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Content Section

Achievement standards

A means of defining levels of performance that can take a variety of forms. In some contexts they are used to mark a minimum level of acceptable performance. In other settings, more general descriptions of performance that sort learners into achievement levels, such as basic, proficient, and advanced, are used. They provide teachers with targets for instruction by specifying what, and how much, learners must be able to do in order to demonstrate mastery of content standards and the achievement level that is called for. They provide clear directions to developers of tests about the kinds of performance situation and tasks that will be used to make judgements about learner proficiency. They help to clarify for the public what it means for a learner to be classified at a particular level. To test developers and psychometricians, an achievement standard is represented by the point on a test score scale that separates one level of achievement from another, e.g. a passing score from a failing one. To educators involved in the development of curriculum, the term can mean a description of what a learner knows and can do to demonstrate proficiency against a standard.
(Source: Wilson & Bertenthal 2005).

See also ‘Content standards’.

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