Education is Making a Bold Move in 2020

The North American Division Office of Education and the Union Directors of Education voted to adopt the approach of standards-based education.

Assessment & Evaluation September 10, 2020

The North American Division (NAD) of Adventist Education has begun the process of moving its system toward deeper learning initiatives. After extensive research in best practices in education, the North American Division Office of Education and the Union Directors of Education voted that NAD Schools would adopt the approach of standards-based education.

Standards-based education refers to a system of instruction, assessment, and reporting that are based on students demonstrating understanding or mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education.

In schools that use standards-based approaches to educating students, learning standards—i.e., concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education—determine the goals of a lesson or course. Teachers then determine how and what to teach students so they achieve the learning expectations described in the standards.

The North American Division has written standards to inform instruction and assessment. In order to create standards-based assessment documents that enable the NAD School System to report accurately on student achievement, we have adopted the Marzano’s solutions to grading and reporting. This gives us a common language, ensures rigorous standards and allows us to report on student achievement with accuracy across the division. The NAD Office of Education has purchased Marzano’s proficiency scales that will be aligned with our NAD standards and that can be used to support student learning and achievement.

As we approach the 2020-2021 school year, your Union Office of Education will be taking the lead in providing guidance, direction, and training to ensure a coordinated and smooth transition in this paradigm shift in Adventist Education.


Arne Nielsen

Nielsen, M.Ed., holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Andrews University and a master’s degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University. Currently, he is in the Leadership PhD program at Andrews University.

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