Students in grades 3-11 are assessed yearly (STAAR/State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) on the state standards (TEKS/Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and, the new Standards-Based Report Card is another tool in this standards-based system.
Standards-Based grading communicates the content information a student has learned while using other methods to communicate attendance, attitude and behavior. It gives parents, teachers and students a clear picture of each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
It is essential to move away from old and traditional grading methods that were developed and used for another time period of education. Traditional grading is a grading system that is overly arbitrary and overly subjective. In older traditional grading systems, grades on report cards often cannot be clearly explained with the high level of consistency, reliability, and clarity that should be expected of a quality educational system that is standards-based. According to the traditional system, an “A” could mean that a student fully understood the concepts and knowledge. However, that “A” could also mean that the student completed a lot of extra credit and came to class on time, but never fully grasped the concepts being taught; hence making the "A" an invalid measure of the student's true performance and understanding.
Research shows that when students have a clear understanding of what the learning target is then student achievement increases. Reversely, bad grading practices can harm students and discourage them from learning. It is our belief school should be about the learning.