For Staff

The following tools and resources on standards and benchmarks will assist staff.

Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts (2010) ( From this webpage you can access the Minnesota ELA Standards. Scroll to the Language Arts section in the middle of this page for more information.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) (, provided by the Council of Chief State School officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA), includes standards in English language arts, literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Appendices discuss text complexity, text exemplars, and samples of student writing. Note: The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts (2010) contain all of the Common Core ELA Standards plus additional content.

World-Class Instructional Design Assessment (WIDA) English Language Development Standards ( includes relevant training resources for teachers and English language (EL) staff along with the EL Standards. Minnesota is a member of WIDA and uses its consultants to provide technical assistance and resources to districts throughout Minnesota.

College and Career Readiness Skills Analysis ( This resource from Achieve identifies the types and range of skills reflected in the CCSS ELA/literacy using two sets of skills statements as benchmarks: the Deeper Learning Standards and the Career Cluster Essential Knowledge and Skills. Achieve deliberately selected two diverse sets of skills statements to ensure that the analysis focused on both broad, transferable “habits of mind” skills and skills more aligned with workplace and career readiness.

ACT College Readiness Standards™ ( ACT's College Readiness Standards™ can be used to predict student performance in college or determine career readiness. These standards can inform alignment of high school curriculum and standards to college performance.  Browse the Information Briefs ( section of ACT’s website to learn more about how to align ACT standards, curriculum and college readiness.

Achieve Career Readiness ( This site contains a number of reports that explore the link between a strong K-12 academic foundation as articulated by college- and career-ready standards or expectations and students’ ability to access and succeed in the careers of their choice.

Connections for Students with Disabilities
For students with severe cognitive disabilities this link to the achievement level descriptors that may be helpful in articulating how expectations of performance may be altered. Note that the standards are not different but adjustments have been made to standards in terms of breadth, depth and complexity. Note: Special educators around the state are finding it meaningful to explore the general education standards and how growth in understanding evolves across time. They are finding this knowledge extremely helpful in pushing themselves to provide more rigorous instruction. This will be discussed repeatedly throughout the toolkit.

Language Arts Instructional Strategies for Special Education Teachers and All Teachers ( This one-hour webinar from the Council of Chief State School Officers for educators and leaders covers the key changes in methods and instruction in language arts in the elementary grades that teachers will have to incorporate under the Common Core Standards.

Common Core State Standards: The Promise and Peril for Students with Disabilities ( This short newsletter article by Martha L. Thurlow (National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota) discusses the potential benefits and the challenges of applying the Common Core Standards to students with disabilities.

Transition to the CCSS for Teachers of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: Aligning Instruction to Standards ( This one-hour webinar from the Council of Chief State School Officers for educators and leaders focuses on important transitions in instructional approach for teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Connections for English Learners
Video Interview: Dr. Diane August ( is a series of seven videos explaining the alignment of English language (EL) proficiency standards with Common Core standards (CCS) to equip viewers with the requisite language for CCS. Read the full transcript (

The Road to Common Core State Standards: Building a Bridge for English Language Learners ( focuses on English language considerations for schools and districts as they begin to implement the standards. It also discusses the implications of the Common Core Standards for English language instruction and challenges that schools may face in the process.

Video Interview: Gabriela Uro ( is a series of six videos about Common Core and English Language Learners (ELLs), emphasizing the importance of including ELLs in planning from the start.  Read the full transcript at ColorinColorado (