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“No Child Left Behind”: Does It Help Me? Change is Hard But Not Impossible

Author: Monica A. Brundage


Tilden Middle School

Year: 2012

Seminar: American Racial Politics

Grade Level: 5-8

Keywords: AYP, no child left behind, self advocacy

School Subject(s): Social Studies

This unit is being designed for students who need to understand what their jobs as students entail. Students need to be taught accountability for their contributions to our society. Students need to understand how results of testing not only affect our country but our communities as well. One of our most notable educational policies is the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001 (signed into law in January 2002). Passed as an amendment to the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the No Child Left Behind Act has required schools to make Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) and to track the progress of all students, counted in part by racial and ethnic groups, to remain eligible for federal funding. In practice the law has disappointed many; but it also provides opportunities for improvement, if all involved, administrators, teachers, parents, and students, do their parts. Students in particular must recognize their responsibilities to contribute to progress, including through self-advocacy.

Download Unit: TIP-Brundage-Unit-FINAL.pdf

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives


This unit is being designed for students who need to understand what their jobs as students entail. Students need to be taught accountability for their contributions to our society. Students need to understand how results of testing not only affect our country but our communities as well. Students need to understand how social and racial inequalities often skew information being reported, making the information harder to understand and less reliable. Students must also understand that these data are also used to determine how many of our political policies for education are created. One of our most notable educational policies is the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001 (signed into law in January 2002). Passed as an amendment to the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the No Child Left Behind Act has required schools to make Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) and to track the progress of all students, counted in part by racial and ethnic groups, to remain eligible for federal funding (National Education Association 2012). In practice the law has disappointed many; but it also provides opportunities for improvement, if all involved, administrators, teachers, parents, and students, do their parts. Students in particular must recognize their responsibilities to contribute to progress, including through self-advocacy.

In this unit, I often write as though I am speaking to students directly. I’m using this style of writing to take a subject that is difficult for many adults and make it a little easier for our students.


There should be a fundamental correlation between the way that people educate their children and what it is that children need to learn in order to be successful and viable members of society. In America today it is all tied to class, racial politics, educational reform and change. This also seems to be true for the idea of self-advocacy. Self-advocacy is the way to make changes for yourself when you feel that you need something that is not being provided for you. The “you” that I am talking about can be you as an individual or “you” as a collective group. Self-advocacy will look different for each of these according to both class and race of people. Self-advocacy will look different for your community, state, and the nation in which you live.

Often the policies and programming that we want in order to help us can have some unforeseen problems that don’t allow for the glorious results that we initially intended. This leads me to the example of the No Child Left Behind educational reforms put in place by the Bush Administration in 2002. This program was supposed to do several things for American students such as:

  • Raise the number of high school and college graduates across the country.
  • Raise the country’s academic ranking in the world.
  • Stabilize the educational system across the nation.

No Child Left Behind is a government program that was developed to assist American children in being able to compete for jobs worldwide and to ensure that they get the proper education needed to be successful. This initiative is working for some students but not working for others. I would like to give all students an overview of the No Child Left Behind Reform. I would like to provide information that will help each student do better as a student and at the same time give teachers, school districts, communities, and government agencies the information needed to make more accurate decisions about students and their education. Students, you are very instrumental in providing information about yourself because you know you best.

No matter how we start to make changes, we must be very aware of what our individual responsibilities are in the bigger picture. For example, before parents, educators, and community members can start to lobby for change, there is some basic knowledge that needs to be attained by each party involved. Some of the key people in this production are as follows:

  • Government officials
  • State Representatives
  • School Districts
  • Community Organization
  • Teachers
  • Parents

This unit is designed for middle and high school students so that they clearly understand how valuable their actions are to both the community and the nation. This is just one framework of self-advocacy from which to work. This unit can be integrated into all subjects/content matters in any classroom across the United States.


I am creating this unit to assist in helping students embrace, facilitate, and understand the changes that will occur in their lifetimes. I would like for students to understand that while some things are created to help, they can often end up a hindrance, due to some unforeseen conditions and changes in the world around us.

