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An Impossible Mandate, Part 2

Susan Notes:

NOTE: This is a continuation from the document on the revised Texas English/Language/Arts/Reading standards found here.


Sub-Strand 2: Vocabulary Development
Standard 1:
Students understand new vocabulary and use it correctly when reading and writing.

(a) Determine the meaning of technical academic English words in science and mathematics derived from Latin, Greek, or other linguistic roots and affixes.
(b) Use the relationship between words encountered in analogies to determine their meanings (e.g., synonyms/antonyms, connotation/denotation).
(c) Analyze and explain how the English language has developed and been influenced by other languages.

(d) Use general and specialized dictionaries, thesauri, histories of language, books of quotations, and other related references (printed or electronic) as needed.

Sub-Strand 3: Comprehension of Literary Text
Standard 1:
Students analyze theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

(a) Analyze and evaluate the political assumptions underlying an author's work and its relationship to contemporary social issues or political movements (e.g., consider reading Dickens' Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Shaw's "Pygmalion," and "Major Barbara").

(b) Examine how classical plays have been re-interpreted by contemporary theater or film directors (e.g., consider reading and viewing Shakespeare's Henry V, Sir Laurence Olivier's Henry V, and Kenneth Branagh's Henry V).

(c) Analyze how the historical, social and economic contexts of a literary work influence an author's characters, plot, and setting (e.g., consider reading Conrad's Heart of Darkness).

(d) Relate the theme of a literary work to the seminal ideas of its time (e.g., consider reading Milton's "Paradise Lost" and connect it to Milton's experience during the English Civil War).

Standard 2: Students understand the structure and elements of poetry and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.

(a) Identify, respond to, analyze, and evaluate the effects of sound, form, figurative language, graphics, and dramatic structure of poems (e.g., consider reading Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess," Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias," A.E. Housman's "To an Athlete Dying Young").
Standard 3: Students understand the structure and elements of drama and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.

(a) Demonstrate familiarity with key speeches and characters in the works of key dramatists in British literary history (e.g., Elizabethan, Restoration, 20th century).
Standard 4: Students understand the structure and elements of fiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.

(a) Analyze how complex plot structures (e.g., subplots) and devices (e.g., foreshadowing, flashbacks, suspense) function and advance the action in a work of fiction (e.g., consider reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice).
(b) Analyze the moral dilemmas and quandaries in works of fiction as revealed by the underlying motivations and behaviors of the characters (e.g., consider reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein).
(c) Evaluate how the setting and changes in the setting affect the plot, characters, themes, and tone in works of fiction (e.g., consider reading Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre).
(d) Compare and contrast the effectiveness of different forms of narration in a collection of short stories.
(e) Analyze the characteristics of genres that overlap or cut across the lines of classifications such as satire, parody, and allegory.
(f) Demonstrate familiarity with works of fiction by key British authors from each major literary period.

Standard 5: Students understand the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.

(a) Analyze passages in well-known literary essays (e.g., Addison, Steele, Pope) and speeches (e.g., Winston Churchill) for the rhetorical techniques of ambiguity, contradiction, paradox, irony, sarcasm, and overstatement.
(b) Evaluate the effect of the author's use of oxymorons, subtleties, and sarcasm in literary essays and other forms of literary nonfiction.
Standard 6: Students understand how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.
(a) Analyze how the author's patterns of imagery reveals theme, sets tone, and creates meaning in literary works (e.g., consider reading Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe).

Standard 1:
Students analyze and understand the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and respond by providing evidence from the text to support their understanding.

(a) Analyze the consistency and clarity of the expression of the controlling idea and specific purpose in an expository text (e.g., consider reading books or essays by George Orwell, John Stuart Mill, Sir Francis Bacon, Voltaire, Virginia Woolf).

Standard 2: Students analyze and understand expository text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their understanding.

(a) Synthesize ideas and make logical connections among multiple expository texts and technical sources.
(b) Explain how authors writing on the same issue reached different conclusions because of differences in assumptions, evidence, reasoning, and viewpoints (e.g., consider reading selections from Newton, Einstein, and Hawking on the nature of gravity).
(c) Evaluate the ways in which the organizational and rhetorical patterns of text support or confound the author's meaning or purpose (e.g., consider reading James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time).
(d) Critique the visual, aural, and written elements in various forms of media for their role in the delivery of information accurately, comprehensively, and effectively.

Standard 3: Students analyze and understand persuasive text, and respond by providing evidence from text to support their analysis.

