Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading

What is the purpose of Standards-Based Grading?

The purpose of standards-based grading is to improve student achievement by focusing instruction and the alignment of curriculum with the essential standards. Standards-based grading and reporting will provide better communication to students, parents, teachers and administrators on what each student knows and is able to do according to the identified standards and separately assess the influence of positive and consistent work habits on student learning.

Why use Standards-Based Grading?

Standards-based grading measures the proficiency of the learning objectives, or how well students understand the material in class. It is based on a specific set of standards that students need to meet for each content level. Grades are not a comparison of one student to another, but rather a way to measure how well students are doing on grade-level/course level standards. A standards-based approach allows parents and students to understand more clearly what is expected of students and how to help them be successful in their educational program.

What are the benefits of Standards-Based Grading?

By reporting on specific learning standards, standards-based grading provides considerably more feedback about how a student is progressing toward learning each standard. This will allow the school to report student learning more accurately and to the degree to which students have attained mastery of learning objectives. It is essential for students to do homework that is tied closely to learning objectives and for students to see those connections. Teachers provide feedback on homework that is assigned to practice new skills. Attendance, effort, behavior, participation and other factors are important but separating these from achievement factors will give parents a clearer picture about their student's learning.

How does Standards-Based grading differ from traditional letter grades?

Standards-based grading provides information about what students have actually learned and know. Standards-based grading measures students' knowledge of grade-level content over time by reporting the most recent, consistent level of performance. So, a student might struggle in the beginning of a grading period with new content, but then learn and demonstrate proficient performance by the end of the grading period. In traditional grading, the student's performance for the whole grading period would be averaged and early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with proficient performance later in the course resulting in a lower grade. In standards-based grading, a student who reaches proficiency would be reported proficient and the grade would reflect current performance level.