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EDCS 215 | Prof. Greg Pawilen | 2nd Semester | S.Y.

2009 – 2010
Reporter: Maria Carmela R. Labindao (MA Ed Curriculum Studies)


I. Definitions

Glatthorn, 1998, 1999: Standards-based curricula are curricula based on content standards as explicated
by experts in the field. According to Kendall & Marzano, 1997: Content Standards – identifies what
students should know and be able to do; Performance Standards – explicate the level of achievement
expected for each content standard.

Standard ≠ outcome: A standard is a general statement of what students are to learn in one subject by
the end of Grade 12. An outcome is a more specific statement of intended learning in one year or in one

Steiner, 2000: In the field of education, standards is a term which defines a cumulative body of
knowledge and set of competencies that is the basis for quality education. They express what pupils should
know and be able to do, but do not dictate pedagogy (cited from Ministry of Education, 1998 & Ravitch,

Perna & Davis, 2000: Standards are specific statements of what students are supposed to know and be
able to do. They should be explicit goals that ensure that rigorous academic content is taught in school. A
standard must have a quantified or qualified characteristic that informs those teaching or learning that
standard what is to be done to achieve that standard.

Squires, 2005: Standards specify what students should know and be able to do within a particular
subject area (such as social studies or science) and within a range of grade levels (i.e. K-4, 5-8, 9-12).

II. The Importance and Logic Behind the Standards-based Reform Movement

Importance of Having National Standards (Steiner):

1. Allows for equal pupil opportunity. All pupils are compared to the same standards. If
there are no common standards and every teacher sets his or her own standards, schools’ demands
on their pupils will be different. Since there is nothing for schools to compare with, both instruction
and assessment cannot be consistent.

2. It is clear what pupils should know at different levels of their education. Exams
given by the state can measure pupil progress towards attaining the standards. Pupils who are not
achieving the standards can be provided with early, effective assistance.

Logic behind the Standards Movement (Squires, 2005):

- Based on some propositions, each of which needs to be true if the standards are to affect education.

1. If a group can specify what students should know and be able to do,
2. And if the standards are widely disseminated and accepted,
3. And if the standards are used to guide instructions,
4. And if the standards align with the assessments,
5. And if the assessments are deemed important,
Then student outcomes (state and standardized tests and other indicators) are likely to

A similar topic on the outcome for students using SBR was tackled in a study by Bishop, Mane, & Bishop in
2001 in their paper entitled, “Is standards-based reform working? and for whom?”. Their research included
studying the test scores of students in states wherein there is a strong SBR policy. It showed that these
scores on test are higher in states with strong SBR policies, and that students benefit from SBR policies.
III. Advantages of Setting Standards in the Curriculum

Steiner, 2000 pointed out that setting standards is an important and effective tool because they express
clear expectations of what all pupils should know and be able to do. Standards are helpful to different
populations such as the state, district and schools, teachers, pupils and parents.

a. The state: for the state, standards are a common reference tool and provide a defined framework
for national testing.

b. Districts and Schools: for districts and schools, standards provide a focus for developing new
ways to organize curriculum content, instructional programs and assessment plans.

c. Teachers: Standards helps teachers design curriculum, instruction and assessment on the basis of
what it is important to learn. They also enable teachers to make expectations clear to pupils, which
improves their learning. They will now have an autonomy to decide how they want to teach in order
that their pupils achieve the standards. Furthermore, they are encouraged to become active
participants in the development of curriculum materials that follow the principles stated on the
curriculum, and that are appropriate for their specific learning populations.

d. Pupils: For pupils, standards set clear performance expectations, helping them understand what
they need to do in order to meet the standards. The aim of standards is to serve the needs of an
increasingly diverse pupil population, while at the same time sustaining high standards of
performance demanded in today’s society by employers and universities.

e. Parents: Since standards are communicate shared expectations for learning, they allow parents to
know how their children are progressing in their education.

IV. More on Standards-based Curricula

Content standard
By Glatthorn, 1998; 1999 – (sometimes termed as curriculum standard) are statements of the skills and
knowledge that students should know in a given subject by the end of their schooling.

By Kendall, 2001 – a summary description regarding what it is that students should know and/or be able to
do within a particular discipline.

Ex. Social studies standards by the National Council for the Social Studies (US) – they defined standards in
terms of what
the curriculum should include.

Social studies program should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create
and change structures of power, authority, and governance, so that the learner can...

*content benchmarks – (Glatthorn, 1998; 1999: often referred to as benchmarks) are components of the
content standards identified for a particular grade level or level of schooling.

Benchmark (Kendall, 2001) – a clear, specific description of knowledge or skill that students should acquire
by a particular point in their schooling

Ex. Middle grades benchmark from the NCSS report

a. Examine persistent issues involving the rights, roles, and status of the individual in relation to
the general welfare.

