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ELA Common Core Subjects
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - August 14th, 2013
The ELA Common Core tests are designed to ensure that graduating high school seniors have all the knowledge and skills necessary to not only get by but thrive in higher education and the workforce. They aim to accomplish this goal by administering a battery of age appropriate tests on an annual basis. These tests assess each student’s knowledge and grasp of several core subjects, with an emphasis on English language skills such as reading, writing, speaking and grammar. You can read more about the ELA Common Core and view a map detailing state acceptance at http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/The_Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative.html
Since ELA stands for English Language Arts, it’s no surprise that the majority of subjects tested revolve around the English language. While this may seem overly basic, it’s been noted repeatedly that many high school seniors are reading, writing and performing other English related tasks at a level which is far below average for their age and grade.
A few of the language related fields tested include age-appropriate reading skills such as comprehension, identifying different types of statements (facts, judgments, opinions) and identifying steps within a process.
Other core subjects included in the battery include history, social studies, science and math. Each state has the choice to reject or accept each portion of the battery. For example, the state of Minnesota has chosen to reject the math portion of the test while accepting all other portions. Handwriting, also known as cursive, is another subject in question – while it is not part of the ELA Common Core, many states are in the process of deciding whether teaching and testing this subject is relative in this computer-driven age. As a result, some students may find cursive a part of their testing battery if their state chooses to add the subject. States are free to add to the battery any subjects which they determine to be important.