Grades are an essential way to communicate student progress in achieving mastery of academic content standards. Oregon City Schools is committed to maintaining rigorous performance and achievement standards for all students and to providing a fair process for evaluating and reporting student progress that is understandable to students and their parents and relevant for instructional purposes. Standards-based grading and reporting in grades K-6 allows us to more accurately and consistently evaluate and report students' level of mastery of Ohio's New Learning Standards.
The principles outlined below provide a lens through which grading and reporting can be viewed.
Principle 1: Student mastery of clearly articulated learning targets based on Ohio's New Learning Standards should be evaluated and reported.
Example: All 2nd grade students will be graded on the same targets and standards.
Principle 2: Evidence used for grading should be valid.
|I can solve double-digit addition word problems.||Turned work in late|
|I can write sentences using parallel structure.||Penmanship|
|I can analyze causes of the Revolutionary War.||Extra credit word search|
|I can apply appropriate levels of craftsmanship to complete artworks.||No name on artwork|
|I can develop a hypothesis about why a phenomenon occurs.||Poor reading skills|
Principle 3: Grading should be based on established criteria, not on arbitrary norms.
Example: Physical Education
Clear Target: I can improve my cardiovascular fitness.
Rubric: Baseline -- Time in zone, Body composition, Recovery time.
Students’ level of fitness is pre-assessed, appropriate goal levels are set, then students receive instruction in how to increase their level. Post assessments are administered to see whether students met goal.
Principal 4: Not everything should be included in grades.
There are two types of assessment – formative and summative. Formative assessments (assessment for learning) provide direction for improvement for the student and adjustment of instruction for the teacher. Examples of these could include quizzes, academic practice assignments, class discussions, and other learning tasks. Formative assessments aren't included in grade determination, but are used in making decisions about what students should be working on next.
Summative assessments (assessment of learning) provide information that is used to make judgments about student achievement at the end of a sequence of instruction. Examples of these include final drafts, tests, projects, and other assessment tasks. Summative assessments are used to determine grades.
Principal 5: Avoid grading based on (mean) averages.
Example: Evaluate the most recent evidence of student achievement. Scores taken over the course of a grading period – 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4 Average = 2.3;
Using the most recent score trend, the grade would be 4 (instead of 2.3). Any grade requires sufficient evidence for a specific standard.
Principal 6: Focus on achievement and report other factors such as work and other habits separately.