Standards-Based Grading Frequently Asked Questions
Nampa School District Guide to Standards-Based Grading FAQ
How does standards-based grading differ from traditional grading?
|Traditional Grading System||Standards Based|
|An emphasis on averaging a percentage score over the grading period.||Emphasis on looking at the most recent evidence of student work to determine a grade.|
|Scores on quizzes, tests, projects, attendance, behavior, or other criteria are added and divided to determine a percentage up to 100.||Scores on assessments are given on a 4-point scale, with four deviations between scores, based on a clearly defined performance rubric.|
|Points are often added or deducted based on the student’s behavior, work completion or participation.||No points are added or taken off. Students are graded based on what they know and are able to do.|
|Student behavior is often mixed in with academics to determine the grade.||Student behavior is reported separately based on a specific set of criteria.|
|Teachers determine their own criteria for what constitutes an “A”, based on a variety of factors.||Teachers work collaboratively to determine proficient work on the standards using a clear rubric.|
What scale are students graded on? What do the numbers mean?
|4 Exceeds||Student exceeds proficiency of the standard.|
|3 Proficient||Student demonstrates proficiency of the standard.|
|2 Approaching Proficiency||Student demonstrates partial proficiency of the standard.|
|1 Beginning||Student shows readiness and is beginning to learn the standard.|
|NE - No Evidence||No evidence of learning is available for assessment.|
What does NE mean?
What does it mean to be “proficient” and what does it mean to “exceed” proficiency in a standard?
- Examples of exceeding proficiency may include: applications for real-world use, teaching another person the material, using information to solve problems in a different context, explaining connections between ideas, demonstrating a unique insight, and/or creative application of skills.
How much evidence is needed to determine that a student is proficient on a standard?
Is homework part of my child’s grade?
How will GPA be determined for my High School student?
Does a final score of “1” on a standard mean that my child will fail the course?
How does standards-based grading prepare students for college and/or careers that students choose beyond high school?
Which schools are implementing standards-based grading?
NSD's secondary standards-based grading pilot began in the 2019-20 school year and had representation at the middle and high school levels. Schools at the elementary level have been participating in standard-based grading since 2014. Currently, all schools, with the exception of CTE and some Special Education courses, are implementing standards-based grading.
What are the big ideas of standards-based grading?
There are six big ideas around standards-based grading.
- Grades and reports should be based on clearly agreed-upon essential standards.
- Evidence used for grading should be valid.
- Grading should be based on established success criteria.
- Not everything should be included in grades.
- Avoid grading based on (mean) averages.
- Focus on academic achievement, and report behavior factors separately.
How Does Standards-Based Grading impact my student's admission into college?