2008 Reading/Language Arts–English-Language Development
Publisher Questions & Answers
(Publisher Bulletin 2007-03)
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).
Program 1: Reading/Language Arts Basic Program, K–8
Program 2: Reading/Language Arts–English-Language Development Basic Program, K–8
Program 3: Primary Language/English-Language Development Basic Program, K–8
- Can the Extra Support for Struggling Readers and the Reading Intervention Kit in the Additional Required Instructional Elements of the Basic Programs 1, 2, or 3, be the same materials?
A: No. The criteria state that there are four additional required instructional elements in the basic programs. The basic programs must include all four additional elements as they have different purposes:
- Extra Support for Struggling Readers, K–8
- Extra Support for English Learners, K–8
- Intensive Vocabulary Instructional Support, K–3
- Reading Intervention Kit, grades one through three (1–3)
- For Basic Programs 1, 2, and 3, are the additional required instructional element materials necessary for struggling readers, since all kindergarten children are just learning to read?
A: Yes. The “Extra Support for Struggling Readers, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight,” is required for the Basic Programs 1, 2, and 3, at the kindergarten level. Criterion 6 on page 293 states, “The purpose of these materials is to provide guidance for teachers and support for students to allow students to successfully participate in and progress through the daily lessons from the basic program with their peers.” These materials are designed for struggling readers, “ . . .any student experiencing difficulty learning to read; may include students who use African American vernacular English, English learners, and students with disabilities.”
- Do the additional required instructional elements in the basic programs have to be small group or entire class?
A: The criteria do not specify groupings. The implementation of a program is a local decision.
- When and where do the extra 30 minutes for English Learners and the 30 minutes of Extra Support for Struggling Readers take place in the Basic Programs 1, 2, and 3 for grades 6–8?
A: The time periods in the criteria are a requirement for publishers to create instructional materials for the recommended amount of time, which is one to two hours for grades six through eight (6-8). Schools have the flexibility in how they implement the English Learners (EL) and the extra support for struggling readers instructional materials at the local level. Schools should implement these instructional materials based on the academic needs of their students. Schools can choose to have universal access time, intervention time, or extra support for EL or struggling readers by adding an additional period, a before/after school period, or by integrating the materials into the one to two hours of core instruction time for those students who need it.
- Page 292 of the Reading/Language Arts Framework states that the Reading/Language Arts Basic Program shall be evaluated for alignment with Appendix 9-B “History–Social Science and Science Content Standards, Kindergarten through Grade Three.” What does this look like for middle school 6-8th grade?
A: Appendix 9-B, Matrix 1 History–Social Science Content Standards (page 327) only applies to K–3. See page 307, Criterion 32 which states, "In the interest of promoting the efficiency of instruction for kindergarten through grade three, content standards in history–social science and science (see Appendix 9-B) that can be covered in text-based instruction must be incorporated into the instruction in the reading/language arts program materials during the language arts time period, particularly in the selection of expository texts that are read to students or that students read. "
- Program decodable books have to be 75 % decodable. At what point can high frequency words such as “the” be considered decodable?
A: Page 304, Criterion 20 states:
Those materials in the program designated as decodable must have text with at least 75 percent of the words consisting solely of previously taught sound-spelling correspondences and from 15 percent to 20 percent of the words consisting of previously taught high-frequency words and story words.
The word “the” is a high-frequency word.
- Basic Program 1, 2, and 3, calls for 30 minutes of Extra Support for English Learners, K-8, while Program 2 and 3, calls for 60 minutes of daily English-language development instruction. Does this means that Program 2 is calling for a total of 90 minutes of ELD?
A: No. Programs 1, 2, and 3 each have the additional requirement of 30 minutes of “Extra Support for English Learners, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight,” Criteria 7–10, pages 293–294. However, Programs 2 and 3 require 60 minutes of daily ELD instruction and have specific requirements. See page 296, Criteria 24–32. The 30 minutes of “Extra Support for English Learners (K-8)” has different criteria than the 60 minutes of English-language development, as well as a different purpose.
- The Basic Programs 1, 2, and 3 state the minimal time periods for grade 6 (when listed with grades 4 and 5) is two hours; however, the minimum for grades six and seven/eight is at least 1 and up to 2 hours. Should the minimum for grade 6, then, be 1 hour or 2 hours?
A: If grade six is situated within kindergarten through grade six elementary schools, these students would have two hours of reading/language arts instruction. If the grade six is in a middle school setting, grade six might have one to two hours of RLA instruction. The classroom configuration and hours are a local decision. The time periods in the criteria are only a requirement for publishers to create instructional materials to be taught for that amount of time.
- In the Basic Programs, the Additional Required Instructional Element, Intensive Vocabulary Instructional Support, K-3, indicates 15-20 minutes of daily intensive vocabulary instruction. Does this include academic vocabulary such as setting, character as well as read aloud story vocabulary?
A: Yes. Page 295, Criterion 11, states: “Support materials provide additional vocabulary development (beyond vocabulary instruction in the basic program) . . . .” Criterion 15 states: “Teacher editions and student materials provide instructional resources . . . of narrative and engaging expository texts. . . .” Criterion 17 states, “Narrative and expository texts provided in the intensive vocabulary materials link to unit or themes in the basic program.”
