Comparing Standards: How Different Are They?

There is a lot of talk about standards today. It almost seems we add a new standard to incorporate every year. Why do we have so many standards and are they each unique or are most of them similar? To make the most of technology tools and try them before having my students use them, I used a venn diagram tool found on, which also offers many other tools to explore.

On the left side of the venn diagram is the circle about NETS (National Educational Technology Standards). The right side of the venn diagram is the circle about CCSS (Common Core State Standards) specific to 11th-12th grade English Language Arts.

As I filled out the venn diagram, I quickly began to see that most of the big ideas and goals were shared between the two standards. And since the information in the circles noting the differences were getting smaller, I strayed away from the general big ideas and focused on the specifics.

Take a look!

As you can see, there are many big ideas and concepts that are shared between the two. I know that we, as educators, feel like there is a long list of different standards that we need to adhere by, but try looking at the similarities.

I am confident that you will find that there are quite a few crossovers and be able to breathe a little easier.

The most important things about standards and the thing I keep reminding myself is that while they are important, they are not what should drive education. Simply put, don’t create lesson plans based on the standards, but rather design your plans and the look back to see what standards you are incorporating and then brainstorm as to how you might be able to tweak and add in little things here and there to meet some other standards. I am always amazed to see how many standards after my initial draft of my lesson/unit plans.


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