Standards-Based Grading

For the past several years, the Appleton Area School District has studied methods of grading that more accurately reflect and report student learning. This work has resulted in a standards-based approach that we call Standards-Based Grading.

Ultimately, we believe Standards-Based Grading will assist our teachers to more authentically and accurately communicate student achievement on our course standards. 

The goal of grading for learning is to improve student learning by reporting grades that are accurate, meaningful, consistent, support learning, and that provide students more details on what they are expected to learn and the progress they have made in their learning.

By changing our mindset around how we respond to assessments and shifting our grading practices to reflect what students know and are able to do, student achievement will improve.

So ...What is Different?

In a traditional grading system, a student’s performance for the grading period is certified through the accrual of points, often converted to percentages, which includes assignments introduced as practice or 1st attempts in learning. 

The essential question answered in a traditional grading system is: How many points have I accrued on everything evaluated throughout the grading period?

A standards-based grading system certifies a student’s demonstration of performance on a standard by the end of a grading period.

The essential question answered in a standards-based system is: To what degree has the student demonstrated the necessary knowledge or skill as described in the standard?