Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.



Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading

This edited volume discusses critical issues in implementing accurate, equitable grading policies for diverse student populations in a standards-based environment and offers research-based solutions.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412967259
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2008
  • Page Count: 136
  • Publication date: August 06, 2008

Price: $31.95

Price: $31.95
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.



"The book combines research, critical issues, and creative solutions in a concise and easy-to-read manner. While there is little doubt that educators today face a myriad of critical issues, this book allows educators to believe that they can be agents of change for students and for the profession."
—Sammie Novack, Vice Principal
Curran Middle School Bakersfield, CA

Implement standards-based grading practices that accurately and equitably report student achievement!

Standards-based education poses a variety of challenges for grading and reporting practices, especially for ensuring that the grades assigned to students are honest, meaningful, and fair. Many traditional methods, such as limiting the number of high grades or defining "C" as "average," no longer work in a standards-based environment. This edited volume examines critical issues in standards-based grading and provides specific suggestions for improving grading policies and practices at the school and classroom levels.

With contributions from prominent educators and researchers, this groundbreaking volume:

  • Describes traditional school practices that inhibit the implementation of standards-based grading
  • Addresses how teachers can assign fair and accurate grades to English language learners and students with special needs
  • Examines legal issues that influence grading and reporting policies
  • Discusses why report card grades and large-scale assessment scores may vary
  • Fosters consistency in grading across states and districts
  • Offers effective strategies for communicating with parents

This solution-oriented book offers teachers, principals, and administrators practical strategies for implementing grading policies that benefit all students.

Key features

  • The contributors rank among the best-known and most prominent educators and researchers in the area of standards-based grading and reporting
  • Describes the issues associated with grading, including grading ELL students and learners with special needs, inconsistencies in grading between schools and districts, and legal concerns related to grading
  • Each chapter describes the research around each problem and presents multiple perspectives about grading
  • Offers specific suggestions for improving grading policies and practices both at the school and classroom levels
  • Concludes with practical suggestions for addressing future grading concerns


Thomas R. Guskey photo

Thomas R. Guskey

Thomas R. Guskey, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Chicago’s renowned Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis (MESA) program, he began his career in education as a middle school teacher, served as an administrator in the Chicago Public Schools, and was the first Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. He is the author/editor of twenty-seven books and over three hundred articles published in prominent research journals as well as Educational Leadership, Kappan, and The School Administrator.

Dr. Guskey served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and on the task force to develop the National Standards for Professional Development. He was named a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association and was awarded the Association’s prestigious Relating Research to Practice Award. He was also awarded Learning Forward's Outstanding Contribution to the Field Award and Phi Delta Kappan's Distinguished Educator Award. Perhaps most unique, in the 158-year history of his undergraduate institution, Thiel College, he is one of only three graduates to receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award and be inducted into the Thiel College Athletic Hall of Fame.

His most recent books include Implementing Mastery Learning (2023), Instructional Feedback: The Power, the Promise, the Practice (with Smith & Lipnevich, 2023); Get Set, Go! Creating Successful Grading and Reporting Systems (2020), What We Know About Grading (with Brookhart, 2019), and On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting (2015). He may be contacted by email at guskey@uky.edu, Twitter at @tguskey, or at www.tguskey.com.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The Difficulty of Change

Background and Format

Content Summary

Our Hope


2. Grading Policies That Work Against Standards...and How to Fix Them

Policy #1: Grading "On the Curve"

Policy #2: Selecting the Class Valedictorian

Policy #3: Using Grades as a Form of Punishment

Policy #4: Using Zeros in Grading

Policy #5: Hodgepodge Grading



3. The Challenges of Grading and Reporting in Special Education: An Inclusive Grading Model

Why Does Special Education Grading Matter?

Grading Adaptations

Implications of Standards-Based Grading

Inclusive Grading Model

Step 1: Determine If Accomodations or Modifications Are Needed

Step 2: Establish Standards for Modified Areas

Step 3: Determine the Need for Additional Goals

Step 4: Apply Equivalent Grading Practices to Appropriate Standards

Step 5: Communicate the Meaning of the Grades



4. Assigning Fair, Accurate, and Meaningful Grades to Students Who Are English Language Learners

Challenges of Grading Students Who Are English Language Learners

Special Considerations



Current Research and Knowledge Base

Recommendations for Effective Communication

Implications for Educational Policy and Practice

Steps Toward Better Practice




5. Legal Issues of Grading in the Era of High-Stakes Accountability

Current Research and Knowledge Base

What Is a Grade and Who Assigns It?

Students and Legal Issues in Grading

Due Process and Equal Protection

Grade Reductions


Teachers and Legal Issues in Grading

First Amendment


Implications for Policy and Practice


Grade Penalties

Appeals Policies and Due Process

Educator Responsibilities

Recommendations for Improvement



6. Fostering Consistency Between Standards-Based Grades and Large-Scale Assessment Results

Description of the Problem

Overview of Standards-Based Grading in the District

Understanding Teachers' Assessment Styles

Assessing Most Standards

Grading on Achievement, Not Effort

Creating or Borrowing Assessments to Supplement Text-Provided Tests

Tracking Performance Skill-by-Skill

Focusing on Attainment of Standards Instead of the District Text

Grading With End-of-Unit Assessments

Other Grading Strategies

Focus on Overall Achievement

Frequency of Assessment for Grading Purposes

Multiple Assessment Approaches

Clear Grading Methods


Changes in Report Card Format

Organizing for Standards-Based Grading

Lack of Alignment Between District-Adopted Texts and State Standards

Skepticism From Parents and Teachers


Approaches to Organizing Grade Books

Using Diagnostic, Formative, and Summative Assessments

Separating Content Area Grades From Effort

Selecting a Method for Computing Grades

Differentiate Teaching to the Standards From Teaching to the Assessment


7. Synthesis of Issues and Implications

Current Grading Practices

Key Role of Teacher Judgment

The Fundamental Purpose of Standards-Based Grading

Validity of Standards-Based Grading

Fairness in Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading and Student Motivation

Student Standards-Based Self-Grading

Standards-Based Grading and Feedback

Where Do We Go From Here?





Price: $31.95
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.