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Standards Based Grading

Sonjya Endres

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Many teachers are trying a rather new grading method called standards based grading. It has been mostly implemented amongst the English classes.

Student Faith Edano describes standards-based grading as “measuring students mastery of the essential standards for a class.”

The teachers utilizing this method show great results of learning progression, while not punishing students for this learning process.

So what is standards based grading? Standards based grading is based on learning goals and performance on set standards, and typically there is one grade entry shown in the gradebook for that task.

The standards in standards based grading are by a set criteria or rubric, as they are proficiency based.

Why standards based grading? Student Joshua Tasew explains that he is in favor of standards based grading, because it “paints a more vivid picture of a student’s progression in the subject in correlation to the standards.”

According to English and AVID teacher Hannah Tool, if the students works hard enough and puts in the effort, standards based grading “allows [students] to do well at the end of the unit and be graded based on their improvement.”

English teacher, Kim Stubbe also agreed that “students should be offered that leniency to not understand something at first.”

When explaining the difference between standards based grading and original grading practice, Tool said, “traditional grading averages a student’s grade with their original lack of knowledge before their improvement.

Unlike traditional grading, standards based grading does not average numerous assignments and assessments to account  for a student’s final grade. Instead, it serves as a measure of the student’s progress of learning.

The improvement of standards based grading isn’t exclusively seen within teachers, but students favor this progressive grading system.

Student Katreena O’Connor said that standards based grading in her English class “helps me stay on track with the standardized goals, while helping me learn to the best of my ability at no cost for the process of my understanding.

Teachers utilizing this grading method are seeing results from the shift in grading practices. Tool said,“I didn’t have single person fail last semester. It is a more accurate way to portray a student’s learning journey.”

These results show that standards based grading could be of consideration for new grading methods and has the ability to be successful if instilled correctly.

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Standards Based Grading