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Traditional Grading vs. Standards-Based Grading

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Kerri Hubbard

on 9 February 2012

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Transcript of Traditional Grading vs. Standards-Based Grading

Do Traditional Grading Systems
Truly Indicate Proficiency?
As an educator, have you considered... Traditional Report Cards Traditional
Standards-Based Grading Systems A report card should have definite purposes:
communicating achievement status to parents
easily understood by parents who will then know how to use the information
Assigning one letter grade to a single subject, which includes a broad spectrum of objectives studied, does not give a sound indication of proficiency in that subject Traditional Report Cards A single letter grade offers no information about what was specifically learned in the subject area, giving parents no indication of what students must still work on. Traditional Report Cards Lower achieving students working on an adjusted curriculum, due to an intervention program, may receive the same letter grades as higher level students working at or above grade level. This can give parents the misconception that their child is performing on grade level. Even though a teacher provides test scores and indicates the student's abilities, the parent ultimately returns to the letter grade on the report card. Traditional Report Cards But do traditional report cards
achieve this purpose?
A few thoughts to consider... Through a standards-based report card, teachers can indicate proficiency of learning targets and objectives within a subject. A Possible Solution This approach gives parents a better picture
of their child's academic proficiency. An important key to successfully implementing standards-based grading is to communicate with the parents exactly what each standard means and how proficiency is demonstrated. Standards-Based Grading Grades become more meaningful as teachers, parents, and students understand the exact learning objects that have been mastered, areas that still need additional reteaching, or ways to challenge and extend learning. Standards-Based Grading A benefit of standards-based grading is that it drives instruction and helps teachers differentiate. Standards-Based Grading Students who demonstrate
early mastery of skills can be
challenged with higher order
thinking activities. Struggling students can receive
interventions until mastery of
the learning target is shown. When grades are based on high academic standards, and do not include areas such as extra credit or homework completion, we begin to transition to an idea of a higher level of quality work. Standards-Based Grading The idea of completing high quality work, along with meeting a determined standard, is an important work habit that students will need to demonstrate in college, vocational training, and the work place. Standards-Based Grading This issue in education can be examined through philosophies such as constructivism and progressivism. Philosophical Perspectives In a constructivist classroom, students make connections and discoveries by asking questions and reflecting on their learning.
This is a direct connection to standards-based learning, since students are continually reflecting on their achievement and striving to gain proficiency on the learning targets, Constructivism Video on Standards-Based
Grading A constructivist thinker, Lev Vygotsky, developed the idea of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Through guidance and instruction from the teacher, a student can eventually work independently on a task.
This idea is also related to standards-based grading since misconceptions of learning objectives are retaught through a student's ZPD. Constructivism The progressivism philosophy revolves around the idea that education is life. Through school, students learn both academic and social skills that can be applied in life.
The standards-based grading notion is related to this philosophy. It teaches students that they will be evaluated in many areas, and that they need to demonstrate proficiency in each. Progressivism If a student does not demonstrate proficiency in an area, he/she will continue practicing the skill in order to demonstrate proficiency.
This is a direct connection to the work place. Workers are evaluated in many areas. If one area is weak, they focus on that area and look for ways to improve. Progressivism Standards-based grading is very different from what most parents know and understand. It is outside of their comfort zone because they experienced traditional grading systems.
However, with time, discussion, and reflection, parents and students can gain a better understanding of abilities and responsibilities as learners. Final Thoughts Guskey, T. and Jung, L. (2006). The challenges of standards-based grading. Leadership Compass, 4. Retrieved from http://www.indianriverschools.org/SiteDirectory/ProfDev/Grading%20Practices%20Documents/Reporting%20Grades/The%20Challenge%20of%20Standards-Based%20Grading.pdf

Scriffiny, P. (2008). Seven reasons for standards-based grading. Educational Leadership, 66, 70-74. Retrieved from http://tccl.rit.albany.edu/knilt/images/4/40/Standards_based_grading.pdf
Click and scroll over the report card
to zoom in
Example of a Standards-Based
Report Card
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