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Going Gradeless, Grades 6-12 - Book Cover

Going Gradeless, Grades 6-12

Shifting the Focus to Student Learning
By: Elise Burns, David Frangiosa

Foreword by Jon Bergmann

Sharing their successful shifts to alternate assessment and their perspectives as experienced classroom teachers, the authors show you how to remove the negative impacts of grades while still maintaining a high level of accountability.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071837542
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2021
  • Page Count: 184
  • Publication date: March 25, 2021

Price: $34.95



Reform assessment, reduce stress, and strengthen learning

Great things happen when students are able to focus on their learning instead of their scores. However, assessment reform, including standards-based grading, remains a hotly debated issue in education. Going Gradeless shows that it is possible to teach and assess without the stress of traditional grading practices.

Sharing their successful shifts to alternate assessment and their perspectives as experienced classroom teachers, the authors show you how to remove the negative impacts of grades while still maintaining a high level of accountability. Readers will find concrete examples of how these approaches can be developed and applied, plus:

Sample assessments and rubrics
Student work samples from all grade levels
An accountability checklist
A review of collected data

It is possible to go gradeless! Focusing less on letter grades allows students to interact with the content more deeply, develop better relationships with their teachers and peers, and gain confidence in the classroom, school, and beyond.


Elise Burns photo

Elise Burns

Elise Burns has been a science teacher for 30 years, teaching physics, chemistry, biology, math, and earth science. Her work is characterized by trying new technology and approaches, in order to provide the best possible learning experience for kids. She presented at conferences annually at either NSTA, ASCD, or NJSTA, with workshops on rubric design, inquiry, standards-based learning, project-based learning, writing CERs, and assessment design, amongst others.

David Frangiosa photo

David Frangiosa

David Frangiosa has spent 14 years as a high school science teacher, teaching biology, chemistry, physics and a number of science electives. Over that time, he has been a driving force in many initiatives across multiple districts. He developed, wrote curriculum for and taught two courses for a medical academy. As part of this initiative, high school students were placed in allied health internships at a local hospital. This program piloted a paperless classroom that led to a district-wide one-to-one program. Shortly after moving on to Pascack Valley Regional High School District, he began conducting action research on grade reform. As a result of this work, he was asked to be on a county-wide Growth Learning Assessment and Mindset (GLAM) committee. In addition to presenting these ideas with the district and at the GLAM meetings, he has presented at ECET2Metro, the New Jersey Science Teachers Convention, and many online workshops.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents




About the Authors

Chapter 1: Why?

How This Book Is Organized

A Note on Terminology

Chapter 2: A Discussion About Equity

Chapter 3: Educational Theory That Grounds Our Model

Chapter 4: Development of the Model, 2015–2020

The Beginning: 2015–2016

First Revision: 2016–2017

Refining and Reorganizing: 2017–2018

Realigning: 2018–2019

Ongoing Adjustments: 2019–2020

Chapter 5: Creating Language for the Learning Progressions

Example: History Contextualization

Example: English Language Arts Thesis/Claim

Example: Math Problem Solving

Example: Art Elements and Principles

Chapter 6: Assessments


Setting the Stage: Our Past Practice

Why Did It Need to Change?

Addressing the Concerns Regarding the New Structure

On Curriculum and Planning

On Sustained Effort

A Note Regarding Integrity

Scalable and Progressive

On Grading (Time, Stress, and Feedback)

On Conversations With Students and Parents

Our Types of Assessments

Chapter 7: Aligning Progress With a Traditional Model

Grade Translations


Scaling the Course

Using for Quarterly or Semester Grades

Reporting Skills Progress in the Gradebook

Reporting Habits of Scholarship


Missing Work and Extra Credit

Concerns and How We Address Them

Chapter 8: Our Evidence

Chapter 9: A Step-by-Step Guide to Going Gradeless

Step 1: Identifying Your Values

Step 2: Grouping the Standards

Step 3: Creating a Learning Progression

Step 4: Pairing Assessments and Standards

Step 5: Aligning Assessments and Activities

Step 6: Reporting Out

Day-to-Day Implementation

Presenting to Students/Parents

In Conclusion

Resources A: Assessing Student Work

Resources B: Student Progress and Setting Benchmarks

Resources C: Some Full Rubrics





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