English Language Arts
Developing literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening is a collaborative responsibility of all educators. Classroom learning experiences should enhance and expand the communication and critical thinking skills that allow students to develop resiliency and positive attitudes as they grow into effective readers, writers, communicators and life-long learners. The Pennsylvania Department of Education embraces effective literacy teaching and learning through a system that includes a comprehensive, research-based approach that supports teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
Given the expectations for students graduating from Pennsylvania
schools in the 21st century and the need for all students to
be “future-ready” at the end of grade 12, educators will need to rethink the
ways by which they approach literacy instruction at all levels, including early
learning for students ages birth through five years of age. Students must be
able to read more challenging and complex text; moreover, they will need
experiences that enable them to use literacy as a tool for learning the content
in each of the academic disciplines (i.e., science, social studies, math, and
English language arts). The availability of technology has created a need for
new ways of thinking about how students learn, as students of today have access
to many different technological devices and social media. At the same time,
many do not know how to use technological resources critically or effectively
(Castek & Gwinn, 2012). Furthermore, although Pennsylvania has always
valued and supported early learning initiatives, much more has been learned
about how to incorporate language and literacy into early childhood programs.
Likewise, the importance of literacy across curricula has begun to assume more
importance with the recognition that literacy skills are important for learning
Vision. All students in Pennsylvania from birth through Grade 12 will become
citizens with a command of literacy that prepares them for the
challenges of the 21st
century and enables them to achieve their personal and professional
stakeholders about their roles in developing an integrated, aligned,
and comprehensive set of
literacy experiences for students. The plan will identify and describe
(1) essential evidence-based notions about the content of literacy (birth-Grade 12) and (2) processes by which all stakeholders (e.g., parents,
care-takers, educators, community members, etc.) involved in students’ literacy
learning can facilitate that learning in a coherent and consistent manner.
The Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System (SAS) is a collaborative product of research and good practice that identifies six distinct elements which, if utilized together, will provide schools and districts a common framework for continuous school and district enhancement and improvement. Much research has been conducted regarding what makes a great school. There are many intangible components; however, research supports the notion that great schools and school systems tend to have six common elements that ensure Student Achievement: Standards, Assessment, Curriculum Framework, Instruction, Materials & Resources, and Safe and Supportive Schools.
English Language Arts for 21st Century students will be guided by the Pennsylvania Core Standards
in every Pennsylvania public school classroom. Pennsylvania educators and educational experts have created a thorough, rigorous, aligned and articulated Pennsylvania Core Standards unique document.
The English Language Arts Standards will continue to provide parents and community members with information about what students should know and be able to do as they progress through the educational program to graduation. With a clearly defined target provided by the standards, parents, students, educators and community members become partners in learning.