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Discover the fundamental meaning of Standards-Based Grading and how it differs from other assessments.

Hi! I’m Kim Strobel with Strobel Education and I have implemented Standards-Based Grading in schools across the country. So what is Standards-Based Grading? It’s basically based on a system of education that is really focused on student learning and grades that are based on truly understanding mastery towards certain concepts, certain skills, or the standards.

And so, for example, Standards-Based Grading will provide explanations of the concepts and materials that students should know at a certain point in education. These are called learning targets or learning outcomes and they provide a baseline that is consistent between all grade levels. And so the teacher’s instruction is really based on how well his or her students are developing mastery of a specific learning target. 

It’s basically a system of assessing and reporting that is very growth-based oriented which means it’s in relation to the standards. So as soon as a student demonstrates mastery of a standard, then they move on to the next set of standards or the next challenging standards. And in the Standards-Based Grading system, grades are clearly communicated and they are in direct proportion to the level of performance that the student is demonstrating on their way to mastering that standard.

Robert Marzano says that grades are so imprecise that they are almost meaningless. And what he means by this is that all of us are in our classrooms and we are all making grading decisions on our own knowledge or maybe on our class back in college. And so what we know is that teachers put all different kinds of things into grades which means an A in one class might really be a C in another class.

So I’m going to keep doing these short little videos to explain what Standards-Based Grading is and give you some pieces that you can consider implementing going forward.

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