Business Education Standards

The National Standards for Business Education

In classrooms nationwide, business educators play a prominent role in preparing students to become responsible citizens, capable of making the astute economic decisions that will benefit their personal and professional lives. Using the concepts described in these standards, business teachers introduce students to the basics of personal finance, the decision-making techniques needed to be wise consumers, the economic principles of an increasingly international marketplace, and the processes by which businesses operate. In addition, these standards provide a solid educational foundation for students who want to successfully complete college programs in various business disciplines.

This collection of national standards is a forward-looking synthesis of what students should know and be able to do in business.

The standards are based on a vision and a set of competencies designed to prepare students to become knowledgeable and ethical decision makers as they fulfill their roles as consumers, workers, and citizens.

The National Standards for Business Education are based on the conviction that business education competencies are essential for all students.

  • Because all students will participate in the economic system, all students need to be literate in business and economics.
  • Because all students will encounter a business environment that is characterized by diversity—both domestic and international—all students need to practice the interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills that will help them function successfully in that environment.
  • Because all students will use technology as a tool for managing information, all students need to hone the lifelong learning skills that foster flexible career paths and confidence in adapting to a workplace that demands constant retooling.
  • Technology has accelerated the pace and frequency of change not only in business but also in life. Today, life and work activities tend to overlap. This trend is likely to continue and will require more sophisticated decision-making in all spheres.
    The business education concepts as described in these national standards can contribute to the development of this “renaissance” worker. An education for and about business offers students the opportunity to master the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to succeed in business—and more importantly, an equal opportunity to succeed in life.

The curriculum as a whole focuses on continuous quality education. Students master the knowledge, applications, and attitudes that will reinforce workplace competencies. This concept is illustrated in the National Standards for Business Education Curriculum Model. Assessment is both a measure of competence and a teaching strategy; what is not mastered at one level becomes the focus of successive learning experiences.

As the nature of work continues to change, business education becomes increasingly important for all students. NBEA and its members believe that if young people are to take their rightful place in society as productive and responsible citizens, they should have the chance to study the principles of business as they relate to their personal and professional lives.

California CTE Standards & Framework

Identifies the knowledge and skills necessary for career and postsecondary options and provides a blueprint for organizing and delivering instruction.


The Career Technical Education standards and framework bolster California's standards-based education system by incorporating cutting-edge knowledge about career options, technology, and skills required for success in adult life. This initiative is critical if California is to meet the challenges inherent in its diverse, rapidly changing education, economic, policy, and workforce environment.

Education Code Section 51226 provides legal authority to develop the Career Technical Education (CTE) standards and framework. This legislation requires the development and adoption of CTE standards that incorporate the integration of career technical and academic education no later than June 1, 2005. The California Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards were adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) on May 11, 2005. The standards, written for grades seven through twelve, specify learning goals in 58 career pathways organized around 15 industry sectors.

On January 10, 2007, the SBE approved the Education Code Section 51226.1 stipulates that the framework will prepare pupils for both career entry and matriculation into postsecondary education. The framework is a guide to implementing the groundbreaking CTE Standards at the local level in rigorous and relevant ways. The CTE Framework structure and contents are designed to assist the field in planning and delivering a rigorous and relevant CTE curriculum that increases student achievement. The framework draws on all 15 of California's CTE industry sectors to provide examples of practices and research-based guidance for implementing the CTE Model Curriculum Standards.

The legislation stipulates that adoption of the model curriculum framework by local educational agencies is voluntary. For additional requirements, see Education Code sections 51226 and 51226.1 and related sections 51228 and 51225.3

Advisory Group

Both the CTE standards and framework were developed in consultation and coordination with an advisory group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) as specified in the legislation. Approximately 50 stakeholder representatives were appointed to the CTE Standards and Framework Advisory Group from the following constituencies: business and industry; institutions of higher education, including, but not limited to: California community colleges, California State University, and University of California; classroom teachers; school administrators; parents and guardians; the Legislature; labor; pupils; parents and guardians; the California Department of Education (CDE); and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The CTE Standards and Framework Advisory Group formulated an overarching vision, philosophy, and future direction for CTE and made recommendations regarding the CTE curriculum standards and framework.