Mastery of Knowledge and Skills: Claim 3
Channel View School for Research students think critically, demonstrating growth over time in analyzing complex texts.
Channel View teachers engage students in original research, critical thinking, and problem solving. Over the past three years, our professional learning has centered around designing more rigorous curriculum, with a focus on higher-level literacy skills. We have learned that there must be common approaches with common languages; therefore, we have designed approaches to annotating texts that are common across departments and grades. For example, students use their English Language Arts (ELA) annotations in science or history classes. As a result, our students have demonstrated growth over time in critical thinking and analyzing complex texts. Students create portfolios that contain final products and include multiple drafts, self-reflections, and feedback from teachers. By maintaining these portfolios, students are able to demonstrate how their work has improved and how they have met learning targets. In order to continue this trajectory of success in mastering these skills and content, we have implemented the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone curriculum. This program provides students with the in-depth learning needed to complete a collegiate research course. This course work culminates with a publishable paper. To further develop student writing, teachers are beginning to work on using a common language when reviewing models of writing, conducting peer critiques, and self-assessment.
Evidence 1: Regents Scores (over the last three years):
English Language Arts (ELA)
Global History and Geography Document Based Question (DBQ)
The following New York State (NYS) Regents standardized assessment scores show that our students’ analysis of complex texts has improved significantly over time. Additionally, the assessments prove that there is mastery of knowledge.
The English Regents is designed to measure students’ achievement of the Grade 11-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for English Language Arts. The CCLS for English Language Arts consists of a broad set of literacy expectations for students. Literacy is defined through an integrated model, in which Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language operate in tandem to enable students to comprehend, analyze, evaluate, and communicate complex information.
The Global History and Geography Document Based Question, is a skills-based essay in which a student analyzes significant evidence—documents and other data—to reach an informed position, then presents that information in a persuasive, logical, and accurate essay. Document Based Questions require students to think analytically about the documents and then write responses that integrate information from a variety of sources. Skills involved in historical analysis include the following:
• evaluating the reliability, validity, and accuracy of historical sources
• identifying the point of view of these sources as well as determining bias
• identifying a problem or issue and considering alternative positions and solutions
• categorizing information as political, social, or economic, or as positive or negative
• comparing and contrasting different interpretations of key events
• constructing support for a position by choosing accurate, relevant evidence
Evidence 2: Data from the Citywide Middle School Performance Task
These standardized assessment scores demonstrate that the focus on analyzing complex texts starts at the middle school level. These charts show student performance on ELA Citywide Performance Tasks. These assessments focus on supporting a claim using evidence obtained by analyzing complex texts. This data allows the ELA teachers to see their students’ knowledge of content and skills. The teachers compare the results of the test with one that the students completed at the beginning of the year. The teachers at Channel View are then able to modify their curriculum to improve student understanding of key concepts. Teachers also use this data to move their students to complex texts in order to prepare them for the ELA state exam. In addition, this data allows teachers to support students in mastering the skills for each grade level.
Evidence 3: Student Essays
Channel View students’ deeper learning is demonstrated not only in their test scores, but also through their written analysis of complex texts. Channel View students are able to research topics that interest them and gather evidence from scholarly sources to support their arguments. When examining non-fiction texts, students demonstrate mastery by considering the rhetorical strategies that authors use to develop their claims. They are able to critique and synthesize texts written by multiple authors. Students are able to look beyond a text’s central idea to consider the author’s line of reasoning. When writing about fiction, Channel View students are able to perform close readings of texts; students analyze themes and patterns in their interpretations of literature. The following student work samples from different grade levels illustrate our students’ ability to think critically when they write about complex texts.
This student evaluates evidence about stem cells from an economic lens. In the boxed passage below, this 10th grade AP student analyzes a complex text from the EBSCO website, an online database of peer reviewed scholarly journals, about how stem cell research impacts the economy.
This student evaluates the argument of technology and human connection from a speech by Melinda Gates. She analyzes the complex text by not only pointing out the author’s point-of-view, but also analyzing how she uses rhetorical strategies to get that message across. Her rough draft shows the comments made by peer reviewers that led her to her final piece.
This student evaluates Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible and the effect of the emotions of shame and fear on the characters and the events of the Salem Witch Trials. In the student’s essay, she is able to use quotes as evidence to support her ideas and conclude how the people of Salem acted out of fear and emotion causing the hysteria and the tragedy that befell the town.
This student wrote a document-based essay about the Great Depression. She quotes primary sources and analyzes the reaction of the American people to a policy developed by President Hoover.
This student interprets evidence from a text about the game Fortnite. The student is able to go beyond simply paraphrasing a quotation, using textual analysis of a quotation to defeat a counterclaim. The student is able to explain how turning an enemy into a pile of loot instead of blood supports that the game is not violent.