The structure or number of “levels” within the ELGs


ELGs vary as to how they are structured or the number of "levels" within the document.


ELGs can be structured differently. Some ELG documents have three "levels": (i) a general statement of an expectation (sometimes called a standard); (ii) more precise statements that indicate various areas or developmental accomplishments related to the general statement that are observable and specific to the age being addressed (sometimes called indicators); and (iii) even more precise statements that describe specifically what a child can be observed doing that's related to the middle-level statement (sometimes called benchmarks or examples). Some ELG documents have fewer levels, and a few states may have more than three "levels" within their ELG document.


It is important to decide how the document will be structured or the number of levels that will be used early in the process so that the committee can write ELGs that are consistent across the sections of the document (i.e., the domains or age groupings). The decision on the number of levels used may be impacted by the degree to which the ELGs will be used as part of an accountability system (and therefore need to be stated more precisely) and the number of levels used in other standards documents within the state (if alignment is an important consideration).

Once decisions are made about how the ELGs will be structured, it is important for each subcommittee working on a separate section of the document to write their section with the agreed upon number of levels. To make it easier for subcommittees to write their sections consistently, it may be helpful to create a template for the ELG document and agree that all subcommittees will use the template so that their work will be structured in the same way.

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