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The following process was used to identify standards and benchmarks for health:

Identification of Significant Reports

Six reports were identified as providing useful information on health education standards in the schools: National Health Education Standards: Achieving Health Literacy (1995) from the Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards; Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993) from Project 2061, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Health Framework for California Public Schools from the California Department of Education (1994); the Report of the 1990 Joint Committee on Health Education Terminology, from JCHET (1990); the Michigan Essential Goals/Objectives for Health Education (1988) from the Michigan State Board of Education; and the National Science Education Standards (1996) from the National Research Council.

Selection of the Reference Document

National Health Education Standards: Achieving Health Literacy was used as the reference document. However, some basic content information was also drawn from the Michigan and California documents identified above, and supporting material (as well as some primary material) came from the two science documents, National Science Education Standards and Project 2061's Benchmarks.

Identification of Standards and Benchmarks

At the benchmark level, information was derived from National Health Education Standards and from all other reports cited above. These reports, except for the California framework, which was more curricular in scope, provided relatively straightforward descriptions of knowledge and skills recommended for health education. Consequently, most of the effort in the identification of benchmarks for health education centered on the synthesis and citation of information from multiple sources.

After the content review, those benchmark items that arose in all the reports were analyzed and grouped. Thus, the standards were developed working up from the benchmark level. However, for the most part, it was found that the resulting standards were similar to the topic level recommendations found in the Report of the 1990 Joint Committee on Health Education Terminology. In addition to these topic areas, a standard on Growth and Development was added, derived largely from information in the two science documents, Science Standards and Project 2061's Benchmarks for Science Literacy.

Integration of Information from Other Documents

As mentioned above, material from the other documents was not only integrated with the reference material, but new material was added from them as well. This was done when information was found to be present in more than one of the selected reports. It should be noted, however, that all benchmark information from the reference document, the National Health Education Standards, will be found in this report.