(Javascript must be enabled to see these images.) Adult Education Content Standards Warehouse

Field Resources

National Standards   International Standards   Professional Development Materials

National Standards

American Diploma Project is a joint project launched by Achieve, Inc., the Education Trust, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. The project outlines college and workplace readiness benchmarks in English and mathematics and provides samples of how academic standards are used in the real world.

American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges developed Beyond Crossroads: Implementing Mathematics Standards in the First Two Years of College (2006), a set of five implementation standards to guide decision-making to improve students' learning of mathematics.

The University of Oregon's Center for Educational Policy Research Knowledge and Skills for University Success aligns high school and college expectations to help students make the transition to entry-level university courses. Knowledge and skills are presented for English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, second languages, and the arts.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

The National Council of Teachers of English/International Reading Association developed the book Standards for the English Language Arts, a set of 12 standards to help ensure that all students are knowledgeable and proficient users of language.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) provides an outline of the essential components of a quality mathematics program and a set of 10 content standards for mathematics instruction. It includes expectations for the grade clusters of Pre-K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12.

International Standards

An Adult Literacy and Numeracy Curriculum Framework for Scotland, developed by Learning Connections, advocates the Scottish approach to adult literacy and numeracy learning and teaching.

Key Competencies and Draft Descriptive Standards, New Zealand. The Key Competencies represent the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values needed by everyone across a variety of contexts. The draft Descriptive Standards are for reading, writing, listening, speaking, and mathematics.

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000 describes a person’s ability to use the English language to accomplish a set of tasks at 12 benchmark levels in four language skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Professional Development Materials

Start-Up   Standards Development   Implementation and Rollout

These materials were developed to provide technical assistance to states participating in the Adult Education Content Standards State Consortia project, operated by the American Institutes for Research through a contract with the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, 2003-2005.


The Promise of Standards powerpoint iconPOWERPOINT (75K) discusses the value of standards, defines key terms, and explains how standards affect curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Establishing a Common Set of Definitions and Terms powerpoint iconPOWERPOINT (53K) defines terms used in standards-based education and describes a model for educational reform, which is adapted from the National Research Council (1999).

Standards Definitions word iconMS WORD (34K) defines terms and describes the distinct purposes of content standards, benchmarks/indicators, performance and program standards, and curriculum frameworks.

A Systems Approach to Standards Implementation powerpoint iconPOWERPOINT (119K) describes a model in which standards are the centerpiece for systemic reform in 11 program areas, such as accountability, professional development, resources, and instruction.

Planning Document: A Systems Approach to Implementation word iconMS WORD (55K) accompanies the above PowerPoint presentation and lists questions to consider when planning a fully integrated system for standards-based education.

Content Standards State Profile word iconMS WORD (175K) provides a template that states can use to assess where they are in the process of implementing standards-based education.

Content Standards Action Plan word iconMS WORD (29K) provides a template that programs can use to develop an action or work plan for adult education projects.


Standards Development

Establishment of Writing Teams powerpoint iconPOWERPOINT (95K) word iconMSWORD (46K) describes important considerations for forming writing teams, such as team composition and size, qualities of team members, recruitment and selection, training, and meeting frequency.

Qualities of a Good Standard powerpoint iconPOWERPOINT (73K) lists seven qualities of a good standard, providing examples of standards that do not meet the criteria and ways to strengthen weak standards.

Writing Standards: Resolving Conflictspowerpoint icon POWERPOINT (80K) word iconMS WORD (47K) presents the challenges of writing content standards that meet the criteria for quality and suggests strategies for dealing with inherent conflicts.

Sample Standards from English Language Arts and Mathematics word iconMS WORD (41K) demonstrates how to translate standards for learners by using language that is less technical and by adding examples.

The Bottom Line: Instructional Quality powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (54K) word iconMS WORD (71K) discusses the kinds of standards that have a realistic chance of changing and improving instruction.

Using Crosswalks for Alignment: Pros and Cons powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (50K) word iconMS WORD (49K) defines four uses for crosswalks, with examples and resources for further investigation.

Assessing Your Standards: Standards and Assessment Alignment powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (80K) identifies best assessment practices and types of assessments and suggests ways of looking at standardized tests. Includes resources on alignment.

Models for Aligning Assessments to Standards powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (69K) word iconMS WORD (54K) presents types of alignments and methods for achieving alignment of standards and tests. Discusses the benefits of an alignment analysis and provides models for conducting one.

Power of Reviewing Standards powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (145K) word iconMS WORD (56K) describes the benefits of reviewing draft standards internally within the team, through a field review, and by external experts. Provides concrete tips for each type of review.


Implementation and Rollout

A Worksheet for Planning How to Introduce Standards word iconMS WORD (24K) provides strategies for talking about standards with a variety of audiences.

Mathematics: ABE III (Textbook/Standards Alignment Template) word iconMS WORD (42K) presents a tool for aligning standards with textbooks or other resources.

Getting to Know Your Standards: State Introduction of Standards powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (71K) raises questions to consider in planning the introduction of standards, such as which audiences are important to address, what information should be communicated, and what communication processes should be used.

Standards Implementation: 10 Tips from the Front Lines powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (108K) provides suggestions for states to roll-out or introduce standards and gather buy-in from program staff.

Turning Doubters into Believers: Confronting Resistance powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (45K) word iconMS WORD (53K) suggests ways to gain support from teachers and program directors and to turn program directors into instructional leaders.

Point: Counterpoint on Standards word iconMS WORD (40K) provides responses to some of the common arguments used by people who resist standards-based reform.

Communicating Standards to Learners powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (35K) word iconMS WORD (43K) outlines why, how, and when standards can be communicated to learners.

Standards Needs Analysis Template word iconMS WORD (35K) provides a template for one method to determine professional development needs of the field.

Power Standards/Indicators Identification Criteria word iconMS WORD (23K) provides a strategy to help teachers determine which standards deserve priority in their classrooms.

Teaching Your Standards: Putting Standards to Work in the Classroom powerpoint icon POWERPOINT (91K) discusses curriculum and professional development as key components of standards implementation and discusses research on quality professional development.