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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) developed the Model Content Frameworks for ELA/Literacy to help:
- Inform development of the PARCC assessments, and
- Support implementation of the Common Core State Standards
The PARCC Model Content Frameworks were developed through a state-led process that included ELA content experts in PARCC member states and members of the Common Core State Standards writing team. Although the primary purpose of the Model Content Frameworks is to provide a frame for the PARCC assessments, they also are voluntary resources to help educators and those developing curricula and instructional materials. The Model Content Frameworks illustrate one of a number of ways the standards could be organized over the course of the school year. Users are advised to have a copy of the Common Core State Standards available for use in conjunction with the Model Content Frameworks.
The Model Content Framework for each grade level (grades 3–11) is divided into four sections:
- Narrative Summary of the ELA Standards,
- The Model Content Framework Chart,
- Key Terms and Concepts for the Model Content Framework Chart, and
- Writing and Speaking and Listening Standards Progressions Charts
The Structure of the Model Content Frameworks for ELA/Literacy section provides additional information about the four sections.
Central to the vision for literacy embedded within the standards and the Model Content Frameworks is the idea that instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language is a shared responsibility within schools. All fields of study demand analysis of complex texts and strong oral and written communication skills using discipline-specific discourse. Because each discipline acquires, develops, and shares knowledge in distinct ways, educators in each field must take ownership of building robust instruction around discipline-specific literacy skills to better prepare students for college and careers. Accordingly, educators in all disciplines bear some responsibility for ensuring the literacy of the students in their classes. The Model Content Frameworks provide all educators with foundational ideas for incorporating disciplinary literacy skills and practice into instructional programming.
The standards for grades 3-5 include expectations regarding reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language that apply to a range of subjects, including but not limited to English language arts. Accordingly, in the Model Content Frameworks for grades 3-5, some texts will involve reading from across the disciplines. The standards for grades 6-12 include standards for ELA and separate but closely related literacy standards for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. This dual set of standards reflects the primary role ELA teachers have in developing students’ literacy skills while acknowledging that teachers in other disciplines play a critical role in developing student literacy. History/social studies, science, and technical subject teachers are encouraged to review the Model Content Frameworks collaboratively with ELA teachers to coordinate literacy instruction, especially in the key areas of reading and writing.
It is critical that all students are able to demonstrate mastery of the skills and knowledge described in the standards. PARCC recognizes the importance of equity, access, and fairness in its assessments and aligned materials. To help meet these goals, PARCC will work with its Accessibility, Accommodations and Fairness Technical Working Group — a group of national experts — throughout the development process to ensure the learning experience of all students, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners, is aligned to the high expectations of the standards.
Guided by the above considerations, the Model Content Frameworks offered in this document present the standards in an integrated fashion that will be useful for curriculum developers and teachers alike, while providing insight and guidance for the development of the PARCC Assessment System. By systematically weaving together the standards into modules that progressively develop student understanding from grade 3 through grade 11, the Model Content Frameworks reflect the key shifts in the CCSS by offering one way of envisioning how to emphasize the critical advances in the standards by focusing on essential knowledge and skills that students must develop for college and career readiness.
 The key shifts in the standards include 1) Regular practice with complex texts and its academic language, 2) Reading, writing, speaking, and listening grounded in evidence from texts, literary and informational, and 3) Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction.