Essential Standards

DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., and Many, T. (2010). 

Learning by Doing. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. 


ESSENTIAL STANDARDS: “Learning standards that are most essential because they possess qualities of endurance, leverage, and readiness for success at the next level” (p. 71). 


Douglas Reeves offers “a three-part test for teams to consider as they assess the significance of a particular standard: 


  • “Does the standard have ENDURANCE? Do we really expect students to retain the knowledge and skills [throughout their lifetimes] as opposed to merely learning it for a test?  [i.e. Learning how to read and how to interpret a map]  


  • “Does the standard have LEVERAGE? Will proficiency in this standard help the student in other areas of the curriculum and other academic disciplines? [i.e. The ability to interpret and construct graphs, tables, and charts will help the student in math, science, history/social science] 


  • “Does the standard provide READINESS FOR THE NEXT LEVEL OF INSTRUCTION? Is it essential for success in the next unit, course, or grade level? [i.e. Knowledge of multiplication and division facts is necessary to develop proficiency in adding & subtracting unlike fractions and in reducing answers to lowest terms]" (p. 65).