Townsley, Matt. “Redesigning Grading -- Districtwide.” Educational Leadership 71.4 (2013): 68-71.
In the first years of his career as a high school math teacher, Matt Townsley was bothered by the fact that his grades penalized students for not learning content quickly. A student could master every standard, but low quiz grades and homework assignments they didn't complete because they didn't understand would lower their final grade, making it appear they didn't fully understand the material. Homework was another problem: Whether he graded it on correctness or completeness or not at all, the same students seemed to complete it (or not complete it).
When Townsley learned about standards-based grading, he saw its potential and adjusted his gradebook so that it reported student progress toward learning targets, rather than their performance on specific assignments. He also gave students multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of the standards.
Gradually, Townsley's standards-based grading practice spread, beginning with a small group of teachers at his high school and spilling into the middle school. By the time Townsley accepted an administrative position, the district was looking at implementing the practice districtwide. After a year of study involving students, teachers, and community members, the district's board of education approved a two-year implementation plan that is now in its second year.