Standards, Part 1: Why a standard is really three standards in one

Granted, and...

A recent piece in Education Week on the need to ensure that Standards are pegged in a K-16 way reminded me that people are still confused about what standards are.

There are three different aspects to a so-called standard; a standard is not just one demand. Whether stated or implied in standards documents, when we talk about students “meeting standards,” there are three aspects involved: content, process, and performance. The content standard says what they must know. The process standard says what they should be able to do (in terms of a discrete skill or process). A performance standard says how well they must do it and in what kind of complex performance.

Here is a simple example, using track and field:

  • Content = know the techniques and rules of jumping
  • Process = be able to make technically sound jumps
  • Performance = be able to high jump six feet


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