English Language Arts Collection of Evidence (ELA COE)
The ELA COE is a state-approved graduation alternative to the state’s large-scale high school ELA assessment. The ELA COE can be used to meet the requirements for graduation and earn a Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA)*.
An ELA COE is a set of reading, writing, and research tasks that assess comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of text, the capacity to write introductions, conclusions and elaborations, the skills of research and source selection, and the ability to write explanatory and argumentative essays.
* For students receiving special education services, if determined appropriate by the IEP team, a student can also earn a Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA) with the ELA COE by applying an “L2” level of performance.
Eligibility requirements to work on an ELA COE
A student must take one of the state’s large-scale high school ELA assessments (Smarter Balanced ELA) at least one time and not meet standard before being eligible to access the ELA COE.
The ELA COE is aligned with Claims 1, 2, and 4 on the Smarter Balanced ELA assessment
Claim 1 Reading—Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts.
Claim 2 Writing—Students can produce effective writing for a range of purposes and audiences.
Claim 4 Research—Students can engage in research/inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate and present information.
There are two segments to the ELA COE
Segment 1 is comprised of 4 reading tasks all of which come from Claim 1. Each task has four questions each assessing one reading target. Segment 1 also includes four brief writes. The reading tasks and brief writes are stand-alone tasks. The brief write is included in Segment 1 to ensure coverage of Claim 2 writing in the collection.
Educators and students are required to select reading tasks and brief writes from the ELA COE inclusion bank. The passages in Segment 1 are averaged across the entire inclusion bank for high school readability level. The Segment 1 passages in the inclusion bank are published pieces. In some cases, they have been modified from their original publication source for length, bias and sensitivity, or for content unnecessary to the task. The passages feature content chosen for its potential interest to students. The passages are designed to be authentic to the assessment experience, relevant to students’ lives, and culturally diverse.Segment 1
Reading (1 each)
- Literary/Informational Pair
- Informational 1
- Informational 2
Brief Writes (1 each)
- Informational Introduction
- Narrative Conclusion
- Informational Elaboration
- Argumentative Elaboration
Segment 2 is comprised of two performance tasks, one argumentative and one explanatory. Each performance task includes two research questions and one full write (essay). The research items are connected to the performance task only by shared sources. They are scored separately.
Each performance task includes 3-4 research sources that students will read in order to answer the research questions and complete the full write. The resources are focused on a single topic. The resources may include elements of positive and negative approaches to the topic, a factual article, a first-person essay on the topic, and an editorial piece. In all cases, the resources were selected by Washington State teachers using guidance materials for credibility and relevancy.
Performance Tasks (1 each form different topics)
- Argumentative (full write and 2 research questions)
- Explanatory (full write and 2 research questions)
Student interaction with all passages and resources in the ELA COE
Passages, resources, and items may be printed for the students to support their reading, writing, and research responses. However, there is a strict protocol for printing passages, items and resources. Passages, items and resources are to be printed for a single student at one time. Passages, items and resources are to be reproduced on a classroom printer or a printer located in a secure area. Passages, items and resources are not allowed to leave the secure area where the assessment is taking place. Each student must have a folder with her or her name on it where the passages, items and resources are stored. Students may not work together using their printed copies. Educators must supervise the printed copies at all time. Educators and/ or students and teachers are not to review the published pieces in their original location due to the security of the text, the possibility it was revised by the author, or the potential editing to the piece by the Washington State committees who approved the materials. Evidence of review or inclusion of information from the original published passage or resource will result in invalidation of the student’s collection.
On-demand guidelines (the on-demand reading tasks and brief writes comes from Segment 1 only)
An on-demand task, reading or brief write, is one that a student completes independently in a single, continuous session while supervised by a teacher or other education professional. Students may not review on-demand tasks prior to receiving the task. New policy: reading tasks and brief writes are no longer linked. One reading task and one brief write are both required to fulfill the on-demand requirement.
| Scenario|| On-demand options|| Impact on student collections|
| 1||Choose to assign all reading tasks and all brief writes as on-demand.||During work on the COE tasks and brief writes, a decision is made to convert all tasks and brief writes except for one each into extended time. The remaining task and brief write will automatically be the on-demands.|
| 2||Select one task and one brief write and assign them both as on-demand.||The task and the brief write are completed and submitted as the on-demand task and brief write. |
| 3||Select a task or a brief write and assign it as on-demand.||The student must complete the task or the brief write under on-demand conditions. Once an on-demand status has been designated, it cannot be changed. |
| 4||Three tasks and three brief writes are selected as extended-time.||The remaining task and brief write must be completed as an on-demand task and brief write.|
Extended-time work is the opportunity for a student to work independently, over more than one class period or session, while supervised by a teacher or education professional. Extended-time allow students the opportunity for independent reflection, editing, and revising, prior to submitting their final work to the collection. When students are not working in an extended-time status, professional educators will maintain all ELA COE materials in a secured and locked location. All student work must be done under the supervision of the teacher or other education professional and are not to be taken outside the classroom or proctored testing environment. All ELA COE student work, whether completed as on demand or as extended time, should be the sole work of the student.
