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Draft Standards for English Language Arts

On September 21, 2016, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released new draft New York State P-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards. NYSED accepted public comments on the draft standards from September 21 through November 14.

Please note: the public comment period is now closed. NYSED will now carefully review the public comments and make final revisions to the ELA and Mathematics Learning Standards. The final revisions will be presented to the Board of Regents for its consideration in early 2017. If you have questions about the draft learning standards, please email us at

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Commissioner Elia and standards review committee members describe the standards review process.More

View the Draft Learning Standards

The new draft learning standards for English language arts are available, by grade level, at the links below.



Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grades 9-10

Grades 11-12

Grades 6-8 Literacy

Grades 9-10 Literacy

Grades 11-12 Literacy

Recommended Changes to English Language Arts Standards

Five subcommittee groups (Prekindergarten-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12 and Literacy 6-12), all of which included parents and educators, discussed the current ELA standards to determine whether each standard meets the criteria for what a student should know and be able to do at a grade level (or grade-band) in English language arts and literacy. Committees also had an opportunity to recommend new areas to strengthen the standards.

Recommended changes include to:

  • Streamline Reading for Information and Reading for Literature Standards by merging them together, identifying the unique skills related to literature and informational text, and ensuring a healthy balance of both types of reading across all grades;
  • Refocus on Prekindergarten-Grade 2 Standards with some grade-specific changes and additions to the ELA Standards, including a strong emphasis on the whole child and the importance of play as an instructional strategy. This includes the need for additional guidance for P-2 on how the standards are implemented in the classroom, including sample instructional strategies and activities, definitions and clear connections to teaching English language learners and students with disabilities;
  • Create a New York State Early Learning Task Force to discuss concerns around the P-2 grades, including standards, program decisions, social emotional needs and how the content areas/domains work together in the early grades. This task force will be formed in the coming weeks;
  • Re-organize Writing Standards so they are easier for educators to use for curriculum and instruction. In addition to regrouping the standards, grade-specific changes are recommended across the grades to clarify language and ensure writing expectations are clear;
  • Use a Variety of Texts to balance literary and informational reading with clear guidance for teachers and to ensure students read both full-length texts and shorter pieces, as well as to encourage reading for pleasure; and
  • Provide Guidance on Text Complexity for all standards in the introduction to underscore its importance.

To provide educator support in the new learning standards, the committees recommended the following:

  • Develop New York State Resources and Guidance for the Standards: A set of learning standards cannot be properly utilized without the necessary guidance. The committees recommend developing a set of resources for standards, curriculum and professional development. These resources would include strategies and supports for students with disabilities and English language learners, as well as instructional strategies that could serve as examples in the classroom;
  • Include Preface and Grade-Level Introductions for the new set of English Language Arts Standards that explains the importance of the standards and their intended role in a school instructional plan. The preface and introduction would outline a belief statement that includes references to best teaching practices and learning strategies that aim to foster a love of learning for all students;
  • Develop Clear Communications for Parents about the standards, with an explanation about the connections among standards, curriculum and assessments; and
  • Create a Glossary of Terms that contains words or important terms used within the standards.