Statements that define what students will know and be able to do at a particular performance level.


  • Advancement on Mastery
  • Competencies
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Meaningful Assessment

Designer's Tips 

"While academic standards are intended to define a consistent performance expectation for students across the nation, they are often written and formatted in ways that are not accessible to students.

Find ways to make standards come alive. In a Mastery Learning System, one way to do this is by grouping standards into competencies that help articulate the desired outcome, by reframing standards or competencies as ""I Can"" Statements, and by making clear connections between learning standards or competencies and the work products students will create that have meaningful connections to the world."

Tips for a Short Implementation Time-Line 

Adopt and adapt competency sets that have been developed from other practitioners in the field and that have been based on the same standard sets you plan to work from, such as Common Core and Next Generation Science.

Curated Resources: This collection of resources from the field includes models and exemplars, as well as “DIY” guidance to facilitate your exploration of this term. 

Is a Standard a Competency: part 1


In this brief blog post, Rose Colby explains why a standard is not a competency and the importance of understanding the distinction.


Rose Colby

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 


Type of Organization 

  • Government Organization
  • Intermediary or Management Organization


Performance Outcomes
Learning Expectations