Many policies look like they are going to be helpful but in the end turn out to be more harmful or even downright and blatantly discriminatory against the very people that they were meant to help. There can also be a change in attitude about programs due to the funding that is or is not poured into them and the poor results that may be produced when there was such promise of success.

The No Child Left Behind Initiative has a few such drawbacks that I would like to bring to light. The understanding of these flaws can help us to better plan in the future. It can help us to address how we can get solutions for the problems in existing programs by using students’ self-advocacy through research and proper planning on the students’ part. I would also like to include a brief look at the history and the major changes that have happened to this law since its conception in 2001. I would like to look at the racial politics involved as well to see if it lives up to the expectations of students, school district across the nation, local and state officials, and the national government in regard to addressing racial inequalities.

This unit will also cover many of the standards of both the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Standards. We will create a Service Learning project needed for graduation requirements when graduating from middle school and high school. These standards will be listed in the appendix.


The objectives that I have for this unit are as follows:

To prepare our students to understand and participate in the No Child Left Behind Initiative, in the way that it is meant for students to participate in it. (This will make sense to you later in this unit.)

  • To learn and understand the benefit of being a good listener and how to find information.
  • To be able to both substantiate and confirm the relevancy of any plans or programs that are being designed.
  • To be able to look for information in different ways using multi-media.
  • To be able to interpret data using charts and statistics.
  • To be able to use and understand the value of surveys.
  • To be able to compose persuasive writing.
  • To get students involved with local advocacy groups and to understand their positions on policies, looking at issues from several points of view.

Background Information

Self – Advocacy

For students, self-advocacy is as easy as knowing your self (which, of course, is very hard)!  It is also understanding that self-advocacy means that you can provide yourself with the things that you need. Self-advocacy can also mean getting something that is needed for a group that you belong to or even an individual that you know has a specific need. This group could be a race of people, a group of people that share the same disabilities, or just a group of people who need some things to make their lives better such as medical insurance or food stamps (Pierson, Cortez, and Shea 2005). Self-advocacy also means that you know how to get and ask for what you want in the proper way. Being assertive does not mean that you have to be rude, negative or disrespectful.

Being assertive is a natural healthy behavior that you sometimes need to use when you need something. When someone is assertive they are able to think and act independently and make their own choices. An assertive person is able to ask for what they want without feeling guilty and presents the disagreement in an orderly manner. People who are good at being assertive sometimes make good leaders. Most good leaders are very good self-advocates. You cannot have one without the other and be truly a good advocate.

Why help others advocate for themselves?  Historically “self-advocacy” became popular in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement and when people with disabilities voices began to speak out for themselves and to be heard both loud and clear. There was a lot of civil unrest in America at this time. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. There were many advocates for racial equality in America. America was also in the middle of the longest war fought by the United States to this date, the Vietnam War. Military actions that can be seen as part of this never-declared war started on November 1, 1955 and ended on April 30, 1975 (Department of Defense 1998). This war lasted for over twenty years with nearly sixty thousand soldiers killed (National Archives 2012b).

In this era, many people who were born with disabilities or who became disabled were hidden or put into sanitariums. They were hidden away from their families and the communities that they had lived in because people were embarrassed and often ashamed of their less than perfect family members. This was also the time that many of the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War came home with debilitating injuries and mental issues. Not only were they not seen as heroes by the world, they were not seen as heroes by the American public. In fact, not only did many of the disabled have excellent cognitive functioning, they felt they had little choice but to try to live the way they had lived. They had families, jobs, and hobbies. But all these were things that now had to be done differently or not at all, since many men had come back from the war with many devastating injuries such as lost arms, legs, hands, and feet. Some servicemen had wounds that were worse than lost limbs. Some men lost the ability to walk at all. Their worlds were turned upside down. 75,000 were considered severely disabled and 23,214 were classified 100% disabled. 5,283 lost limbs and 1,081 sustained multiple amputations. Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than in Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII (National Archives 2012b).

