I've come to conclude that standards are meant to be a platform for deep discussions teachers need to have about learning. While they are meant to be measured and reported upon, standards create a deep dive into what learning looks and sounds like at every grade level in every content area. The ambiguity of standards force teachers to analyze the meanings of words and phrases and how they relate to one another. It isn't until this analysis is done that educators truly understand what they are teaching and then break them down into smaller manageable bits of learning called learning targets.
What value does a standard carry? Standards cause discussion about what students should really be learning.