I was reading through some notes I took a few years ago...

"Indeed, at the writing of this book, no major study (that we are aware of) has demonstrated that simply grading in an standards-based manner enhances student achievement.  However,...a fairly strong case can be made that student achievement will be positively affected if standards-based reporting is rooted in a clear-cut system of formative assessment" (Marzano, 2010, p. 18).
...and was again reminded that changing grading practices is only the first step in the standards-based grading shift so frequently alluded to on this blog.  

Lorna Earl describes what can happen when we teachers really begin to re-evaluate their assessment practices,
"Teachers who are working with a new view of assessment as part of learning are finding that it isn't possible to change assessment and leave everything else the same.  When assessment changes, so does teaching, so does classroom organization, and so does interaction with students and parents" (2003, p. 45).
Today, I'm reminding myself of the need to focus on changes in assessment practices as much or more than grading practices.


  • Earl, L. M. (2003). Assessment as Learning: Using Classroom Assessment to Maximize Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Marzano, R. J. (2010) Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.