Grading and Reporting Belief System
“Why would anyone want to change current grading practices? The answer is quite simple: Grades are so imprecise that they are almost meaningless.” – Robert Marzano
Many of the leading educational experts in the world (Doug Reeves , Robert Marzano, Ken O’Connor, Tom Guskey, John Hattie, Dylan Wiliam, and Richard Dufour) have found that timely, actionable feedback is one of the most powerful influences on student learning. A traditional grading system reduces everything that a student does to a single letter grade, making it neither timely nor actionable. The most effective feedback teachers can provide to students comes in relationship to predetermined learning goals and the evidence of students’ attainment of those learning goals. Standards describe what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level in all subjects and provide the predetermined learning goals for students.
NCPA has adopted a belief system about students and their learning that compels us to move beyond the traditional, single letter grade system. A shared set of belief guides our work:
All students can learn at a high level and that it is our responsibility to use our best practices to that end.
The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning.
The intended audiences for grade cards are students and their parents.
The most accurate reporting systems are those that separate academic achievement from behavior reporting.
Students deserve multiple opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do after learning.
Learning is a process and where you finish is more important than where you start or how long it took you to get there.
What is Standards-Based Grading?
Standards-Based Grading (SBG) is a set of teaching and reporting practices that communicate how the student is performing against a predetermined set of expectations. SBG reports achievement of each standard separately instead of combining them as in traditional systems.
SBG also separates out behaviors such as effort, attendance, participation, timeliness, cooperation and attitude, in an attempt to give the clearest picture of student learning possible.
How is Standards-Based Grading different than traditional grading?
Adapted from O’Connor, K. (2009). How to grade for learning, K-12 (3rd ed.)