In recent years, New York State has raised the standards for students’ performance in the area of ELA. As a result of these new state standards, both teachers and students face tremendous pressure to succeed. Last year, the state raised the bar and changed the cut scores on the NYS ELA exam. Based on the new scores and what the state deems as “passing”, there has been an influx of students who require AIS services in the area of reading and writing. All of the above factors have changed the climate in all classrooms. The emphasis on reading and writing across the curriculum has never been greater. All teachers in all subject areas have now had to change their focus in the classroom. A common language is necessary among all classes, so that students can make connections in literacy among all subject areas. Teachers need to be exposed to the language and test terms commonly used on the NYS ELA exam, so that they can begin using them on their own tests and in their daily classroom discussion.

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