Monday, March 15, 2010

Spaghetti Alignment

Common Core reading standard #7.

The College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS) version:

Synthesize and apply information presented in diverse ways (e.g., through words, images, graphs, and video) in print and digital sources in order to answer questions, solve problems, or compare modes of presentation.

The four 11-12th grade instances:

  • Compare and contrast multiple interpretations of a drama or story (e.g., recorded or live productions), distinguishing how each version interprets the source text. (This includes at least one play by Shakespeare as well as one play by an American dramatist.)
  • Synthesize and apply multiple sources of information presented in different formats in order to address a question or solve a problem, including resolving conflicting information.
  • Synthesize ideas and data presented graphically and determine their relationship to the rest of a print or digital text, noting discrepancies between the graphics and other information in the text.
  • Synthesize information in different formats by representing complex information in a text in graphical form (e.g., a table or chart) or translating a graphic or equation into words.

NECAP RI/NH Grade Level Expectations, 12th grade:

R-12-4. Demonstrate initial understanding of elements of literary texts by: 4. Identifying the characteristics of a variety of types/genres of literary text.

R-12-7. Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by:

  1. Obtaining information from text features [e.g., ... charts, graphs, or illustrations].
  2. Using information from the text to answer questions, perform specific tasks, or solve problems; to state the main/central ideas; to provide supporting details; to provide supporting details; to explain visual components supporting the text; or to interpret maps, charts, timelines, tables or diagrams.
  3. Organizing information to show understanding or relationships among facts, ideas, and events.

R-12-8. Analyze and interpret informational text citing evidence as appropriate by:

  1. Explaining connections among ideas across multiple texts.
  2. Synthesizing and evaluating information within or across text(s)

The above would be the basis for my Common Core > NECAP alignment for this standard. Going in the opposite direction would be different, which is part of why this process is a nightmare. But anyhow.

I don't even know what I'm supposed to say about this. The Common Core standards are weird, ultra-jargony, and poorly organized, mashing literature into what should be a fairly straightforward "read charts, etc." standard. I mean, this should be a pretty easy one, and I've settled on dissecting this standards more or less at random.

Everyone should be able to agree (does, I'd bet!) that a kid leaving high school ought to be able to grok the range of charts, maps, and other data graphics they're likely to encounter in work, college or the New York Times. It is a no brainer, and there are dozens if not hundreds of perfectly usable, workmanlike treatments. Why so weird? How does one "synthesize and apply information?" Whose damage is that anyhow? Is that a 21st Century Skill or some reading research thing?

I'm not even sure I can come up with a coherent set of feedback on this mess. Or even a coherent blog post!

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