Standards & Targets

What are standards?

Academic standards identify what students should know and be able to do in the classroom within a given subject or content area. Standards serves as goals for student learning, guideposts for classroom instruction, and a framework for assessment.

Minnesota’s academic standards are among the highest in the nation. Our Teaching and Learning department, in collaboration with teachers, works within those standards and identifies the most essential for our students to learn and understand.  These are called Power Standards. Power standards are those pieces of information a student should know when they complete a class. Teachers spend most of their instructional teaching and assessing time on these standards because it is important for all students to learn them. 


At the elementary school, a standard in a 4th grade language arts class might be the ability to describe the main events of a story using specific details from the text. A 3rd grade math student will be able to add and subtract multi-digit numbers.

During middle school, a student would not just recap the main events, but be asked to make connections between the theme of a story and the characters and setting. Once they get to Algebra in grade 8, the student would practice writing equations to represent real-world situations.

What are targets?

Learning targets are concrete goals that clearly describe what students should learn and be able to do by the end of a class, unit, project, or even a course.

If a Power Standard is a larger piece of information critical for a student to understand and demonstrate knowledge of, then learning targets are the lessons – or building blocks – that build that understanding. 



  • I can make predictions using information from what I read to guess at what will happen next.
  • I can summarize text with a short statement of the main ideas and most important details from a passage I have read
  • I can analyze geographic information from a variety of sources.
  • I can describe and classify cubes, prisms, pyramids by the number of edges, faces, and vertices.

How does that connect to Personalized Learning?

No two learners are alike, and so how students reach those standards may not look the same, either.  Personalized learning strengthens the relationship between teacher and student as they work together to achieve learning goals. Eastern Carver County Schools uses the personalized learning star to highlight learning best-practices. Eastern Carver County Schools believes that each student needs access to the resources and tools to be successful and meet those standards.  Our work around personalized learning strives to ensure all students’ interests and identities are recognized, embraced and celebrated through this learning journey.  This helps create engaging, equitable and relevant learning experiences for all students.