Standards Based Grading

Standards-Based practices have long been incorporated into our students’ learning and our teaching practices.  The next step is implementing Standards-Based Reporting to clearly communicate the growth our students are making throughout the school year.

Standards-based refers to an approach to teaching, evaluating, grading, and communicating student progress.  In this approach:

  • Students demonstrate their understanding and show that they have mastered the knowledge and skills specifically identified by the standards throughout the school year.  
  • The student’s progress is communicated to students and parents by identifying how students are progressing on each identified standard.  
  • These standards, or expectations,  are set by the State of Illinois.

Utilizing this way of sharing student progress provides more detailed information to students and parents about the areas of strength and challenge.  Rather than having a letter define an endpoint for the trimester, standards based grading and reporting will share detailed, specific information about the student's progress toward the identified standards.  

Benefits of Standards Based Grading:

For Students

  • Learning targets are clearly defined and aligned with state standards.
  • Students are offered multiple opportunities and ways through which to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Students aren’t penalized for not understanding a skill at the beginning of instruction.
  • Students monitor their own progress toward the achievement of specific targets.  
  • Specific feedback on progress helps build self-esteem, pride, and motivation for students.
  • Helps promote a culture of learning vs. earning, risk taking, and learning from mistakes.

For Parents

  • Report cards are clear and have more meaning.
  • More accurate representation of students learning and mastery of their learning.
  • Parents are aware of exactly what their child knows, and is able to do, and the next steps for progress.
  • Parents know in what areas their child needs more support.
  • Parents are empowered to increase their child’s confidence and help their student set goals.

For Teachers

  • Teachers know exactly where students stand in their progress towards learning targets and what support needs to be provided.
  • Aligned expectations and standards across grade levels in every subject.
  • Assessment results help teachers determine when students need extra help and when they need more challenging work
  • Teachers are encouraged to find new ways to assess student learning. It’s not a one size fits all approach.

Additional Resources