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Grading for Impact - Book Cover

Grading for Impact

Raising Student Achievement Through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System
By: Tom Hierck, Garth Larson

Foreword by Myron Dueck

With a focus on learning rather than performance and the process rather than the product, this guide will revolutionize your grading practices and provide clarity of progress.

Full description

Grading for Impact - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506399423
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 168
  • Publication date: May 07, 2018

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Aim for a target-based grading system and create stronger learning opportunities!

Do you wish there was more clarity when it comes to measuring student progress and learning? What if there was a way to utilize grading and assessment to focus on learning rather than performance, and the process rather than the product?

As grading, assessment, and reporting continue to be relevant topics of discussion, this book helps you create a functional plan to elevate and advance standards-based grading practices. Teachers and administrators will learn how to assess, grade, and report against specific learning targets rather than standards as a whole to make skill acquisition the highest priority. Grounded in application to provide focus and clarity, this book features:

  • Real case studies of schools that have incorporated target-based assessment, feedback, grading, and reporting
  • Practical examples to guide implementation
  • Questions, checklists, illustrations, and audits of practice to showcase the work in action
  • An accessible format and layout that support both immediate implementation and long-term goals

Despite being a topic that generates emotion and resistance to change, target-based assessment builds the foundation for a learner-centered system that provides clear expectations and feedback for teachers, students, and parents.

"Grading for Impact is a simple and straightforward guide to re-thinking grading based on mastery of specific skills and concepts rather than broadly-written standards. Real-world examples of teachers struggling with--and answering--the old questions are included: “How do we grade fairly and accurately?” and “How do we use grades as an instructional strategy?””
Joseph Staub, High School Teacher
Downtown Magnets High School, CA

"Most stakeholders agree that report cards aren’t enough to show what our students are learning in school, but changing the traditional grading system is a task that requires careful planning and challenging discussions. Grading for Impact shows educators how to start and plan the discussions that will result in genuine learning experiences for students."
Ernie Rambo, Virtual Learning Community Coordinator
Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute



Tom Hierck

Tom Hierck has been an educator since 1983 in a career that has spanned all grade levels and many roles in public education. His experiences as a teacher, an administrator, a district leader, a department of education project leader, and an executive director have provided a unique context for his education philosophy.

Tom is a compelling presenter, infusing his message of hope with strategies culled from the real world. He understands that educators face unprecedented challenges and knows which strategies will best serve learning communities. Tom has presented to schools and districts across North America with a message of celebration for educators seeking to make a difference in the lives of students. His dynamic presentations explore the importance of positive learning environments and the role of assessment to improve student learning. His belief that “every student is a success story waiting to be told” has led him to work with teachers and administrators to create positive school cultures and build effective relationships that facilitate learning for all students.

Tom Hierck’s blog can be found at tomhierck.com/blog/.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Myron Dueck



Understanding the Purpose of This Book

Broad History of Assessment (For, Of, As)

Intended Purpose and Audience (Why, How, and What Next)

Embedded Case Study Within This Book

About the Authors

Chapter 1. Introduction and Rationale for Grading Reform Through Target-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting

What Is Target-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting?

How Is Target-Based Assessment and Grading Different From Standards-Based Assessment and Grading?

What Is Target-Based Reporting?

Why Target-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting?

Grades That Are Supportive of Learning


Chapter 2. Key Characteristics When Grading for Impact

Components of Target-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting Systems

How to Gather Evidence of Learning

Data Supporting Increases in Student Learning

Challenges With Target-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting

How Target-Based Assessment and Grading Was Born in Winneconne, Wisconsin

Winneconne Community School District (WI) Case Study (The HOW)

A Simplified Process for Target-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting in Collaborative Teams (How to Actually Do This Work)


Chapter 3. Prioritizing Instruction: Building From the Standards to Determine Your Targets

A Process for Prioritizing Instruction and Standards (From the 13 Steps to Target-Based Grading)


Chapter 4. Building High-Quality Learning Targets Based on Prioritized Standards

A Process for Writing Clear Learning Targets

Elementary Learning Target Examples

Middle School Learning Target Examples

High School Learning Target Examples


Chapter 5. Organizing Learning Targets in a Target-Based System

Proficiency Scales Versus Proficiency Targets


Chapter 6. Building High-Quality Assessments Aligned to Learning Targets

Using Assessment as Evidence Gathering

A Different Way of Thinking About Assessment (Hiring Committees)


Chapter 7. Providing Feedback and Aligning Reassessment

Designing Units of Instruction

Design Learning-Target-Specific Units of Instruction


Chapter 8. Communicating Achievement in a Target-Based Grading System

Purposes of Grading and Reporting

Frequency of Reporting

Example of PAW in MasteryConnect



A Call to Leadership!





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.