Skip to Content
Back to top
Every hand raised

How Newsela ELA Supports Standards and Engagement

The Newsela Team
Jan 21, 2020

When it comes to creating English Language Arts (ELA) curricula, school administrators face a unique balancing act: ensuring standards-aligned instruction while empowering teachers to engage students with diverse, relevant content. That’s why we’re so excited about Newsela ELA, which was designed to provide students and teachers with authentic, real-world content that builds skills—not just for standardized tests, but for life.

With Newsela ELA we’re dedicated to a better ELA experience, with content that’s accessible to every student and inspires a love of learning. We want to help schools address gaps in performance on tested ELA skills, while making sure teachers don’t have to sacrifice engaging content or the skills they need to teach.

One way we do it? Every Newsela article has a 4-question quiz that’s aligned to at least one of 8 Common Core Anchor Standards, listed below. Using Newsela ELA, teachers can access an overview of how students are performing against each reading standard, based on the results of quizzes they’ve completed.

Reviewing the data we have on quiz-taking, we’re proud of the level of engagement we’ve seen from students and teachers. Since the start of the school year this fall, 2,433,810 students have taken 10,719,126 standards-aligned quizzes:

R.1: What the Text Says: 1,884,426 quiz scores

R.2: Central Idea: 1,719,087 quiz scores

R.3: People, Events & Ideas: 1,740,900 scores

R.4: Word Meaning & Choice: 1,192,482 scores

R.5: Text Structure: 1,207,333 scores

R.6: Point of View/Purpose: 746,478 scores

R.7: Multimedia: 560,223 scores

R.8: Arguments & Claims: 254,957 scores

One of the questions we explored when curating this data was: Which standards do students find hardest? We found that across the grades, average quiz scores are highest for Word Meaning & Choice and lowest for Arguments & Claims. Surprising? Arguments & Claims articles require nearly twice the work of students as they read arguments on both sides of an issue in order to dissect the validity of one assertion versus another. That's hard work! Word Meaning & Choice, however, often boils down to simply straight-up knowing the word or being able to infer its meaning from context. Not so difficult once you get the hang of it (and something on which students improve from elementary to middle to high school grades).

We’re committed to supporting teachers with relevant, real-world content for students, and to continuing to provide standards-aligned quiz questions for every article in Newsela. To learn more about Newsela ELA, visit

The Latest from @Newsela

👋 Attention Readers! Join a Newsela Reading Club! With 12 different clubs, students can pick a topic that sparks their love of reading from any location 👉
March 27, 2020, 5:31 PM
Not sure what to have students read next? Leave a comment with a topic or trend by 3 pm ET today and our content experts will work their magic to share an article just for you! #NewselaRecommends
March 27, 2020, 3:23 PM
Taking care of ourselves and our communities is extremely important for all of us. The Newsela SEL Collection provides social distancing content and activities to help cope with change and anxiety 👉
March 26, 2020, 8:43 PM
In search of ways to keep your students engaged? Newsela just launched 12 Reading Clubs for students for every grade level. Join clubs on sports, to food, to female empowerment 👉
March 26, 2020, 4:27 PM
How are you handling new routines and anxiety? Our Social-Emotional Learning for Social Distancing provides content and activities to help you and your students 👉
March 25, 2020, 8:43 PM
👋 Attention Readers! Join a Newsela Reading Club! With 12 different clubs, students can pick a topic that sparks their love of reading from any location 👉
March 25, 2020, 4:27 PM

The best lessons start with the best content.

Ready to bring great instructional content to your students?

Contact Sales