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Reading, Writing, and Communicating
CDE Position Statement: RWC Standards & English Language Learners
The Colorado Academic Standards in Reading, Writing, and Communicating were written for all students using the content, concepts, skills, and language conventions and structures found within the English language. This does not mean students must be native English speakers, nor fluent English proficient, but by utilizing the Colorado English Language Proficiency standards (Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education) in tandem with the Colorado Academic Standards, qualified and well prepared educators can ensure that all English learners receive appropriate support to ensure all students successfully meet the expectations in the standards.
The reading, writing, and communicating standards invite students to use texts to better understand others' experiences in the world and to command language in order to articulate their own perspective on the human experience. The standards intentionally reflect the read-write connection and the relationship between critically consuming text to build knowledge and producing texts to convey knowledge.
Article IX, Section 16 of Colorado's constitution states, "Neither the general assembly nor the state board of education shall have power to prescribe textbooks to be used in the public schools." However, CDE can still serve as an advisor to help districts and schools adopt, adapt, develop, or use the materials of their choice.
Instructional support is grounded in CDE's shared approach to Best, First Instruction as well as practices and strategies supported by professional organizations and scholars at the leading edge of reading, writing, and communicating education.
There are many opportunities to connect and grow as a professional educator with the larger reading, writing, and communicating education community, including mail lists, professional organizations, and events.
- National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): NCTE amplifies the voice of educators through personal connection, collaboration, and a shared mission to improve the teaching and learning of English and language arts at all levels.
- Conference on English Leadership (CEL): The Conference on English Leadership offers a collaborative, dynamic, discussion-based forum for literacy leaders to explore current and emerging issues.
- Colorado Language Arts Society (CLAS): The Colorado Language Arts Society is the state affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), a professional association of educators in English studies, literacy, and language arts.
- Colorado Counsel International Reading Association (CCIRA): CCIRA collaboratively encourages, supports, and advances literacy through researched-based instructional practices to increase literacy access to all.
- ReadWithMe.Today: Of the widely accepted essentials children need to thrive, reading is often the one we forget to provide. Therefore, CDE has launched a public information campaign to encourage and empower parents to make reading part of their daily routine with their children.
Important News, Announcements, and Updates
Frequently Asked Questions about READ Plans in Grades 4-12
The Framework for Writing Instruction
The Framework for Writing Instruction is intended to support district-level leaders in facilitating conversations with their literacy leaders, instructional coaches, and teachers to develop a research-based framework toward the teaching of writing. Research reveals that teachers place little emphasis on persuasive and expository writing. Furthermore, it shows that students seldom write longer papers "that involve analysis and interpretation." It is important to note that, with both in-school writing and writing done beyond the classroom walls, students will be asked to produce writing centered on analysis, interpretation, exposition, and argument. Whether on standardized assessments, or in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, or to demonstrate graduate competencies in capstone projects, student are asked to produce multi-paragraph essays. We cannot afford to neglect this complex literacy any longer.
In June of 2021, a committee of literacy professionals from around Colorado convened to begin work on this Framework for Writing Instruction. One of the initial tasks was to identify a handful of beliefs toward writing and the teaching of writing. Again, districts and schools may want to convene teachers, literacy coaches, principals, content specialists, special education teachers, English language learner professionals, and others to take on similar tasks specific to their own districts. What is written in this guidance serves as a model for districts (or schools).
For more information or questions about the Framework for Writing Instruction, please contact Olivia Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-Demand Professional Development Opportunities
The Office of Standards and Instructional Support has compiled several on-demand learning opportunities for educators. Visit the on-demand library on the CDE website
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