more guidance on progress monitoring and subtests.
A: No, because the assessment of reading fluency is designed to provide ongoing monitoring of students’ ability to read and decode words effortlessly on an initial cold read. Reading fluency needs to be done aloud, and as often as necessary to provide teachers with information on instructional effectiveness and monitor student progress.
In Appendix 9-C: Curriculum Content, both Table 1 and 2 include the following information under Oral Reading Fluency: “Narrative and expository text for fluency, with accuracy and appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression. [Fluency is defined as words correct per minute (WCPM) with norms identified by Tindal, Hasbrouck, & Jones (2005).]” (Framework, pages 338 and 340)
A: Listening is part of the “listening and reading comprehension” skill, and can be combined with reading comprehension items on a progress monitoring assessment. Each progress monitoring assessment does not have to have a subtest with ten items for every skill listed in Criterion 11 (phonemic awareness and phonics, word recognition and spelling, oral reading fluency, vocabulary and morphology, listening and reading comprehension, sentence structure, and writing). Each progress monitoring assessment must be aligned with one or more of these skills. (Framework, pages 312-313)
A: This is part of the publisher’s program design. Category 1, Criterion 44.i. states for all programs that instructional materials in writing applications include assessment of students’ ability to meet the grade-level writing application standards using application-specific prompts. (Framework, page 308)
A: This is a part of a publisher’s program design. The criterion does not specify the construction of the summative assessment, only how many subtests and the minimum of items. A critical aspect of summative assessment is that it measures generalization and transference of skills and knowledge for mastery of grade-level standards, not just reflections of retained knowledge. (Framework, pages 253-257)
Also, as noted in the answer to Question 22 above, Criterion 44.i. states that instructional materials in writing applications include assessment of students’ ability to meet the grade-level writing application standards using application-specific prompts. (Framework, page 308)
A: Although the assessment criteria do not specify grammar and usage directly under the reading/language arts skills listed for intervention progress-monitoring assessments, it is required in other criteria. The Program Descriptions for both Program 4 and Program 5 note that efficient and effective instruction be provided in areas in which students are likely to have difficulty, including grammar and usage. (Framework, pages 301 and 302-303). In addition, Appendix 9-A, Matrix 1 and Matrix 2 identify grammar and other language convention standards that must be addressed in the intervention programs. (Framework, pages 319-323)
A: Yes, but keep in mind the different purposes of each type of assessment. Progress monitoring assessments are curriculum-embedded, criterion-referenced to lessons, and are provided to measure instructional effectiveness and monitor student progress at a minimum of every six to eight weeks. Summative assessments are curriculum-embedded, criterion-referenced to lessons at the trimester or semester as required in each type of program. Programs have some flexibility as long as they meet assessment criteria. (Framework, pages 310-311)
A: In intervention programs, a level will be determined by the organization of the program, and the content covered. On page 310, for all programs, Criteria 1 & 2, note progress-monitoring as (curriculum-embedded, criterion-referenced to lessons) assessments that measure instructional effectiveness and monitor student progress at a minimum of every six to eight weeks. On page 312, for intervention programs, Criterion 10 notes that progress monitoring assessments are based on content taught in the set of lessons, and when appropriate, previously taught skills and strategies. Progress monitoring tests should be analyzed to determine which students have mastered the content, and which students need additional help in that area, and should influence how the teachers modify the curriculum. (Framework, pages 253-257)
In addition, Criteria1 & 2 on page 310 state that summative assessments are curriculum-embedded and criterion-referenced to lessons at trimester or semester. Criterion 12 for intervention programs on page 313 states that summative assessments must be designed to measure whether students have mastered the content of previously taught lessons and must be administered at the end of each level. Summative assessment must include a minimum of five subtests, each subtest having a minimum or ten items aligned to the technical reading/language arts skills taught.
A: This is part of the publisher’s program design. Category 3, Assessment, Criterion 13 states the “placement and exit assessments should be designed to help determine the appropriate instructional level for entry in and exit out of the program.” Entry-level assessments “must provide an accurate and precise measure of student performance to place students at the appropriate instructional level in the program.” Exit assessments “must provide an accurate and precise measure of student mastery of the skills necessary to exit the program.” (Framework, page 313)
A: The answer is still being developed.
a. Placement and exit assessments must be designed to help determine the appropriate instructional level for entry in and exit out of the program:
b. The exit assessments must provide an accurate and precise measure of student mastery of skills necessary to exit the program.
c. Placement and exit assessment content must accurately reflect the skills taught in the program. (Framework, page 313, criterion 13)
A: Yes. Both the Intensive Intervention Program in Reading /Language Arts, Program 4 and the Intensive Intervention Program for English Learners, Program 5 have specific criteria to address students whose reading achievement is two or more years below grade level (including students who use African American vernacular English, English learners, struggling readers, and students with disabilities). If additional instructional materials and program components are provided as extra support for specific students, the teacher edition must provide the information described in Criterion 19. See pages 300-303 for the two program descriptions.
