You are here

Grading for Impact

Grading for Impact
Raising Student Achievement Through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System

Foreword by Myron Dueck

May 2018 | 160 pages | Corwin
Understanding the Purpose of this Book
Broad History of Assessment (Of, For, As)
Intended Purpose and Audience (Why, How and What Next)
Embedded Case Study Within This Book
Year 1 of Grading for Impact Discussions in Winneconne, WI  
After Year 2 of Grading for Impact Discussions in Winneconne, WI  
After Year 4 of Grading for Impact Discussions in Winneconne, WI  
After Year 5 of Grading for Impact Discussions in Winneconne, WI  
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 vs. 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 Mastery Connect  

"Student learning and classroom environments are changing, so why not standards-based grading? This book encourages change to target-based grading and asks the 'why not?'"

Tara McGuigan, Vice Principal
San Diego Unified School District: Morse High School

"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

"Many 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

“The unique contribution of Tom Hierck and Garth Larson’s Grading for Impact to the existing compendium of published books on standards-based grading is its tighter focus on what the authors refer to as ‘target-based’ assessment and grading vs. standards-based grading. Learning targets, smaller ‘chunks’ of a larger standard, provide teachers and students with sharper clarity.  When learning targets are explicit, teachers are able to keep instruction and assessment tightly focused on those targets and adjust their ongoing instruction—based on assessment evidence—as needed, and students are able to adjust their learning strategies based on the assessment-elicited feedback they receive. This makes grading and reporting much more meaningful, because an individual student’s performance is directly related to specific learning expectations so that both teacher and student can determine ‘next steps’ in the learning journey. Hierck and Larson carefully present the rationale for target-based assessment and grading and then lay out a ‘how-to roadmap’ that any school system can successfully follow to implement these powerful ideas.

Larry Ainsworth, Author
Common Formative Assessments 2.0: How Teacher Teams Intentionally Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment

Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506399423

Pre-Publication price:


For instructors