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 5-point scale, with five 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 demonstrates limited or no understanding of 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?
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?
- A score of “3” and “4” in each of the essential standards = A
- A score of “2” in any one essential standard (with grades of 3 or 4 in the remaining standards = B
- A score of “2” in more than one essential standard (no score of “1”) = C
- Two-thirds of the essential standards are a score of “2” or higher. Student has standard(s) that are “1” = D
- A score of “1” or NE in more than one-third of the essential standards in a course = F
Does a score of “1” on a standard mean that my child will fail the course?
How does standards-based grading prepare students for college and careers?
What schools are piloting standards-based grading and when does it roll out to the entire district?
NSD's secondary standards-based grading pilot will begin in the 19-20 school year and have representation at the middle and high school level. Schools at the elementary level have been participating in standard-based grading since 2014. Standards-based grading will be adopted districtwide in fall 2020.
Which middle schools are piloting standards-based grading?
- East Valley Middle School
- Lonestar Middle School
Which courses in the high schools are part of the pilot?
- Skyview: English and visual arts
- Nampa High: English, social studies and visual arts
- Columbia: Agriculture, photography, broadcasting, information technology, and family and consumer science
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.