Teacher Guidance for Extended-Time Tasks
For extended-time tasks, students can review and revise their work.
The teacher MAY:
- Provide instruction until the students are prepared to begin work on the task (ELA, math) or item (science).
- Review the students’ work on the task or item to see what the students did well and where additional instruction would help the students improve their work.
- Provide additional instruction aligned to some or all of the standards assessed based on review of the task or item.
- Let the students review and revise their work telling the students, “Based on what you’ve just learned, you may review, revise, change any part of your work in this task or item.”
The cycle of “instruction → students work on task/item → teacher review → instruction → students revise” can occur any number of times.
The teacher MAYNOT:
- Make any notes, comments, corrections, marks, etc. on the students’ work.
- Coach students on how to approach or develop an answer for any specific question in the task or item.
- Give any guidance on which questions within a task or item to review and/or revise.
Preparation for administration of the ELA COE in the classroom
- Room preparation: Remove or cover any aids or prompts that might potentially assist students in answering questions on an inclusion bank task.
- Materials preparation: Notes regarding instructional strategies are allowed, but specific material surrounding the passage or the tasks may not be used for support material.
- Supervision: A student is always supervised by building educators for on-demand and extended-time assessments. Students should not be alone in a computer lab, have access to the internet while working on the assessments, or save their work on a jump drive or shared network.
- Assessment materials: ELA COE inclusion bank passages and tasks are secure state test materials. The materials are not to be left unattended by building educators. As the ELA COE allows for multiple opportunities for students to review and revise these materials, the tasks and supporting materials must be kept in a secure location between administration sessions. Passages, items, and resources may be printed for one student at a time for marking passages, developing responses, and reviewing their work. Passages and tasks are not to be duplicated for a class, or held in a file for future ELA COE work. All passages and tasks must be destroyed in a secure environment after students have submitted their ELA COEs.
Students may use print dictionaries or thesaurus during extended-time or on-demand tasks. For the policy regarding the use of bilingual dictionaries for ELL students, please see the ELL section of the COE Guidelines.
Scoring the ELA COE
Scoring involves reading and assigning scores to reading items/brief writes/research items/ and full writes by trained, professional scorers. The scoring training process has been developed to maintain consistency, reliability, and validity within and across scoring events. Scorers assign a score to indicate the quality of student work using a three point (0 -1- 2) task-specific scoring rubric for the reading and research items. A holistic rubric using a three-point model (0 -1- 2) is used to score the brief writes. The performance task is scored on a ten-point holistic rubric (0-2 Conventions; 1-4 Organization/Purpose; 1-4 Evidence/Elaboration). Each ELA COE reading item/brief write/research item/full write is independently scored. The total collection score is determined by using a comprehensive model where every score contributes to a total score for the collection.
Proficiency on the ELA COE
Similar to the prior state high school reading and writing assessments, proficiency on an ELA COE means that the student has demonstrated “what a student should know and be able to do” in English and Language Arts in high school according to the content standards and achievement level descriptors. Cut scores for the ELA COE is determined to be 24 points out of 68 points.
Subsequent ELA COE submissions
Students through age 21 who do not meet proficiency are eligible to submit subsequent Exit ELA COEs.. Subsequent submissions involve producing an entire new collection using new reading tasks, brief writes, research questions and full writes from the Segment 1 and Segment 2 inclusion banks.
Development of an ELA COE
All ELA COE reading tasks, brief writes, research questions, and full writes are located in the ELA COE inclusion bank. In order to have a sufficient collection, educators and students must select one reading task in each of the four categories in Segment 1. The categories are: literary, literary/informational pair, informational I and informational II. There are four tasks to choose from for each category. Educators and students may select tasks in one category at a time or as a whole collection. Once a student has begun work on a task, the rest of the tasks in that category cannot be selected. Additionally, educators and students must choose one brief write in each of the four categories in Segment 1. The categories are: informational introduction, narrative conclusion, informational elaboration, and argumentative elaboration.
In Segment 1, educators and students are encouraged to view the passage and brief write abstracts to gain insight as to the context of the task and brief write before making any student selection. Student only have access to the tasks and brief writes they have selected for their ELA COE. There is no student access to any inclusion bank task or brief write that is not in their collection. Teachers may view all tasks and brief writes. However, as they are secure assessment materials, students are not allowed to view tasks not selected for their collection.
In Segment 2, there are five performance task topics. Each topic has an explanatory version and an argumentative version. Educators and students are encouraged to read the abstracts of the performance task topics and choose carefully. One explanatory performance task and one argumentative performance task must be chosen from different topics. They may NOT be chosen from the same topic. As soon as a student has begun work on an argumentative performance task, no other argumentative performance tasks may be chosen. The same rules apply for explanatory performance tasks. Students gain access to the inclusion bank after making their selection(s).