You are here

Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading

Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading

August 2008 | 136 pages | Corwin

"The book combines research, critical issues, and creative solutions in a concise and easy-to-read manner. While there is little doubt that educators today face a myriad of critical issues, this book allows educators to believe that they can be agents of change for students and for the profession."
—Sammie Novack, Vice Principal
Curran Middle School Bakersfield, CA

Implement standards-based grading practices that accurately and equitably report student achievement!

Standards-based education poses a variety of challenges for grading and reporting practices, especially for ensuring that the grades assigned to students are honest, meaningful, and fair. Many traditional methods, such as limiting the number of high grades or defining "C" as "average," no longer work in a standards-based environment. This edited volume examines critical issues in standards-based grading and provides specific suggestions for improving grading policies and practices at the school and classroom levels.

With contributions from prominent educators and researchers, this groundbreaking volume:

  • Describes traditional school practices that inhibit the implementation of standards-based grading
  • Addresses how teachers can assign fair and accurate grades to English language learners and students with special needs
  • Examines legal issues that influence grading and reporting policies
  • Discusses why report card grades and large-scale assessment scores may vary
  • Fosters consistency in grading across states and districts
  • Offers effective strategies for communicating with parents

This solution-oriented book offers teachers, principals, and administrators practical strategies for implementing grading policies that benefit all students.

Thomas R. Guskey
1. Introduction
The Difficulty of Change  
Background and Format  
Content Summary  
Our Hope  
Thomas R. Guskey
2. Grading Policies That Work Against Standards...and How to Fix Them
Policy #1: Grading "On the Curve"  
Policy #2: Selecting the Class Valedictorian  
Policy #3: Using Grades as a Form of Punishment  
Policy #4: Using Zeros in Grading  
Policy #5: Hodgepodge Grading  
Lee Ann Jung
3. The Challenges of Grading and Reporting in Special Education: An Inclusive Grading Model
Why Does Special Education Grading Matter?  
Grading Adaptations  
Implications of Standards-Based Grading  
Inclusive Grading Model  
Step 1: Determine If Accomodations or Modifications Are Needed  
Step 2: Establish Standards for Modified Areas  
Step 3: Determine the Need for Additional Goals  
Step 4: Apply Equivalent Grading Practices to Appropriate Standards  
Step 5: Communicate the Meaning of the Grades  
Shannon O. Sampson
4. Assigning Fair, Accurate, and Meaningful Grades to Students Who Are English Language Learners
Challenges of Grading Students Who Are English Language Learners  
Special Considerations  
Current Research and Knowledge Base  
Recommendations for Effective Communication  
Implications for Educational Policy and Practice  
Steps Toward Better Practice  
Jake McElligott, Susan Brookhart
5. Legal Issues of Grading in the Era of High-Stakes Accountability
Current Research and Knowledge Base  
What Is a Grade and Who Assigns It?  
Students and Legal Issues in Grading  
Due Process and Equal Protection  
Grade Reductions  
Teachers and Legal Issues in Grading  
First Amendment  
Implications for Policy and Practice  
Grade Penalties  
Appeals Policies and Due Process  
Educator Responsibilities  
Recommendations for Improvement  
Megan Welsh, Jerry D'Agostino
6. Fostering Consistency Between Standards-Based Grades and Large-Scale Assessment Results
Description of the Problem  
Overview of Standards-Based Grading in the District  
Understanding Teachers' Assessment Styles  
Assessing Most Standards  
Grading on Achievement, Not Effort  
Creating or Borrowing Assessments to Supplement Text-Provided Tests  
Tracking Performance Skill-by-Skill  
Focusing on Attainment of Standards Instead of the District Text  
Grading With End-of-Unit Assessments  
Other Grading Strategies  
Focus on Overall Achievement  
Frequency of Assessment for Grading Purposes  
Multiple Assessment Approaches  
Clear Grading Methods  
Changes in Report Card Format  
Organizing for Standards-Based Grading  
Lack of Alignment Between District-Adopted Texts and State Standards  
Skepticism From Parents and Teachers  
Approaches to Organizing Grade Books  
Using Diagnostic, Formative, and Summative Assessments  
Separating Content Area Grades From Effort  
Selecting a Method for Computing Grades  
Differentiate Teaching to the Standards From Teaching to the Assessment  
James H. McMillan
7. Synthesis of Issues and Implications
Current Grading Practices  
Key Role of Teacher Judgment  
The Fundamental Purpose of Standards-Based Grading  
Validity of Standards-Based Grading  
Fairness in Standards-Based Grading  
Standards-Based Grading and Student Motivation  
Student Standards-Based Self-Grading  
Standards-Based Grading and Feedback  
Where Do We Go From Here?  

"A very well-written, well-researched work with excellent documentation. It is obvious the contributors are experts and have the ability to communicate their expertise well."

Randy Cook, Chemistry and Physics Teacher
Tri County High School, Morley, MI

"The book combines research, critical issues, and creative solutions in a concise and easy-to-read manner. While there is little doubt that educators today face a myriad of critical issues, this book allows educators to believe that they can be agents of change for students and for the profession."

Sammie Novack, Vice Principal
Curran Middle School, Bakersfield, CA

"Anyone with authority and influence over student grading policies should read this book. Educators have to be courageous and confront the inherent problems of traditional grading practices that are not working and that are harmful to students. Doing so requires a proactive approach to problem solving, which this book exemplifies."

Paul Young, Science Department Coordinator
Penn Manor High School, Millersville, PA

Didn't meet the needs of our current students.

Mrs Sue James
Swansea School of Education, Swansea Metropolitan University
February 14, 2014

Good book and used as a reference at this time

Mr Jim Bagniewski
School Of Education, Viterbo University
January 4, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction

Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412967259

Order from:

ISBN: 9781412967242