December 10, 2020 Grading Presentation

Superintendent's Advisory Council on Instruction "Grading"

December 10, 2020
Kenneth Bassett, Director of Student Learning

Regulation Revision


  • Expectations of greater teacher collaboration and consistency within and across schools
  • Direction on missing and late work
  • Explicit language on grade replacement
  • Multiple Opportunities provided w/ conditions
  • Discourage percentages; encourage use of rubric scoring


  • Letter grade symbols
  • S+, S, S-, N
  • A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, F
  • Grading scales-
  • Percentage
  • Grade point scales
  • (4, 4.5, 5 point)

Formative vs Summative

  • Practice
  • Evaluative

Best practice include only summative grades in student grade calculations; however, most of our schools still provide some credit toward the practice or formative assessment in the overall quarter and course grade.

  • Formative is usually not weighted in grading calculations- it is practice; however…
  • Minimum- Grade level/course teams agree on how to calculate formative and summative assessment grades to promote greater consistency of teachers of the same course

Consistent Practices in Reassessment

  • Reassessment not re-takes
  • Not automatic, nor guaranteed- requires demonstration of preparation to be given the possibility of another opportunity
  • Practices should be common among grade level/course teams

Too few items to base grade on

  • Grades follow assessment
  • Sufficient evidence should be available before making an evaluation
  • Minimum of 6 per quarter*

"Real World" and Second chances

  • Focus is on learning
  • Practices should promote persistence
  • Examples: Driver tests, pilot tests, LSAT, Nursing Boards, SAT, Teacher certs, etc.
  • If not in school, then when and where? Assessment
  • Grades follow assessment
  • Not all assessments are graded
  • All assessments require feedback to be effective


  • Research on score values vs. comments and reflective questions
  • Importance of timeliness
  • Feedback vs Reporting
  • Student self-regulation

Purpose of Grading

Primary purpose is to communicate academic achievement level to students and parents, using a symbol and narrative comments.

Quality Grading Principles

Quality grades are:

  • Accurate
  • Meaningful
  • Consistent & Fair
  • Support Learning


Improve the accuracy of academic grades by not including behaviors such as:

  • Attendance
  • Effort
  • Lateness
  • Neatness
  • Cheating *highly controversial and nuanced
  • Based on established, uniform standards
  • Use of clear learning targets or objectives
  • Clear articulation of success criteria
  • Use of appropriate scale (points, percentages, weights)
  • Need for multiple measures

Meaningful & Consistent

  • Understood by student
  • Evidence-based (know and do)
  • Built collaboratively with teacher teams (same grade/ course)

Supporting Learning

  • Importance of quality designs
  • Power of frequent formative assessment for learning
  • Summative measurements that are valid and reliable

Food for Thought

"% grades provide 101 distinct levels of performance w/ two-thirds denoting failure." -Thomas R. Guskey

Timely Reporting

Several parents raised concerns about this. Regulations 561-2, 661-1, 661-2, 661-3 require minimum of weekly update to online grade book.

Improvements to Date

  • Regulation revised-Grounded in best practices
  • New grade book with additional capabilities
  • New ParentVUE product to enhance communication

Selected Resources

Chappuis, J. Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning, 2e. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2015. Print.

Dueck, Myron. Grading Smarter Not Harder. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2014. Print.

Guskey, Thomas R. "Making the Grade: What Benefits Students?" Educational Leadership 52:2 (1994): 14-20. Print.

Guskey, Thomas R. Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2009. Print.

Marzano, Robert J. Classroom Assessment & Grading that Work. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2006. Print.

O'Connor, Ken. A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc., 2011. Print.

Stiggins, Rick., et al. Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right-Using It Well. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2011. Print.

Vatterott, Cathy. Rethinking Grading: Meaningful Assessment for Standards-Based Learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2015. Print.

Westerberg, Tim R. Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading: What to Stop, What to Start, and Why It Matters. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2016. Print.