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National Standards Idea Corner Share Your Ideas Acknowledgement

National Standards

We understand the importance of sharing a united vision for high academic achievement for all students. That's why these resources have been designed with national standards in mind. National standards provide a framework within which state and local standards of learning are developed. For reference, we've provided an overview of national standards as defined by Congress in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and by other nationally recognized discipline-based organizations.

Goals 2000: Educate America Act
Eight national education goals were defined and made into law by Congress in 1994 (and amended in 1996) to improve learning and teaching in the nation's education system. The goals provide a national framework for education reform and promote systemic changes needed to ensure equitable educational opportunities and high levels of educational achievement for all students.

The eight national education goals include:

  • School Readiness
  • School Completion
  • Student Achievement and Citizenship
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning
  • Safe and Disciplined, Alcohol and Drug-Free Schools
  • Parental Participation*

For more detailed information about Goals 2000: Educate America Act, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Web site.

*Source: National Education Goals Panel.

Discipline-Based Standards
In addition to the national framework put into place by Goals 2000: Educate America Act, disciplined-based associations have designed standards in most subject areas. These standards are then tailored and adopted at the state and local level. Nevertheless, they also serve to define common academic themes on a national level. The lesson ideas presented on this site were designed with these standards in mind.

More About Discipline-Based Standards
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) proposes a broad curriculum for grades 6-8 in particular, the highlights of which include:

  • Developing fluency with rational numbers
  • Building facility with proportional reasoning and linearity
  • Fostering competence without acceleration or specialization

For more information regarding these standards, please visit the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics at

Language Arts
The National Council of Teachers of English proposes a set of 12 standards for the English Language Arts. In summary, they include students:

  • Reading a wide range of texts to build an understanding of texts themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world.
  • Reading a wide range of literature from many periods to understand the many dimensions of the human experience.
  • Applying a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
  • Adjusting use of spoken, written, and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Applying knowledge of language structure and conventions to create, critique, and discuss texts.
  • Conducting research on issues by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
  • Using a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • Developing an understanding of and respect for diversity in language across cultures, regions, and social roles.
  • Helping students whose first language is not English make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts.
  • Participating as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • Using spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish specific purposes.

For more information regarding these standards, please visit the National Council of Teachers of English at to http://www.ncte.org/standards/.

The National Council on Economic Education has developed a set of National Voluntary Standards for Teaching Economics. In summary, they include an understanding of the following economic concepts:

  • Productive resources are limited.
  • Effective decision making requires comparing the additional costs of alternatives with the additional benefits.
  • Different methods can be used to allocate goods and services.
  • People respond predictably to positive and negative incentives.
  • Voluntary exchange occurs only when all participating parties expect to gain.
  • Comparative advantage, specialization, and gains from trade.
  • Markets exist when buyers and sellers interact.
  • Prices send signals and provide incentives to buyers and sellers.
  • Institutions evolve in market economies to help individuals and groups accomplish their goals.
  • What workers earn depends, primarily, on the market value of what they produce and how productive they are.
  • Federal government budgetary and monetary policies influence the overall levels of employment, output, and prices.
Additionally they include:
  • Competition and levels of competition.
  • Role and function of money.
  • Interest rates and monetary policy.
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Investment and its role in raising the standard of living.
  • Role of government.
  • Costs and benefits of government policies.
  • Macroeconomic indicators and concepts.
  • Inflation and unemployment.

For more information regarding these standards, please visit the National Council on Economic Education at http://www.economicsamerica.org/.

Social Studies
The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) prepared a set of National Standards for Social Studies Teachers. The ten thematic curriculum standards are:

  • Culture and Cultural Diversity
  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • People, Places and Environment
  • Individual Development and Identity
  • Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
  • Power, Authority, and Governance
  • Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Global Connections
  • Civic Ideals and Practices

For more information regarding these standards, please visit the National Council for the Social Studies at http://www.ncss.org/standards/home.html.


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