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

Foreword by Myron Dueck



April 2018 | 168 pages | Corwin

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

 
Foreword by Myron Dueck
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
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  
Conclusion  
 
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)  
Conclusion  
 
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)  
Conclusion  
 
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  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 5. Organizing Learning Targets in a Target-Based System
Proficiency Scales Versus Proficiency Targets  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 6. Building High-Quality Assessments Aligned to Learning Targets
Using Assessment as Evidence Gathering  
A Different Way of Thinking About Assessment (Hiring Committees)  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 7. Providing Feedback and Aligning Reassessment
Designing Units of Instruction  
Design Learning-Target-Specific Units of Instruction  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 8. Communicating Achievement in a Target-Based Grading System
Purposes of Grading and Reporting  
Frequency of Reporting  
Example of PAW in MasteryConnect  
Conclusion  
 
Conclusion
A Call to Leadership!  
 
References
 
Index

"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

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ISBN: 9781506399423
$31.95

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