Performance standard
By Glatthorn, 1998; 1999 – are the “indices of quality that specify how adept or competent a student must

By Kendall, 2001 – describes levels of student performance in respect to the knowledge or skill in a single
benchmark or a set of closely related benchmarks.

Ex. Performance standard for the benchmark stated above

Examine issue of right to free speech, explaining importance of that right in a democracy and noting
limitations established by the courts.

By PERNA & DAVIS (2000)

Ex. 1: As a specific statement - It involves one specific statement defining what a student must do to

Standard: Determine the perimeter of a given polygon.

Ex. 2: As a series of descriptive statements - It can involve a series of descriptive statements that defines
what a student must do to achieve the level of competence expected in the standard.

Standard: Read and understand essential content of information texts and documents in all academic

Descriptive Statements:
o Utilize discussion, webbing, and responding to visuals to interpret texts.
o Demonstrate how to gather information while reading.
o Identify essential information to the meaning of the text.
o Identify the facts in the material.
o Offer answers to questions about the text.
o Evaluate the accuracy of the material.

V. Essential connection between standards-based curricula, performance

assessment, assessment-driven instruction, and authentic learning

The Achievement Cycle (Glatthorn, 1999)

The Achievement Cycle

*The figure above suggests that the central aim of all curricula, assessments and instruction is authentic

*In general, the cycle begins with standards-based curriculum, proceeds to performance tasks, then to
performance assessment based on the performance tasks which is anchored on the standards in the
curriculum, and then moves to assessment-driven instruction, as the optimal means of accomplishing
authentic learning.

*The diagram shows that the essential element is the congruence of the three contributing components and
a focus on the learning outcome.

*Monitoring is also essential if the achievement cycle is to be effective in producing authentic learning (i.e.
teacher’s observation of students, the analysis of student performance results, critique of curriculum
documents, assessment of teacher’s plans, principal’s observations of teacher performance).

*The continuous monitoring through these processes makes sure or addresses issues such as the
curriculum being able to reflect and embody the best current standards, the performance assessment
constitute valid measures of student mastery of the curriculum, if teachers devote sufficient time to
teaching the performance tasks, and the results of the performance indicate that authentic learning did
took place (Glatthorn, 1999).

VI. Standards-based Curriculum in the Teaching-Learning-Assessment Process

6 Key Patterns of Change Associated with Teaching and Assessing against standards (Philips,
1. Experience, familiarity and increased confidence with Level 3 NCAE (National Certificate of
Educational Achievement) have led to positive changes in assessment practices in New Zealand.
2. Teachers embracing new assessment strategies.
3. Fairer assessment for students.
4. Increase in teacher collaboration.
5. Changing relationships between assessment and learning.
6. Emergence of the strategic student.

Implications in the Teaching-Learning-Assessment process (Steiner, 2000):

1. Both formative and summative assessment

2. A variety o f assessment methods
3. Assessment tasks which allow the pupils to demonstrate their knowledge, including the criteria for
4. Developmental assessment showing progress towards attaining the standards assessment tasks
which are integrated within the learning-teaching-assessment process and do not consist of only the
final product.


Bishop, J., Mane, F., Bishop, M. 2001. Is Standards-Based Reform Working? ... and For Whom? Cornell University ILR School. Retrieved
on January 20, 2010 from

Burke, K. 2006. From Standards to Rubrics in 6 Steps: Tools for Assessing Student Learning, K-8. Corwin Press, USA, CA.

Glatthorn, A. 1999. Performance Standards and Authentic Learning. Eye on Education, Inc. USA, NY.

Glatthorn, A., Bragaw, D., Dawkins, K., parker, J. 1998. Performance Assessment and Standards-based Curricula: The Achievement
Cycle. Eye on Education, Inc., USA, NY.

Kendall, J. 2001. A Technical Guide for Revising or Developing Standards and Benchmarks. Mid-continent Research for Education and
Learning. Retrieved on January 27, 2010 from

Perna, D., Davis, J. 2000. Aligning Standards and Curriculum for Classroom Success. Skylight Training and Publishing, Inc., USA, IL.
Philips, D. 2008. Developing Curriculum Standards: Lessons for Australia from Experiences in other Countries. Victorian Curriculum and
Assessment Authority. Retrieved on January 27, 2010 from

Squires, D. 2005. Aligning and Balancing the Standards-based Curriculum. Corwin Press, USA, CA.

Steiner, J. 2000. Why have a Standards-based Curriculum and What are

the Implications for the Teaching-learning-assessment process? English Language Education – Israel. Retrieved on January 20, 2010

Appendix: U.S. National Standards for Physical Education – Elementary, Middle, & High School (Rink. J. 2009. Designing the Physical
Education Curriculum: Promoting Active Lifestyles. McGraw-Hill, Co. N.Y.)