Can you imagine needing to go to the store? You just get up, get dressed, and go. Not if you are in a wheel chair. First you will have to bathe and dress yourself without being able to stand. Then imagine having to get down both the steps inside of your home and then the set of steps that lead to the pavement by yourself. Continue to imagine having to cross several streets without any ramps that lead to the street or inside of the store. Imagine having to struggle through a door that is too small. Once someone in the store helps you in, you start to shop, only to realize that the aisles in the store are not wide enough and the items you want are up much higher than you can reach from your chair. Then imagine having to go back home with all of the same obstacles in the way. What do you do? How do you feel? Who will help you? Where do you start to look for help?

Historically, Black Americans faced similar problems. Imagine having to go to the bathroom when it is ive feet away but not being able to use it because the bathroom is for Whites Only. So you have to go to a bathroom that is five blocks away. Imagine working in places where you have to leave the building to have your lunch or go to the bathroom because of your color.

The Civil Rights Movement, the modern disability movement, and the kinds of steps, including self-advocacy, needed to bring the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act closer to reality are all connected (Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund 2012). What led to the help and services for many people with disabilities are the following statutes, with the later ones directly resulting from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is the act that created the example and the path for the development of the acts that followed. The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) was enacted in 1980. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was enacted in 1990:

Civil Rights Act of 1964

 This historic law ade it illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of a wide range of reasons—race, color, religion, sex, and national origin—and it has served as a model for later efforts to ban other kinds of discrimination (Henfield 2012):


“SEC. 703 (a): It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer—

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

“(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

“(b) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2012).

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980

The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) authorizes the U.S. Attorney General to investigate conditions of confinement at State and local government institutions such as prisons, jails, pretrial detention centers, juvenile correctional facilities, publicly operated nursing homes, and institutions for people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities. Its purpose is to allow the Attorney General to uncover and correct widespread deficiencies that seriously jeopardize the health and safety of residents of institutions. The Attorney General does not have authority under CRIPA to investigate isolated incidents or to represent individual institutionalized persons.

The Attorney General may initiate civil law suits where there is reasonable cause to believe that conditions are “egregious or flagrant,” that they are subjecting residents to “grievous harm,” and that they are part of a “pattern or practice” of resistance to residents’ full enjoyment of constitutional or Federal rights, including title II of the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation ( 2012).

 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (formerly called P.L. 94-142 or the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975) requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs (U.S. Department of Education 2012). IDEA requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each child. The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflect the individualized needs of each student.

IDEA also mandates that particular procedures be followed in the development of the IEP. Each student’s IEP must be developed by a team of knowledgeable persons and must be at least reviewed annually. The team includes the child’s teacher; the parents, subject to certain limited exceptions; the child, if determined appropriate an agency representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education; and other individuals at the parents’ or agency’s discretion.

If parents disagree with the proposed IEP, they can request a due process hearing and a review from the State educational agency if applicable in that state. They also can appeal the State agency’s decision to State or Federal court (National Resource Center on ADHID 2012).

These three acts are very important for helping to get the needs met of all of the people who are affected by these acts. It is our job to continuously advocate for and assist those people who cannot help themselves. These are tools that have been put in place by our government to help us help to protect people from inequalities.

Perhaps the most import law designed for the education of American Students is The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. It provided significant federal funding for K–12 education for the first time. The original law has been renewed and amended eight times. As first enacted and as amended over the years, it has added to the tools available for advocates of improved education (Hanna 2005). The most recent tool that the government has given us by amending ESEA to help our students get the proper education is the initiative called No Child Left Behind. Now I know for a fact that many of our students think that the No Child Left Behind Initiative means that they cannot get left back a grade in school. WRONG!

Part of understanding self-advocacy is understanding what your responsibility is so that you can do your part in making sure that the goals set for you are met. If you are not sure what you need to do, you need to find out! Allow me to explain what the No Child Left Behind Initiative is and how it is suppose to work.