- Must publishers of Programs 1, 2 or 3, submit all levels kindergarten through grade eight, or are other configurations allowed, such as K-1, K-2, or K-5?
A: Publishers may submit basic programs with any grade level configuration. However, if a publisher submits programs for grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6, and it is a whole program, it will be reviewed by the same panel.
- Does the publisher need to include thirty minutes of daily African American vernacular English (AAVE) instruction as part of support for struggling readers?
A: The publisher does not need to provide 30 minutes of extra support for each category of struggling reader. Basic programs must include 30 minutes of extra support for struggling readers, K–8. These materials must address the range of struggling readers identified in Criterion 6, page 293, as “. . .any student experiencing difficulty learning to read; may include students who use African American vernacular English, English learners, and students with disabilities.”
- Program 3 states that the Primary Language/English–Language Development Basic Program, grades K-8, must include appropriate modifications for the primary language. Is there a list of modifications for the Spanish language?
A: Although no list is required, publishers who submit for Program 3, the Primary Language/English-Language Development Basic Program, grades K–8, should be able to explain or justify language modifications for the program that are linguistically logical.
Program 4: Intensive Intervention Program in Reading/Language Arts, Grades Four Through Eight (4–8)
Program 5: Intensive Intervention Program for English Learners, Grades 4–8
- Can publishers who submit for Programs 4 or 5 submit for any grade level?
A: No. Publishers who submit for the intervention programs must develop programs for grades 4–8 as specified by the evaluation criteria and program descriptions.
- Is it the expectation for English Learners that phonics instruction and practice will be included at ALL grades, 4 through 8? If the answer is yes, does phonics instruction and practice need to be included in the student textbook or can it be addressed through ancillary components at the upper level?
A: Matrix 2, “Intensive Intervention for English Learners, Grades Four Through Eight,” on page 321, identifies the ELA content standards that must be addressed in Program 5, Intensive Intervention Program for English Learners, and provides guidance from the Reading/Language Arts Framework about instruction and support for students learning English. All of the identified standards must be addressed in the student materials that are submitted as a part of this intervention program. Though the intervention programs are designed for students in grades 4–8, they are not grade level specific programs as they address standards from grades 1-6.
- Can you talk about the make-up of the Content Review Panel (CRP) and the Instructional Materials Adoption Panel (IMAP) Committees? Will every committee include grades 4-8 ELD teachers for programs with ELD emphasis?
A: The appointment of IMAP and CRP candidates for this review is governed by California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 9516. Each panel will consist of a majority of current classroom teachers, and to the extent possible, appoint teachers who represent other various ethnic groups and types of school districts in the state. The two groups will review the submissions. The CRP members are educators with extensive knowledge of Reading/Language Arts and hold an advanced degree in a related field. CRPs are recommended by the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission and appointed by the State Board of Education (SBE) to participate in the content review of the RLA/ELD 2008 Adoption. The IMAP members review the instructional materials for content accuracy, and adherence to all of the evaluation criteria categories adopted by the SBE. The categories include the following: alignment with the English-Language Arts Content Standards, program organization, assessment, universal access, and instructional planning and support.
General Questions for all programs:
- What issues need to be addressed in closing the achievement gap?
A: Page 288 of the Framework states, “The new criteria are designed to produce instructional materials that will help teachers to close the achievement gap that persists despite gains in students’ reading/language arts achievement since the last adoption cycle of instructional materials. To that end the criteria emphasize increased vocabulary, oral reading fluency, and writing. There is a deeper focus on the instructional needs of English learners, students with disabilities, struggling readers, and students who use African American vernacular English [AAVE].” Page 288 also states, “Also noteworthy in the new criteria is the requirement for new and improved types of assessments.”
- Students who speak Spanish and are English learners have trouble with subject/verb agreement. Other languages have other issues. How do we address all of the other languages? How is this different from how African American vernacular English needs to be addressed? For example, if I have an excerpt for the teacher explaining for AAVE speakers, do I also put one in for Spanish speakers who can not differentiate between /ch/ /sh/. And what other languages and sounds do I need to differentiate for?
A: Page 318, Criterion 22, states, “The program provides 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. Comparisons with the five (or more) of the most common languages in California and African American vernacular English will be incorporated as appropriate, accentuating transferable and non-transferable skills.”
- Is there any research on proven strategies to correct the errors in African American vernacular English?
A: The California Department of Education’s (CDE) RLA Web page has a document provided by Dr. William Labov entitled Summary Statement on African American Vernacular English [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/rl/im/index.asp] This statement is based on current knowledge of African American vernacular English. See page 2 of the document for further references regarding features of AAVE. Dr. Labov’s work is a resource, but not part of the criteria.
- What percentage of English learners in California speaks Spanish? What percent speak African American vernacular English (AAVE)?
A: The CDE has data on the number of Spanish speakers in our public schools at:
www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sd. However, there is no data on the number of African American students who may use AAVE.
- Can standards be paraphrased to be more accessible to students and parents?
A: No. The California academic content standards must be included as written and may not be modified or edited.
- Can a portion of the standard be listed to show partial coverage?
A: No. Standards must be reproduced in their entirety as published by CDE (e.g. excerpts must include the full text of the standard, and must not be abridged, rewritten, or changed in any way). However, for instructional purposes, publishers may use bold-faced type or a different color print to highlight certain words in the standards at the point of instruction
California Department of Education - September 2007