Standards-Based Instruction (SBI) is a teaching method that is based on standards of skill mastery.
Deeply rooted in research and supported by significant evidence and observable experience, SBI is a student-centered form of pedagogy (the craft of teaching children) and curricular design.
A “standard” (sometimes called a “learning standard” or a “content standard”) is a set of conditions that a child should achieve that mean a child has truly gained a given set of knowledge or a given skill. In short, it is a concrete description of what a student should be able to understand and be able to do. Standards are generally written in such a way that all children should be able to meet them, and that any given child can theoretically exceed them. This stands in contrast to traditional systems that may expect all students to be “perfect” or “free of errors,” and “punish” students who do not. The framework of standards gives a concrete set of expectations to schools on what to teach, and liberates professional educators on exactly how to teach, thereby allowing schools to better meet the needs of individual children.
The Virginia Department of Education sets standards for all schools in the Commonwealth, and Arlington Public Schools establishes a framework of expectations for instructing those skills.
Tuckahoe will implement Standards Based Instruction starting Fall, 2019. During the April 2019 PTA meeting, Sarah Putnam, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Arlington Public Schools shared with parents the research behind Standards Based Instruction, and the reasoning behind the shift away from older grading models to one that more accurately reflects the mastery of content knowledge. A copy of the presentation is here for you to review: Click here to view the presentation.