- Find evidence in support of an argument.
- Support or challenge assertions about the text by citing evidence in the text explicitly and accurately.
- Cite specific textual evidence... to support conclusions drawn from the text.
- Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text...
The first is from the NAEP framework for 12th grade. It is straightforward and plainspoken as such things go, and is rather clearly the inspiration for this part of CC Reading standard 1.
Second is the first draft of the Common Core anchor standard. It is actually better than the NAEP version in some ways -- "support or challenge" "cite" vs. "find" evidence. Somehow now though we're just supporting or challenging "assertions about the text" instead of "an argument," which seems unnecessarily limiting and hostile to the larger content and context.
Moving on, the third version is the relevant part of the final anchor standard 1. Now we are supporting "conclusions," which is significantly more vague than "argument" or "assertions." I think "conclusions" has to be read as "whatever," because I don't see that it has any specific meaning at all in this context. I can't imagine why they made that choice.
The last one is the final relevant grade 11-12 reading standard. I've never understood why it is different than the college and career readiness anchor standard. Now the rigor is turned up to 11, "strong and thorough," etc., but seemingly even less scope: "what the text says explicitly as well as inferences..."
We've started with, essentially: "I should be able to give you an informational text that supports an argument, and as a reader you should be able to pull out the evidence for that argument." And ended up with something more like "I should be able to give you a text and you should be able to pull out evidence telling me what it says." It is just peculiar. I don't understand why they would take that path.
Here is something much more typical of high performing countries, cited as a "counterpart" standard in CCSSI's draft benchmarking:
- Assess the appropriateness of own and others’ understandings and interpretations of works of literature and other texts, by referring to the works and texts for supporting or contradictory evidence
This is similar, yet, fundamentally, philosophically different, because it focuses on "understanding" and "interpretation," particularly by the student. These words are not used in the CC Reading standards. This is one of the CC standards' key defining features. This standard is essentially incompatible with the Common Core, and significantly more "rigorous."