Text-Dependent Analysis Toolkit

by Center for Assessment

Responding to text-dependent analysis questions require students to “draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.”

Image result for words on a page

To respond to a TDA prompt, students must read literary and/or informational text and then write an essay response that draws evidence, both explicit and implicit, from the text to support their analysis using effective written communication knowledge and skills. This practice of close, analytic reading requires students to critically examine a text to analyze the deep structures and big ideas and then provide evidence from the text in support of their responses. TDA prompts, therefore, represent a move beyond general reading comprehension questions, such as “What is the main idea?”, to specific questions that require students to draw evidence from the text in defining their response and explaining the relevance of that evidence in writing.

The following series of video modules, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, have been created to assist educators in understanding and deepening their knowledge of text-dependent analysis questions.

Text-Dependent Analysis Modules



LINK: TDA Toolkit

Retakes. Do They Make Students Less Resilient?

“Did you finish studying for your math test?” I said, a little too sharply, to my 12-year-old son one morning.

“Sort of,” he sighed. “It doesn’t even matter. If I don’t do well I’ll just retake it.”

Middle and high schools across the country, including those in my children’s district, often allow students to retake exams. And it’s not just final exams or midterms; some educators permit retakes after every test.

While there is evidence from teachers and researchers outlining the pros and cons of test retakes, as a parent I wonder what the policy teaches children about responsibility, ownership and preparedness. When it comes time for college, employment, relationships or marriage, they won’t always get a “do-over,” so why are so many schools allowing them?

Proponents of retakes believe they allow students who struggle with test-taking another chance to master the material, and say retakes help with overall retention. Others point out that just because it takes some students longer to grasp a concept, it doesn’t mean they are less intelligent. Still others say retakes reduce stress and pressure on already anxious students. They believe such policies may allow kids to better comprehend material by repeating it.

LINK: Washington Post