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High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA)
Performance Level Descriptors

Language Arts Literacy

(June 2002; rev. March 2010)

Partially Proficient

Eleventh-grade students performing at the partially proficient level may demonstrate some understanding of purpose and audience as they generate text and examine text generated by others.

While partially proficient students attempt to comprehend text generated by others, understanding may be inconsistent at both literal and inferential levels. Students at this level may be able to identify the purpose, central idea, supporting details, and basic patterns of text organization but without consistency.  As readers, these students may attempt to construct meaning, draw inferences from text, and identify some literary elements but display some difficulty recognizing and reconciling contradictory or flawed understanding.

Eleventh-grade students who are partially proficient in writing may attempt to address the intended audience and task but may introduce confusion in their organization, development, and/or expression of key ideas and supporting details.  These students may use some prior knowledge, reflection, and/or personal experience to generate original text, but attempts to elaborate key ideas may be limited, contradictory, or inconsistent with the focus of the writing.

Proficient

Eleventh-grade students performing at the proficient level demonstrate an understanding of purpose and audience as they examine text generated by themselves and by others.  Proficient students show an overall comprehension of the text at literal and inferential levels.  These students also use prior knowledge, reflection, and/or personal experience to generate original text.

Students at this level are able to distinguish and identify the purpose, main idea, supporting details, and basic patterns of text organization.  As active readers, students interact with text to construct meaning, draw inferences from text, and identify literary elements and devices.

Eleventh-grade students who are proficient in writing consistently and effectively address the intended audience and task.  They are able to communicate clearly by organizing, developing, and presenting a coherent progression of ideas.

Advanced Proficient

In addition to consistently demonstrating the skills outlined for the proficient student, the advanced proficient student will demonstrate the ability to synthesize and extend meaning.

Students at this level understand organizational structures, identify tone and/or style, and analyze the effects of literary concepts and the effects of literary devices on the reader.  The advance proficient student demonstrates critical reflection and analysis of text.

Advance proficient writers exhibit individual writing styles.  There is fluidity in the progression of ideas that are supported by relevant and concise details.  These students employ rhetorical devices, precise diction, and sentence structure to enhance meaning.