• How is Standards-Based Grading different than Traditional grading?

    Traditional Systems

    Standards-Based Grading

    Grades given by subject as an average of all assignments.

    Grades given by reporting standards, reported separately.

    Percentage system (100 levels) is used with incomplete assignments (zeros) having a disproportional effect.

    Four or five levels of reporting that only consider the evidence produced.

    Criteria for success is often unclear or assumed to be known by students.

    Publicly published criteria for success.

    Letter grades are a mix of achievement, attitude, effort, and behavior.

    Reporting levels indicate the degree of achievement on each reporting standard.

    Penalties, extra credit, and group scores are included.

    Achievement and effort are reported separately.  Only individual evidence is used.

    Curriculum and instruction are teacher centered, textbook driven, and may not be aligned to the standards. (teaching focused)

    Curriculum and instruction are student centered and aligned to standards. (learning focused)

    All assignments included, regardless of purpose.

    Only those assignments which are most recent, most important (accurately measure learning target) and are professionally determined as assessment (summative) are included.

    Homework completion can be a major factor.

    Assignments which are part of the learning process (formative) are used for feedback and planning instruction, not grading.

    All scores from the grading period included.

    Multiple assessments recorded as average.

    Most recent evidence emphasized and students are able to demonstrate mastery in a variety of ways.

    Mean is the primary way grades are “calculated.”

    Grades are “determined” using professional judgement, possibly considering modes, or most recent.

    Adapted from O'Connor, K. (2009). How to grade for learning, k-12. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.




    Traditional Grading

    Student

    HWK

    HWK

    Quiz

    Test

    Grade

    Student 1

    100

    95

    60

    70

    81

    Student 2

    90

    90

    90

    90

    90

    Student 3

    0

    75

    90

    90

    63

    Student 4

    100

    100

    75

    60

    84

    All work is graded and averaged.

    Homework is equivalent to tests in determining grades.




    Standards-Based Grading

    Student

    HWK

    HWK

    Quiz

    Test

    Grade

    Student 1

    4

    4

    1

    2

    2

    Student 2

    4

    4

    4

    4

    4

    Student 3

    0

    0

    3

    3

    3

    Student 4

    4

    4

    2

    1

    1

    Most Recent and most important work for assessing learning is graded.


    *This example is only appropriate if homework is scored or graded.