National and State Standards: Blueprints for Building a Vision and a Program

Prepared by Mary Ratzer

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

Finding your way in a time of change requires new learning, motivation, the best guidance you can find, risk taking, and perseverance.


Common Ground

New York State has involved the school library community in the recent standards revision initiative. Energetic sharing of the national AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner in a number of State Education Department forums,with emphasis on their international recognition, has resulted in common ground for school libraries going forward. Similarly, the vigorous sharing of New York City's Empire State Information Fluency Continuum, strongly characterized by inquiry and co-opted widely around the state, has informed the State Education Department's sense of quality models for curriculum stemming from the Common Core Standards. New York City has recently crafted a precise fusion of their curriculum and the Common Core Standards. This fusion document is a clear chart linked below using Common Core anchor skills. It is also framed grade level by grade level. . Further New York City has published online Benchmarks and Assessments for the performance crosswalk grade level by grade level. Finally, New York City and national experts have recently published online Common Core Aligned Embedded Tasks complete with rubrics and teaching strategies. Both are linked below.
The National Common Core Learning Standards were revised July 2010 in New York to emphasize inquiry, which is at the heart of AASL's standards. Inquiry and the information to knowledge journey is already incorporated in local curricular documents for school librarians due to collaborative efforts among School Library Systems. Examples include curricula in the Capital Region SLS, WSWHE BOCES SLS , Eastern Suffolk BOCES SLS, Oswego BOCES SLS, and Southern Westchester SLS. The ISTE Standards have strong common ground with the AASL Standards, since both organizations share affiliation.This common ground for a VISION for a school library media program presents itself as a complex and challenging, yet amazingly unified platform. The school librarian ready to self-educate, reach out to regional professional development opportunities, and build with teaching partners has the promise of a better future in his or her hands.


School Librarians and the Common Core: Resources--

Livebinder by Carolyn Jo Starkey


Cross walking AASL with the Common Core


Engage NY Common Core Toolkit


Empire State Information Fluency Continuum/Common Core Learning Standards



Inquiry Meets the Common Core Matrix


ISTE Standards

Resources for Applying the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner to Your Everyday Practice

AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

Common Core BIG IDEAS for Teachers and School Librarians

Compiled by Mary Ratzer

Students who are college and career ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening:

    • Demonstrate independence

    • Build strong content knowledge

    • Respond to varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline

    • Comprehend as well as critique

    • Value evidence

    • Use technology and digital media strategically and capably

    • Understand other perspectives and cultures

Integration of knowledge and ideas:

    • Use their experience and their knowledge…and logic to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively

    • Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats to address a question or solve a problem

Research to build and present knowledge:

    • Conduct short as well more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) drawing on several sources and rating additional, related focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration

    • Develop factual, interpretive, and evaluative questions for further exploration of the topic

    • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

    • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information avoiding plagiarism

Production and distribution of Writing:

    • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others

    • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient texts

    • Explore and inquire into areas of interest to formulate an argument

Comprehension and collaboration:

    • Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively

    • Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally

Presentation of knowledge and ideas:

    • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience

    • Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding

Types of Text

  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts,

    using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using

    effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences

State Education Department Lesson Plan Alignment Guidance

From Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 education- John King

1. Grade level complex text is the subject of the lesson/unit rather than the use of different leveled texts for different students.

2. Lesson/unit focuses on the multiple close readings of texts for understanding.

3. Lesson/unit includes instructional scaffolding to enable students at varying skill levels to access the complex text directly (and the lesson does not preempt or replace the text by translating its contents for students).

4. A series of text-dependent questions are included in the lesson/unit that require students to demonstrate that they follow the details of what is explicitly stated but also asks them to make non-trivial inferences.

5. A focus of the lesson/unit is on building the students' ability to use relevant textual evidence to support their explanations and inferences about texts.

6. Extensive writing opportunities are included for students to draw evidence from texts (i.e. write to sources) and to present careful analysis, well-defined claims, and clear information. regularly they are asked to respond to questions about texts and verify their answers, write notes about texts, summarize texts, etc.

7. When reading, academic vocabulary prevalent in complex texts is taught by drawing students' attention to specific words and working through meanings in their context.

8. Lesson/unit invites students to share their preparation, evidence, and research orally with their peers.

9. Lesson/unit explicitly and effectively supports student mastery of key elements of grammar and conventions in the context of reading and writing, including how to put smaller units together to form longer. more complex sentences and paragraphs.

10. Lesson/unit cultivates independence in students.

Cognitive Strategies in the Common Core

From Conley, David. "Building on the Common Core." Educational Leadership Mar. 2011:16-20.


1. Analysis of how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact in texts.
2. Using verbal, visual or quantitative expression, integration and evaluation of content in a variety of content in multiple media and formats.
3. Independent and proficient reading and understanding of complex informational and literary texts.
4. Development of writing through planning, revision, editing.
5. Production and publication of writing, and collaboration with others, using technology and the Internet.
6. Short and sustained research projects based on focused questions, which demonstrate understanding of the subject being investigated.


1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Synthesis- An Information to Knowledge to Journey

“Synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.” NY CCLS

“Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.”NY CCLS

“Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.” NY CCLS

INQUIRY Meets the Common Core
  • Build background, tap prior knowledge

  • Activate thinking. Engage the learner

  • Conduct short and sustained research projects

  • Frame questions for investigation

  • Use facts to build meaning and BIG IDEAS

  • Integrate relevant information from multiple sources, multiple formats

  • Argue with evidence

  • Write from sources.

  • Interrogate and reconcile multiple perspectives

  • Infer, analyze, synthesize

  • Draw original conclusions

  • Connect ideas and information

  • Think analytically, advocate persuasively

  • Speak and listen critically

  • Use digital media to express understandings, conclusions, and original ideas

  • Pursue relevant paths to student's real world

  • Evaluate claims, evidence, credibility, limitations, alternatives

  • Use vocabulary of the content knowingly

  • Participate in peer evaluation

  • Create products that convey new understanding

  • Reflect on the process and product

Madsion Oneida BOCES SLS