A grade has one purpose: to communicate a student’s learning. Standards-based grading is designed to do just that.
In education, the term standards-based refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating understanding or mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. These knowledge and skills are known as standards - concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education. In schools that use standards-based approaches the standards determine the goals of a lesson or course. Teachers then determine how and what to teach students so they achieve the learning expectations described in the standards. At GAA, curriculum standards are defined for each course and specifically indicate what the student is expected to learn and demonstrate on assessments.
Throughout each course, the completed assessments help the teacher provide feedback and learning targets as well as track progress toward proficiency of each curriculum standard. When assessments target multiple curriculum standards, a proficiency level is determined for each one. Our proficiency levels are Mastery, Proficient, Developing and Emerging.