The B.C. performance standards have been developed for voluntary use in B.C. schools. They describe the professional judgments of a significant number of B.C. educators about standards and expectations for the following key areas of learning:

  • reading
  • writing
  • numeracy
  • social responsibility
  • information and computer technology
  • healthy living

The B.C. performance standards are intended as a resource to support ongoing instruction and assessment. The standards focus exclusively on performance assessment, where students are asked to apply the skills and strategies they have developed to complete complex, realistic tasks.

The performance standards do not address all aspects of learning or curriculum; they are focused only on performance in the key areas noted above. They emphasize criterion-referenced assessment in which students’ performance is compared to explicit criteria.

The performance standards enable teachers, students, and parents to compare student performance to provincial standards.

The B.C. performance standards can be used for various assessment purposes:

  • assessment for learning – formative assessment that supports and guides learning
  • assessment as learning – formative assessment that involves students in guiding their own learning
  • assessment of learning – summative assessment that documents student learning

The B.C. performance standards describe levels of achievement in key areas of learning. The performance standards answer the questions: “How good is good enough? What does it look like when a student’s work has met the expectations at this grade level?”

The B.C. performance standards, in most cases, describe student achievement in terms of prescribed learning outcomes in March-April the school year and illustrate the following four levels of student performance: