Guidance on Standards, Assessments, and Accountability
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EXAMPLE: Content and Performance Standards

The following is an exerpt from the New Standards Project. New Standards would refer to this example as a content standard and performance descriptors. Please be aware that this example does not include examples of student work (that exemplify what meeting the standard work looks like), and a scoring rubric that includes performance levels. Under New Standards’ definition, all of these elements together constitute a performance standard.


Reading is a process which includes demonstrating comprehension and showing evidence of a warranted and responsible interpretation of the text. "Comprehension" means getting the gist of a text. It is most frequently illustrated by demonstrating an understanding of the text as a whole; identifying complexities presented in the structure of the text; and extracting salient information from the text. In providing evidence of a responsible interpretation, students may make connections between parts of a text, among several texts, and between texts and other experiences; make extensions and applications of a text; and examine texts critically and evaluatively.

* * *

E1d The student reads aloud, accurately (in the range of 85-90%), familiar material of the quality and complexity illustrated in the sample reading list, and in a way that makes meaning clear to listeners by--

  • self-correcting when subsequent reading indicates an earlier miscue;

  • using a range of cueing systems, e.g., phonics and context clues, to determine pronunciation and meanings; and

  • reading with a rhythm, flow, and meter that sounds like everyday speech.

Some examples of activities through which students might produce evidence of reading aloud accurately:

  • Reading aloud to peers or younger children.

  • Participating in a Readers’ Theater production.

  • Recording an audiotape or videotape an example of reading aloud.

    Source: New Standards, Performance Standards, Volume 1 - Elementary School, (National Center on Education and the Economy and the University of Pittsburgh, 1997)

EXAMPLE: Content and Performance Standards

Mathematical Understanding

Arithmetic, Number, and Operation Concepts

The following is a portion of the content and performance standards for Arithmetic, Number, and Operation Concepts from the Vermont Science, Mathematics, and Technology Standards.

7.6: Students understand arithmetic in computation, and they select and use, in appropriate situations, mental arithmetic, pencil and paper, calculator, and computer. This is evident when students--

PreK - 4

a. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, with or without calculators;

b. Begin to use simple concepts of negative numbers, properties of numbers (e.g., prime, square, composite), three-digit and larger multipliers and divisors, rates, and the relationship among fractions, decimals, and percents; and

c. Describe and compare quantities by using simple fractions and decimals, and whole numbers up to 1,000,000...


aa. Consistently and accurately add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers, and convert them into exponents;

bb. Interchange fractions, decimals, and percents; know that irrational numbers neither terminate nor repeat when written in decimal form;

cc. Show a sense of the magnitudes and relative magnitudes of numbers, and the helpful role of scientific notation; and...

f. Realize the inverse relationships between additional and subtraction, multiplication and division, and exponentiation and root-extraction.


aaa. Understand and use number systems: natural, whole, integer, rational, real and complex;

bbb. Represent numbers in decimal or fraction form and in scientific notation, and graph numbers on the number line in the coordinate plane;... and

ff. Understand and use unitary operations (e.g., opposite, reciprocal, absolute value, raising to a power, taking a root, and taking a logarithm).

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Last Modified: 10/10/2003