School’s Starting

By Jean House

Review North Carolina’s State Standards and Explore Educational Resources!

 “Read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.”

–David Coleman, co-author of the Common Core State Standards.

Where are the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts and Math?

Visit The site explains that the standards were designed to ensure college and/or career readiness among students across the country. Forty-five states, the District of Columbia and four territories have adopted the standards. Adoptions encourage states to work together in the development of policies and practices, in the creation of lessons and assessment tools.

How are the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts organized?

ELA standards are organized by strands and emphasize the use of literacy strategies across other disciplines.  The K-12 strands follow:

  • Reading

Reading Literature

Reading Informational Text

Reading Foundational Skills (K-5)

  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Language

Standards for grades 6-12 include literacy in other disciplines and technical subjects

  • History/social studies
  • Science and technical subjects

What resources does the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction offer?

ELA Common Core State Standards Self Study LiveBinder-

ELA Resources LiveBinder-

ELA Wiki –

The most recent ELA Scoop:

Where do developers and educators provide additional support?

What are the Common Core instructional shifts for ELA/Literacy?

1.1 Reading and writing grounded in evidence from texts and the use of document-based question

1.2 Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts

1.3 Regular practice with complex texts and its academic vocabulary

What is the balance for use of literary and informational text in the Common Core State Standards?

Because adults read more informational text, the Common Core emphasizes nonfiction to prepare students for college and career after high school. Also, the complexity of informational text in various school subjects places greater demands on the reader. Increasing text complexity as students move from grade to grade is another shift in the Common Core.

The Common Core emphasizes a 50-50 balance for use of informational and literary texts.  That means K-5 students should spend half of their time reading literature and half reading informational text. The standards specify that students in grades 6-8 spend more time on informational text, 55 percent, and in grades 9-12, 70 percent of reading should be informational text, over the entire school day, not just English/Language Arts classes.

Grade Literary Information











The Common Core State Standards focus on argument and informational/explanatory writing in high schools.


To Persuade

To Explain

To Convey Experience














*The above charts were found under “Key Design Considerations” ELA Introduction. Common Core Standards.

What determines complexity of texts?

Three factors apply:

Qualitative evaluation of the text

Levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands

Quantitative evaluation of the text

Readability measures and other scores of text complexity

Matching reader to text and task

Reader variables (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) and task variables (such as purpose and the complexity generated by the task assigned and the questions posed)

The above chart and explanation came from Standard 10,

What are N.C.’s Essential Standards?

Both Essential and Common Core Standards focus on 21st century skills that require supporting claims, higher order thinking and developing technology skills.

Essential Standards employ the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy  (RBT). The standards were developed only for North Carolina, apply to grades K-12 and are grade and subject specific. North Carolina lists the following subjects as having Essential Standards:

Adopted Standards
 for NC include the following subjects: Science | Social Studies | Information and Technology | World Languages | Arts Education | Occupational Course of Study | Healthful Living | Guidance | English as a Second Language*

Found at this website:

How do I obtain up-to-date information about resources on the Common Core available from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction?

Contact one of the English/Language Arts consultants and ask to be included on email lists that they use to distribute information. Other subject specialists also maintain distribution lists that you may request to join.

Contributions by NC DPI consultants and selections from