English language arts (ELA) are all of the communication and language skills and processes people use every day to receive and send information. Students in ELA classrooms and across the content areas take in information through reading, listening, and viewing from both literary and informational sources. Students also write, speak, and exchange ideas to express themselves and communicate with others. The ability to use and understand language is critical to every aspect of students’ lives and their future career and college readiness.
Distance Learning Resources
Please visit the Student Instruction COVID-19 Resources page
to find resources for providing student instruction via distance learning. On this page, you can also subscribe to email alerts to stay up to date with MDE distance learning resources.
English Language Arts (ELA) Standards Review
The Minnesota Department of Education began the review by forming the 2019-20 Minnesota K-12 ELA Education Standards Committee
This committee has met during the 2019-20 school year to review the current (2010) standards, examine research, solicit feedback, and propose needed revisions. The review process has included the First and Second Draft
which were made available to the public for comment. The Third Draft is due to the commissioner by September 1, 2020. Implementation of the new standards will be required in the 2024-25 school year. For more information about the standards review process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standards, Assessments and Graduation Requirements
The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts
(2010), which include reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, media literacy, and language standards, were revised in 2010 and were to be implemented by the 2012-13 school year. The standards also cover literacy in history/social Studies, science and technical subjects, and require that students learn to read and write across disciplines. The ELA standards are currently under review and are due to the commissioner by September 1, 2020.
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and the Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards. Most students take the MCA, but students with significant cognitive disabilities who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MTAS. The MCA reading tests are administered each year in grades 3-8 and 10. Learn more about the MCAs and statewide assessments on the Statewide Testing page.
All of the ELA standards, including reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, media literacy and language, are also assessed at the classroom level through teacher- and district-selected assessments.
The graduation requirements for English Language Arts (ELA) include credit requirements and standards requirements. All students are required to satisfactorily complete four credits in ELA encompassing the high school academic standards. Visit the Graduation Requirements page
Professional Learning and Coming Events
Mapping the Journey from Standards to Lessons Modules
The modules available below are designed to guide educators, both individuals and teams, through a process for implementing a set of standards, from understanding the standards to examining student work. A module may include a protocol, discussion guide, video classroom demonstration or a link to resources. Each module is self-paced and can be completed in 30 to 45 minutes.Understanding Learning Targets
Learn the importance of using learning targets by watching two classroom demonstrations. Identify an audience and purpose for a learning target and write one for a classroom lesson or unit.
Legislative Initiatives and Special Projects
Read Well by Third Grade / Early Reading Proficiency
Content Specialist Contact Information
Resources for Instruction and Learning
Leadership in Reading Network
The Leadership in Reading Network (LiRN) is a collaborative effort of the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Reading Association, and the Minnesota Center for Reading Research. The network includes school wide literacy coaches, district literacy coordinators, administrators and other Minnesota educators who support teachers and administrators in building capacity and developing literacy programs based on research-based best practices. Visit the Minnesota Reading Association website for more information or to register.
Higher Education Literacy Partnership
Minnesota’s Higher Education Literacy Partnership (HELP) is a collaborative, multi-organizational effort designed to improve the educational experiences and reading proficiencies of Minnesota’s students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. HELP works to improve the reading performance of struggling readers through professional development that fosters high-quality teacher preparation throughout Minnesota’s institutions of higher education through a Distinguished Scholar’s Symposium and a summer book club. Visit the Minnesota Reading Association website for more information or to register.
Standards and Related Information