Standards-Based Grading System

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The need for improved forms of assessment in high school classrooms that better prepare students for end of year tests, such as the ACT and End of Course Assessment, has encouraged many districts and educators to adopt standards-based grading systems in their classrooms. Standards-based grading is designed to help students and teachers focus on specific content in a way that helps students demonstrate mastery of specific concepts. Standards based grading on a report card appears as a numerical value rather than a letter grade, and advocates claim that the system allows students and parents to better gauge where the student’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Some proponents of the system criticize traditional grading for many reasons, including …show more content…
Even less evidence exists that measures the effect of standards-based grading in a high school English classroom, and demonstrates a direct correlation between classroom grades and end of course assessments. This study will attempt to establish a connection between student achievement in the classroom and the use of standards based grading, using graded student samples in comparison with released test scores. This research will also investigate the overall impact of the grading system on the classroom learning environment. Specific data will be collected to determine this impact, including teacher surveys concerning the benefits and challenges of implementing the system in the classroom, as well as parent and student surveys that will determine perception of the grading system in connection with student performance (Spencer, 2012, p. 10).
Overall, the main goal of this research is to explore the connection between standards-based grading and student achievement, while monitoring any patterns that affect the learning environment. This research may lead to a better understanding of the impact of such a grading system on classroom instruction, environment, and progress monitoring while weighing the results of student
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This is one of the founding principles of standards based grading, and allows teaching to be more adaptive to student learning, (William, 2007) rather than reactive. What are the challenges for implementing formative assessment and standards-based grading into every classroom in America? Well, according to William it is tradition and difficulty of implementation that hinder standards-based grading most. For many teachers, "the tradition of grading student work with letter grades is so ingrained in schools that many teachers cannot envision doing business any other way" (William, 2007). This kind of change takes time to implement, and success is not always evident from the start. The second hindrance of standards-based grading is the level of work required to fundamentally change the way a teacher thinks about instruction. It must be done over time gradually, allowing teachers flexibility in how they implement changes, freedom of choice in their instructional strategies, and support from within their community during the implementation (Townsley, 2013). William stresses that the first step for any teacher trying to implement standards-based grading and formative assessments in their classroom is determine the content to be taught before ever considering the process. Only when a specific learning goal is established can true

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