Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading: What to Stop, What to Start, and Why It Matters

Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading: What to Stop, What to Start, and Why It Matters

by Tim R. Westerberg


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What's the best way to ensure that grading policies are fair, accurate, and consistent across classrooms? How can schools transition to a grading system that better reflects what students are actually learning? Tim R. Westerberg makes this journey easier by offering a continuum of options, with four "destinations" on the road to improved grading and assessment.

Destination 1 critically examines such popular grading mechanisms as the zero, extra credit, the "semester killer" project, averaging, mixing academic performance with work ethic, and refusing to accept late work, and explains how they undermine objectivity and instead result in widely divergent grades for comparable work—with major consequences for students.

Destination 2 invites educators to put assessment and grading into the larger context of a districtwide guaranteed and viable curriculum and lays out the organizational conditions and necessary steps to accomplish this goal.

Destination 3 brings parents and others on board with a multiyear implementation plan and community engagement strategies for introducing report cards that indicate student achievement by standards rather than—or in addition to—letter grades.

Destination 4, competency-based education, involves a total rethinking of the nature and structure of school, leading to individualized education for all students.

However far they choose to go, administrators and teacher leaders can turn to Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading for the quick wins and long-term support and guidance they need to make the trip well worth the effort.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416622635
Publisher: ASCD
Publication date: 08/31/2016
Pages: 165
Sales rank: 1,222,202
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Destination 1: Addressing Seven Counterproductive Assessment and Grading Practices and Beliefs
1. The Zero
2. Extra Credit
3. Combining Academic Performance with Work Ethic and Citizenship
4. Averaging
5. The Semester Killer
6. Late Work Not Accepted
7. The Illusion of Objectivity
Destination 2: Classroom Assessment and Grading as Components of a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
8. Organizational Conditions Necessary to Move Beyond Traditional Grading Practices
9. Steps in Moving to a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
10. A Look at a Standards-Based Unit of Instruction
11. Leadership and Support to Sustain the Transition to Standards-Based Grading
Destination 3: Standards-Based Grading and Reporting
12. Standards-Based Versus Traditional Grading and Reporting Practices—and the Implications for Instruction and Assessment
13. Developing a Multiyear Transition and Implementation Plan
14. Community Engagement and Communication
Destination 4: Competency-Based Education
15. The Emergence of Competency-Based Education
Appendix A: Two Standards-Based Units of Instruction
Appendix B: Schools and Districts Implementing Some Form of Standards-Based Grading
About the Author

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