Let’s go back several decades.
Before Common Core, before standardized testing, before all of these things we complain about in education, there was always a set of information every student was supposed to be able to know and skills they should be able to do by the end of a given academic year. It wasn’t that the teachers were making this stuff up out of thin air, either. These were the “standards” children were taught.
Back then, a lot of people called them “Grade Level Expectations” or “GLEs,” and they were used in every state and every district across the nation. They were the early form of “standards” in education. Nowadays, “standards” is a bad word. It’s demonized in the world of education because it’s tied to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and all the political chaos that has stemmed from that whole initiative.