(a) Evaluate the merits of an argument, action, or policy by comparing the evidence with information available in other sources.
(b) Analyze the relationships (e.g., implication, necessity, and sufficiency) among evidence, inferences, assumptions, and claims in text (e.g., consider reading Alvin Toffler's The Third Wave or Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address).
(c) Analyze contemporary political debates for such logical fallacies as non-sequiturs, circular logic, hasty generalizations.
(d) Evaluate the persuasive effect on the viewer of different techniques used in multi-layered media campaigns (e.g., print, web, television).

Standard 4: Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents.
(a) Draw conclusions about how the patterns of organization and hierarchic structures support the understandability of text (e.g., consider reading and critiquing a college course catalog or an annual report to determine whether the information is presented clearly and effectively).
(b) Evaluate the structures of text (e.g., format, headers) for their clarity and organizational coherence and for the effectiveness of their graphic representations.

Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.

Standard 1: Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text.

(a) Plan a first draft by selecting the correct genre for conveying the intended meaning to multiple audiences, determining appropriate topics through a range of strategies (e.g., discussion, background reading, personal interests, and interviews), and developing a thesis or controlling idea.
(b) Develop drafts in timed and open-ended situations that structure ideas in a sustained and persuasive way (e.g., using outlines, note taking, graphic organizers, lists) and include transitions and the rhetorical devices to convey meaning.
(c) Revise drafts to clarify meaning and achieve specific rhetorical purposes, consistency of tone, and logical organization by rearranging the words, sentences, and paragraphs to employ tropes (e.g., metaphors, similes, analogies, hyperbole, understatement, rhetorical questions, irony), schemes (e.g., parallelism, antithesis, inverted word order, repetition, reversed structures),and add transitional words and phrases.
(d) Edit drafts to correct grammar, mechanics, and spelling.
(e) Revise final draft in response to feedback from peers and teacher and publish written work for appropriate audiences.

Standard 2: Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas.
(Students are responsible for two forms of literary writing.)

(a) Write an engaging story with a well-developed conflict and resolution, a clear theme, complex and non-stereotypical characters, a range of literary strategies (e.g., dialogue, suspense) and devices to enhance the plot, and sensory details that define the mood or tone.
(b) Write a poem that reflects an awareness of poetic conventions and traditions within different forms (e.g., sonnets, ballads, free verse).
(c) Write a script with an explicit or implicit theme, using a variety of literary techniques.

Standard 3: Students write expository and procedural or work-related texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes.

(a) Write an analytical essay of sufficient length that includes
a.. effective introductions and concluding paragraphs and a variety of sentence structures, rhetorical devices, and transitions to link paragraphs
b.. a clear thesis statement or controlling idea
c.. a clear organizational schema for conveying ideas
d.. relevant and substantial evidence and well-chosen details
e.. information on all relevant perspectives and consideration of the validity, reliability, and relevance of primary and secondary sources
f.. analysis of views and information that contradict the thesis statement and the evidence presented for it

(b) Write procedural and work-related documents (e.g., résumés, proposals, college applications, operations manual) that include
a.. relevant questions that engage readers and address their potential problems, and misunderstandings
b.. a clearly stated purpose combined with a well-supported viewpoint on the topic
c.. technical information accurately in accessible language
d.. appropriate organizational structures supported by facts and details (documented if appropriate)
e.. appropriate formatting structures (e.g., headings, graphics, and white space)
(c) Write an interpretation of an expository or literary text that:
a.. advances a clear thesis statement
b.. addresses the writing skills for an analytical essay including references to and commentary on quotations from the text
c.. analyzes the aesthetic effects of an author's use of stylistic or rhetorical devices
d.. identifies and analyzes ambiguities, nuances, and complexities within the text
e.. anticipates and responds to readers' questions and contradictory information
(d) Produce a multimedia presentation (e.g., documentary, class newspaper, docudrama, infomercial, visual or textual parodies, theatrical production) with graphics, images, and sound that appeals to a specific audience and synthesizes information from multiple points of view.

Standard 4: Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues.
(a) Write an argumentative essay (e.g., evaluative essays, proposals) to the appropriate audience that includes
a.. a clear position based on logical reasons with various forms of support (e.g., hard evidence, reason, common sense, cultural assumptions)
b.. an organizing structure appropriate to the purpose, audience, and context
c.. information on the complete range of relevant perspectives
d.. accurate and honest representation of divergent views (i.e., in the author's own words and not out of context)
e.. demonstrated consideration of the validity and reliability of all primary and secondary sources used
f.. language attentively crafted to move a disinterested or opposed audience, using specific rhetorical devices to back up assertions (e.g., appeals to logic, emotions, ethical beliefs)
g.. an awareness and anticipation of audience response that is reflected in different levels of formality, style, and tone
Strand: Research
Students know how to locate a range of relevant sources and evaluate, synthesize, and present ideas and information.