A: The intervention program materials must provide instructional content for 180 days of instruction, 2.5 to 3 hours daily. How districts configure instructional periods and implement the adopted instructional materials are local district decisions. (Framework, page 291)
A: Only Basic Programs 1, 2, and 3 need to be aligned to the History/Social Science and Science Content Standards, grades kindergarten through grade three as listed in Appendix 9-B, “History-Social Science and Science Content Standards, Kindergarten Through Grade Three” and Category 1, Criterion 32. However, though there is no specific requirement that these standards be addressed in the intervention programs, Category 1, Criterion 33 does require that, “when included, informational text addressing topics in history-social science, science and mathematics is accurate and consistent with grade-level standards and the unit/theme design.” It also requires that, “when appropriate, informational text in grades four through eight will include content that incorporates the education principles and concepts for the environment that are consistent with grade-level standards and the unit/theme design, as required in Public Resources Code Section 7130(d)(1).” (Framework, page 307)
A: Program 4 is designed for any struggling student (this includes English learners) in grades four through eight whose reading achievement is two or more years below grade level. (Framework 300-301)
A: No, the ELD standards are not required but publishers have the flexibility to include them if they desire. As a stand-alone, intensive reading/language arts program for English learners, Program 5 is designed to provide intensive, accelerated, and extensive English-language development that complements and supports reading/language arts instruction. The intent of the program is to accelerate student reentry into the basic program within two years or less, and to develop proficiency in English and in the concepts and skills contained in the English–Language Arts Content Standards. Publishers should refer to Appendix 9-A, Matrix 2, for the English-language arts content standards that must be addressed in Program 5 Intensive Intervention Program for English Learners, as well as the other criteria included in the framework in Chapter 9 “Criteria for Evaluating Instructional Materials”. (Framework, pages 321-323)
A: Program 4 is designed for any student in fourth through eighth grade that is two or more years behind in reading achievement. This reading deficit could be addressed in instructional materials that provide instruction, practice, application and diagnostic support to students in the following strands or substrands of the E/LA content standards in grades one through six: phonemic awareness and phonics; word recognition and spelling; oral reading fluency; vocabulary and morphology; grammar and usage; listening and reading comprehension; sentence structure; and writing. (Framework, page 301)
Program 5 goes beyond just addressing reading deficiencies; it addresses literacy and language development. In Program 5 the instructional materials address the same E/LA content standards, with the addition of speaking standards. In addition, Program 5 must emphasize academic language, which is the language of literacy and books, tests, and formal writing. It includes development of background knowledge along with vocabulary and concept development, as well as oral communication and speaking applications. Program 5 materials should include instruction for English learners to master the E/LA standards so they can read, write, comprehend and speak English for personal use, and at the proficient level for academic schoolwork. (Framework, pages 301-303).
A: Category 2, Criterion 12 states the following: “A list of grade-level standards is provided in both the teacher and student editions. Topical headings reflect the framework and standards and clearly indicate the content that follows.” (Framework, page 310)
The standards must be reproduced in both the teacher edition (TE) and student edition (SE) in their entirety as published by the CDE. Standards must not be abridged, rewritten, or changed in any way. However, publishers have the flexibility regarding the placement of the standards in their program. Publishers may use bold-faced type or different color print to highlight certain words in the standards at the point of instruction. Standards may also be placed at the back or the front of a TE or SE.
A. The California English-Language Arts Content Standards must be included as written and may not be modified or edited. If the content standards are fully written in the teacher’s edition, they may be referenced in other components of the program. (See Question 37 above for more information on Standards.)
A: Yes, the same program can be submitted for Programs 1 and 2, and the same program can be submitted for Programs 4 and 5. However, each program has separate criteria and is evaluated according to its governing criteria. Program 2 has all the same criteria as Program 1 plus the additional required one-hour of daily instruction for English-language development (ELD). Therefore, any program submitted for Program 2 will have to meet the criteria for Program 1, plus the one hour of ELD instruction. (Framework, pages 292-298)
For intervention programs, it is possible for a publisher to submit the same program for Programs 4 and 5; however, the evaluation criteria for each type of program must be addressed. In addition, separate standards maps must be filled out. Program 4 is designed for students whose reading achievement is two or more years below grade level. And, Program 5 is designed for English Learners whose academic performance is two or more years below grade level. Again, each program will be evaluated according to its respective criteria. (Framework, pages 300-303)
A: If a publisher submits the same program for both types of intervention programs, one panel will review both programs using the specific criteria for each program type. It is possible for a program to be recommended for adoption under both types of program, 4 and 5. On the other hand, a program could be recommended for adoption under only under one intervention program type, and not the other.
However, if a publisher submits two different separate programs (one in Program 4 and a different program in Program 5) then the programs will probably be evaluated by two different panels.
A: No. The California state adoption process for grades kindergarten through grade eight provides a State Board of Education adoption list of programs that are standards aligned and meet the specific subject matter criteria. The final decision on what programs to purchase with state funds is a local matter. Local school districts determine through a local review process which of the standards aligned programs best meets the local educational needs of their students.
A: Materials submitted for the 2008 Reading/Language Arts–English-Language Development Adoption are due to the Learning Resource Display Centers (LRDCs) on the same due dates as required for receipt by the reviewers and the California Department of Education. For basic programs, the due date is April 29, 2007. For intervention programs, the due date is May 12, 2008. See the timeline posted on Instructional Materials [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/rl/im/]