No Child Left Behind

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Amendment of 2001, commonly referred to as the “No Child Left Behind Act, “was adopted a decade ago to establish an accountability system that aimed to help close the achievement gap among all students” (National Education Association 2012). On January 8, 2002, NCLB was signed into law. Americans united behind a revolutionary idea: every child can learn. The law confirms that as a nation, we will not accept a public school system that educates only a portion of its children. NCLB recognizes what truly makes a difference in providing a quality education. It calls for a highly qualified teacher in the core subjects in every classroom; the use of proven, research-based instructional methods; and timely information and options for parents. Schools that underperform are held accountable. They must provide their students with free tutoring or the opportunity to transfer to a better performing public school. In other words, children’s education needs are placed first—where they belong. To achieve its goals, NCLB works according to four common principles:

  • Holding schools accountable for results, including results for different racial and ethnic groups:
  • Giving states and districts flexibility in how they spend federal money;
  • Using scientific research to guide classroom practice; and
  • Involving parents by giving them information and choices about their children’s education.

ESEA Flexibility

Many states have complained, however, that the federal government has placed too much stress on standardized tests as metrics of academic progress (Hanna 2005). The emphasis on standardized tests can often mean that districts with higher percentages of students with histories of “achievement gaps” on such tests, including students with some forms of disabilities and some racial and ethnic minority groups, end up losing federal support. These problems can be reinforcing, since at times racial minority students have been wrongly labeled “special needs” students, while support for students with special needs has been lacking in those same districts. In administering NCLB and its proposals for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Obama administration has promised greater flexibility and teacher empowerment (U.S. Department of Education 2010a, 8; 2010b, 3). As recently allowed by the U.S. Department of Education for example, the Florida Department of Education is in the process of seeking a flexibility waiver for adhering to certain federal requirements for our public education system. Other states are making similar requests (U.S. Department of Education 2011).

So in case this seems like blah, blah, blah, then let me clarify to you what all of this means.

You need to help your school make its Annual Yearly Progress (AYP). This means that when you get your annual state testing you need to follow all directions and to do your best to answer every question. This way when your school gets your scores the results of your test you should show the progress that you have made for that school year.

School receive funding dependent upon how well students score on the state test. So if your school does well you get more money and if it does not then your school may lose money or not receive any at all.

All schools have to use scientifically-based educational tools and programs. This means that while your lessons may look different, but you need to engage yourself as a student so that you get the information that you need to be a successful student.

You must do your best because this test will be reporting all sorts of information that you may not be thinking about such as racial, social, and economic statistics to a number of local, state, and government agencies. Keep in mind you would like for them to get the most accurate information to make good informed decisions. American history shows us that government officials and the public are not likely to support new measures to improve conditions for all groups unless they are persuaded by strong evidence of the need to do so, combined with confidence that people will respond to those measures in ways that will produce good results.

Other responsibilities that you have are to study, get plenty of rest, and remember to ask for help when you need it this will ensure to always do your best.

This is what you need to do to make the No Child Left Behind be a successful initiative as a student.

Teaching Strategies

I would like to discuss some key components from the No Child Left Behind Initiative and what it means to them. I will then ask them to look at the No Child Left Behind Initiative and what it means to individuals with disabilities. I would like students to understand what their responsibility is and how that responsibility might look for other students.

The following is a list of strategies that I will use during the teaching of my lesson.

  • Persuasive Writing
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Journal Entries
  • Graphic Organizers
  • K-W-L
  • Teacher Modeling and Demonstration
  • Venn Diagram
  • Related reading to student experiences
  • Student developed vocabulary words
  • Reference Skills
  • Understanding historical events and timelines
  • Understanding and manipulating statistical data

Through a series of activities students will learn that the No Child Left Initiative was designed for them and they will come to understand what their responsibilities are as students. I would also like for them to see how even students with disabilities have a part in this program. I would like for them to see the world from the perspective of a person with a disability who lives in their own community or is even a member of their family and how self- advocacy can play a great role in getting things that are needed. Finally, I would like for the students to understand that they and their families need to be able to speak out for both themselves and those who cannot through advocacy.

