Just to put a little perspective on my series of hair-pulling rants about how terrible the Common Core ELA exemplars put out by Student Achievement Partners are, I just took a look at the new PARCC Item and Task Prototypes and in an initial gloss they seem... fine. Like they've actually been prepared by qualified and experienced professionals who are interested in the standards themselves. And it is easy to imagine that tests along these lines could be better than what we're using now.
This gets back to the less hysterical, fundamental critique of the CC ELA. It is just way too narrow.
But also, Student Achievement Partners really suck at this stuff. They're terrible at it, because they don't care. They aren't even interested.