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Learning Criteria

Learning Criteria to Support 21st Century Learners™

Working with a dozen national education groups representing many constituencies, SPN Research and the International Center for Leadership in Education have developed a comprehensive set of criteria to help schools with their improvement efforts. School leaders can use the Learning Criteria to determine their success in preparing students for current assessments as well as for future roles and responsibilities.
The Learning Criteria has four dimensions:
  1. Foundation Learning - Achievement in the core subjects of English language arts, math and science and others identified by the school.

  2. Stretch Learning - Demonstration of rigorous and relevant learning beyond minimum requirements, such as participation and achievement in higher level courses, specialized courses, and so forth.

  3. Learner Engagement - The extent to which students are motivated and committed to learning, have a sense of belonging and accomplishment, and have relationships with adults, peers, and parents that support learning.

  4. Personal Skill Development - Measures of personal, social, service, and leadership skills and demonstrations of positive behaviors and attitudes.

Foundation Learning and Stretch Learning are the most easily measured and have the highest profile of the four dimensions. Our organizations believe that both are critical but not sufficient indicators of excellence.

Personal Skill Development and Learner Engagement are more difficult to measure and are frequently overlooked in school improvement efforts. Yet, they may be key to achieving success in the academic areas. Moreover, the competencies and characteristics that fall under Personal Skill Development are necessary for success in all aspects of life.

The Learning Criteria was developed in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as part of a five-year initiative to identify and analyze the nation’s most successful high school practices and policies for achieving a rigorous and relevant curriculum for all students.

To learn more about the Learning Criteria, please click here.