Standard 1: Students ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them.
(a) Brainstorm, consult with others, decide upon a topic, and formulate a major research question to address the major research topic.
(b) Formulate a plan for engaging in research on a complex, multi-faceted topic in depth.
Standard 2 Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather.
(a) Follow the research plan to gather evidence from experts on the topic and texts written for informed audiences in the field, distinguishing between reliable and unreliable sources and avoiding over-reliance on one source.
(b) Paraphrase, summarize, quote and accurately cite all researched information according to a standard format, differentiating among primary, secondary, and other sources.
Standard 3: Students clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information.
(a) Modify the major research question as necessary to refocus the research plan.
(b) Systematically organize relevant and accurate information to support central ideas, concepts, and themes, outline ideas into conceptual maps/timelines, and separate factual data from complex inferences.
(c) Determine whether the evidence found is weak or strong and how that evidence helps create a cogent argument.
(d) Critique the research process at each step to implement changes as the need occurs and is identified.

Standard 4: Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience.
(a) Synthesize the research into an extended written or oral presentation that:
a.. provides an analysis that supports and develops personal opinions, as opposed to simply restating existing information
b.. uses a variety of narrative formats and rhetorical strategies to argue for the thesis
c.. develops an argument that incorporates the complexities of and discrepancies in information from multiple sources and perspectives while anticipating and refuting counter-arguments
d.. utilizes a style manual (e.g., Modern Language Association, Chicago Manual of Style) to document sources and format written materials
e.. is of sufficient length and complexity to address the topic

Strand: Listening & Speaking
Students listen and respond to the ideas of others while contributing their own ideas in conversations and in groups.

Standard 1: Students listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings.

(a) Listen responsively to a speaker by framing inquiries that reflect an understanding of the content and identifying the positions taken and the evidence in support of those positions.
(b) Follow and restate complex oral instructions that include technical vocabulary and processes.
(c) Assess the persuasiveness of a presentation based on its content, word choice, rhetorical strategies, and delivery techniques used by the speaker.

Standard 2: Students speak clearly and to the point.

(a) Recognize and use elements of classical speeches (e.g., introduction, first and second transitions, body, and conclusion) to formulate sound, rational arguments and utilize the art of persuasion and debate to them, employing eye contact, speaking rate (including pauses for effect), volume, enunciation, purposeful gestures, and rhetorical devices to communicate ideas effectively.

Standard 3: Students work productively with others in teams.

(a) Participate productively in teams, including offering ideas or judgments that are purposeful in moving the team towards its goals, asking relevant and insightful questions, tolerating a range of positions and ambiguity in decision-making, and evaluating the work of the group based on agreed-upon criteria.

Strand: Oral and Written Conventions

Students learn how to use the oral and written conventions of the English language in speaking and writing.

Standard 1: Students identify and use the grammatical conventions of academic language when speaking and writing.

(a) Identify and use different types of clauses and phrases (e.g., adjectival clauses, noun phrases, adverbial clauses and phrases).
(b) Identify and use a variety of complete sentences (e.g., compound, complex, and compound-complex) with correct syntax, and distinguish between complete and incomplete sentences.

Standard 2: Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions.
(a) Know and correctly and consistently use conventions of punctuation and capitalization.
Standard 3: Students spell correctly.
(a) Spell correctly, including using various resources to find correct spellings.

Link to the ELAR TEKS Draft (3.19.08):

Link to the Substitute Amendment (2.18.08):
Procedures for the public hearing as posted on the Texas Education Agency's web site:
Wednesday, March 26, 2008.....1:00 p.m.
William B. Travis Building, Room 1-111


March 3 - 13 -- StandardsWork curriculum consulting firm coordinates expert review and reviewer recommendations into a draft ELAR TEKS document.

March 14 -- Subcommittee holds its second meeting to consider draft.

March 14 - 19 -- Final edits to draft based on subcommittee's direction.

arch 19 -- Latest draft is posted to TEA's website and is sent to SBOE.

March 26 -- SBOE receives public testimony on draft document on the first day of board's three-day regular March meeting.

March 27 -- SBOE discusses (and probably makes changes to) draft in preparation for first (of two) reading.

March 28 -- SBOE approves proposed ELAR TEKS on first (of two) reading.

April 18 -- Texas Register publishes first-reading version of document.

April 18 - May 18 -- 30-day period for official public comment on the document.

May 22 - 23 -- Board adopts new ELAR TEKS on 2nd/final reading in time for inclusion in new ELAR textbooks reaching classrooms in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

— Donna Garner



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