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What is standards-based grading?

EdNews Parent Backgrounder: Standards-based grading

Standards-based grading accurately reports what students know and are able to do in relation to the Colorado education content standards. It aligns grading with the state content standards as measured by consistent and accurate student achievement data and common criteria for grading.

Standards-based grading is not based on traditional grade averaging. Instead, it more accurately reflects how well a student is doing in relation to the state content standards by:

  • Looking at the student’s most recent evidence of performance, and then by;
  • Looking at the student’s most comprehensive evidence of performance.

Standards-based grading differs from traditional letter grades in that it accurately measures a student’s level of knowledge of grade-level content. Letter grades traditionally incorporate more subjective factors, such as behavior and effort along with a student’s level of knowledge of a specific subject. Standards-based grading records the subjective factors separately from a student’s understanding of grade-level content. It also allows teachers to more effectively tailor instruction to students based on what they actually know about grade-level content.

If you want more information, check out this video featuring Aurora Public Schools’ Student Achievement Director Rich Patterson and other teachers and personnel. All districts in Colorado are using standards-based grading. This this list of FAQs – also from Aurora – is very helpful as well.

(Source: Aurora Public Schools)

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