Competencies are the knowledge, skills, and/or behaviors students must master in a specific content or performance area.

What are the competencies that each student must master to earn their diploma? Ideally, competencies are organized conceptually, and written as power standards [1]. Power standards have supporting objectives, that outline the basic understanding of the major ideas within the discipline.

Disciplines /Branches of Disciplines [2]
  • Organized around conceptual themes, big categories
  • Evidenced in a portfolio
  • Documented in a portfolio assessment

Competency /Power Standard
  • Written for endurance [3], leverage [4] and readiness [5]
  • Performed in an authentic learning application [6]
  • Documented in a competency assessment with a competency-specific rubric
  • Bloom’s Level: application, analysis, evaluation and creation

  • Support students' ability to demonstrate proficiency in competencies/power standards
  • Documented through targeted (formative and summative) assessments
  • Bloom’s Level: knowledge, comprehension and application

1. Ainsworth, Larry, Power Standards: Identifying the Standards that Matter the Most. Lead and Learn Press, 2003
2. Mathematics, Science and History vs. Civics, Biology and Geometry
[[#_ftnref3|[3]] 3. Of value beyond a single test date
[[#_ftnref4|[4]] 4. Of value in multiple disciplines
[[#_ftnref5|[5]] 5. Necessary for success in next level of instruction
[[#_ftnref2|[2]] 6. Authentic assessment requires a) construction of knowledge through b) the use of disciplined inquiry that c) has some value or meaning beyond success in school (Newmann, Secada, and Wehlage, 1995)