The students will write get the chance to use the K-W-L chart through out this lesson, write persuasive letters, look closely at data and how it can be manipulated, keep journals of both the new word and experiences that they have learned. They get many opportunities to share the information that has been learned in oral reports. Students will use graphic organizers to present various types of information that they have learned. Lastly, I would like to tie all of this information to race and class. I would like to use the student’s thoughts and opinions on various subject matters to show them how the understanding of self-advocacy will come in handy for them, their families and community. You cannot help people learn to be self-advocates if they don’t know what it means.

Classroom Activities

Lesson #1

 Objective: Students will be able to analyze information from their communities and use it to begin finding pre-existing forms of inequalities in our society and determine possible ways to address these issues.

Organize students into groups of 4. Each student in the group must choose a geographic area in the city or town that they live in to compare to one another. Each student must determine if the area that they have chosen is taking care of the needs of the disabled in its community. Each student must find the following information:

  1. What services are offered to the disabled?
  2. Are these services easily accessible?
  3. What are the demographics of the area?
  4. Who has the highest rate of community members with disabilities?
  5. List and describe the programs and organizations that the people in the community utilize.
  6. List at least three programs that the local, state, and federal governments provide for these citizens.
  7. How are these services a direct result of the Civil Rights Movement?
  8. How can we begin to address the disparities that you are seeing?
  9. Chose a cause from the information gathered that you would help advocate for. Tell who, how, and why you chose to help this particular group.
  10. Each student will be responsible for creating a vocabulary list of ten words.

Each student must turn in a one-page report on their with all of the information and data collected. The report is due in one week.

Lesson #2

Students will get back into their groups and use the compiled information to create 2-3 page papers that compare all the data and information collected by each individual. The group will also be responsible for choosing ten overall words that will be introduced to the class. Each group must present their findings in a 5-10 minutes presentation. Due in two weeks.

Lesson # 3

Students groups will be asked to choose a high and low performing school in their community to compare. Students will need to look for the following data:

  1. Compare and describe the location of the schools.
  2. Compare and describe what the physical characteristics of each school are?
  3. What are the ethnic groups are enrolled in each school?
  4. What types of before, during, and after school programs and/or services are offered?
  5. What community partnerships are present in each of the schools and how does it help?
  6. How many students with disabilities attend the schools?
  7. What kinds of services are offered to them?
  8. Are the services being offered accessible and beneficial to the students receiving them?
  9. Who are these programs offered to?
  10. What types of inequalities do you see?
  11. How can you explain these inequalities?
  12. How has the Civil Rights Movement directly helped students today?
  13. How do you think schools would look without the laws and acts developed out of the Civil Rights Movement?
  14. Chose a cause from the information gathered that you would help advocate for. Tell who, how, and why you chose to help this particular group.

Each group must present the information gathered. Students can use statistical data that has been collected, Venn diagrams and Graphic Organizers to help them clearly convey the information at is shared in presentation. A Power Point presentation outlining the information that is to be covered must be submitted to teacher in advance. Due in two weeks.

 Lesson # 4

 Students will need to select from lessons 1 or 3 a group for which they would like to advocate. You have already begun to complete this task by answering questions 9 and 14 respectively. Students will need to design a one-year Action Plan for aiding the cause of their choice. Along with the Action Plan each student must include a time line. Use existing programs and laws to help you create your plan discuss the following information:

  1. What would you do?
  2. How would you do it?
  3. What people or organizations would you use contact to assist you with your plan?
  4. Who would benefit from these changes most?
  5. Which Civil Rights Movement laws and /or acts does it relate to?
  6. Is your plan realistic? Why? Why not?

Students can use a Venn diagram to show a correlation between questions 9 and 14 to figure out what information is relevant for students Action Plans.

