I am constantly amazed that we, in education, have not standardized learning terms. Is a benchmark a 3-4 a year comprehensive test of the skills in the course? Or is a benchmark the level at which the students are to arrive? What’s a standard? The list of generic skills from the state? The quality we expect of students? What is formative assessment? Student observations that lead to improved lessons for next year? A student observation that leads to instant feedback for that student? Each new educational movement brings in its interpretation of a term.
We cannot even have an educational discussion because we use the same word to mean different things.
The Federal Gov’t wants to clarify the end product of learning instead of having states have their own standards. I agree. Even more the federal government should publish a dictionary of what educational terms mean so that everyone can use the words with the same meaning. A common vocabulary means that teachers within the same building, within the same district, within the same state, and within the same country can have a common meaning.
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.