Introduction to Standards-Based Grading

Do you recognize that a letter or number grade alone does not holistically represent a student’s learning progression? Do you want a “big picture” of the skills students have mastered and the learning objectives they have met? Then this free guide is for you! This guide explores the basics of what it takes to put your traditional grading system to rest and engage in standards-based grading.

Standards-based grading goes beyond letter grades. It precisely targets key learning objectives, providing students with a portfolio of achievements. This method of grading allows students to see individual learning progression based on performance – not extraneous factors often included in a traditional evaluation. It is designed to develop lifelong learners.

Whether your school is private or public, we know your goal is to provide the best opportunities for your students to be successful during their education, but also in their endeavors following formal education. If you are a K-12 administrator or educator, or even in higher education, this guide will have useful information relevant to you.

This guide will highlight:


  • What standards-based grading is
  • Basics of implementing a standards-based grading strategy
  • Key components of assessment-related professional development
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