Standards-Based Grading and the Structure of Standards

Discussion continues to take place regarding the integration of standards into teaching in ways beyond outlining the curriculum to be taught. One idea that has arisen recently has been the concept of standards-based grading, in which students are given ratings based on their level of mastery of individual concepts within a larger course. Proponents of this system state that it has advantages ranging from enabling better-targeted teaching to reducing test anxiety.

In contrast to this, however, there is a viewpoint that warns against taking too reductionist an approach to standards in the classroom. According to this view, the overall structure of the standards and the way that they are addressed within an integrated course of study that takes into account the interrelationships between the concepts is as, if not more, important than the individual concepts themselves.
These two viewpoints are not mutually exclusive, but they do present examples of the various factors teachers must balance when considering standards-based learning

By: Michael Walpole
Project Manager