Standards are the end-goal. This is not a dirty word, but a word that you give the meaning to as an educator. What do you want the students to know and be able to do by the end of the course? That is where the standards come in, they are able to keep every class on track for success and be prepared for the next year. "Some educators feel that standards-based education and assessment require teaching to the test and removing all creativity from teaching. This is not the case at all; instead, standards should be used as guideposts to measure student progress. Standards can and should be personalized to student interests, used to make learning relevant, to accelerate learning, and to help students to be self-directed learners (Goodwin & Hubbell, 2013)" (as cited by CSU-Global Campus, 2014).
In order to make sure students are on track to reach a certain goal, there needs to be a goal to start with. This is what standards help us do. It helps us aim our classes.
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CSU - Global Campus. (2014). Purpose of assessment [website]. Lecture Notes Online Website: https://csuglobal.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-1556338-dt-content-rid-7860503_2/courses/KEY_OTL541K/courseModules_winter2013c/OTL541K_1/OTL541K_1.html