Students will be asked to complete to complete a K-W-L Chart to find out what they know about inequalities at the beginning of this unit. We will use the information collected to branch off into the Civil Rights Movement and the laws that were developed out of this movement. Due in two weeks.

*****************************Teacher Note ******************************* has a pre-existing list of vocabulary words that you can use with this lesson. Both you and your students have the ability to add or delete words from the listing.

Discuss strategies that were used by Civil Rights Activists such as

  • Boycotts
  • Marches
  • Rallies
  • Fundraisers
  • Awareness Campaigns
  • Church Meetings
  • Press Releases
  • Documentaries
  • Advertisements
  • Television
  • Movies

Define and give students examples of all of these strategies.

 Lesson # 5

Students will need to interview a teacher, administrator, organization members or advocates to find out what pivotal moment help them to decide to do what is that they are doing now. Students must then write a Reaction paper for this interview. Students must discuss how they feel about the interviewers’ story. Students must then talk about how they feel about the interview has changed them. A recording or written dialogue of the interview must accompany your paper. Due in two weeks.


Common Core Standard for Reading (8th Grade)

  1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
  3. Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
  5. Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
  6. Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
  7. Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
  8. (Not applicable to literature)
  9. Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.
  10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


Common Core Standards in Writing (8th Grade)

1.Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  1. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
  2. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  3. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  4. Establish and maintain a formal style.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  6. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  7. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  8. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  9. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  10. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  11. Establish and maintain a formal style.
  12. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  13. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  14. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  15. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  16. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
  17. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
  18. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
  19. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  20. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 8 on page 52.)
  21. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  22. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  23. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  24. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  25. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”).
  26. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).
  27. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    Citations 2012. “Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA),”

A summary of the 1980 law that established educational rights for institutionalized persons.

“Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. 2012. “A COMPARISON of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504,”

An advocacy group analysis that places disability education in its historical civil rights context and indicates routes of advocacy for the disabled.

Hanna, Julia. 2005. “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act: 40 Years Later,” Harvard Graduate School of Education,

An overview of the politics and controversies surrounding the landmark 1965 education law and its amendments.

Heathfield, Susan M. 2012. “Summary of Employment Related Components of the Civil Rights Act Of 1964.” Human Resources,

An overview of the key employment provisions of the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act.

National Archives. 2012a. “Teaching With Documents: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,”

A useful collection of key documents on federal efforts to combat discrimination since 1964.

—–. 2012b. “Historical Documents Online: Military: Vietnam War,”

An extensive collection of information and documents on the Vietnam era.

National Education Association. 2012. “No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) | ESEA,”

An overview and assessment of the No Child Left Behind Act from the point of view of teachers.

National Resource Center on ADIHD. 2012. “IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,”

An overview of the 1990 law, re-enacted with amendments in 1997 and 2004, and a guide to obtaining services under it.

Pierson, Melinda R., Francisco Cortez, and Amber M. Shea. 2005. “Self-advocacy for Students with Disabilities.”Academic Exchange Quarterly,

An analysis of methods of self-advocacy and the ways that disabled students can make use of them for the benefit of themselves and others.

Reverso Collins Dictionary. 2012. “Self-advocacy,”

U.S. Department of Defense. 1998. “Name of Technical Sergeant Richard B. Fitzgibbon To Be Added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” Press Release, November 6.

Documentation of the official view of when American fatalities began in Vietnam.

U.S. Department of Education. 2010a. “A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,”

The Department of Education’s most recent plans for strengthening the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including its No Child Left Behind amendments.

—–.2010b. “Built for Teachers: How the Blueprint for Reform Empowers Educators,” |

The Department’s specific ideas for assisting and improving teaching.

—–. 2011. “Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA),” Homeroom: The Official Blog of the U. S. Department of Education,

The Departmet’s forum for discussing state, local, parental and teacher concerns about its plans for modifying and implementing ESEA.

—–. 2012. “IDEA – Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004,”

The federal government’s guide to its efforts to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 2012. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,”

The official federal guide to the key employment provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.