What is Standards Based Grading for Learning?
A standards-based system in which teachers report what students know and are able to do relative to district adopted standards. The foundational beliefs of this system include:
- Academic grades are dependent upon student proficiency against identified standards and are not influenced by non-academic factors.
- Academic grades will reflect the student’s level of proficiency attained on identified standards, as measured by specific assessments aligned to the standards and rubrics.
- Behavioral/life skills grades will also be assessed and reported using defined rubrics.
- Students will receive a separate grade for current academic scores and behavioral/life skills scores.
The Use of Most Recent Evidence Rather than Averaging
Unlike traditional grading systems, Standards Based Grading for Learning measures a student’s mastery of grade-level standards by prioritizing the most recent, consistent level of performance. Thus, a student who may have struggled at the beginning of a course, when first encountering new material, may still be able to demonstrate mastery of key academic skills/concepts by the end of a grading period.
In a traditional grading system, a student’s performance for an entire term is averaged together. Early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with more proficient performance later in the course, resulting in a lower overall grade than a student’s current level of performance indicates.