Standards Based Grading Made My Kid Average

This just had to be shared. I’m so thankful I came across it. Such wisdom and common sense in this post. Thank you, Lisa Westman, for writing this, and for sticking to the purpose of grading, which is to provide feedback to the learner so he/she can progress. It is not about the parents, it’s about the children. It’s not about the comfortability of age-old practice. It’s about being innovative in order to prepare our kids for what’s next. There simply isn’t a reason we should be continuing a practice of assigning letter grades and/or percentages simply because it has always been done and it is easier for adults. Its time to evolve into what works, and is proven by research to work.

"Put me in, COach!"


This post was originally published in @PeterMDeWitt’s blog Finding Common Ground in Education Week.

Today’s guest post is written by frequent Finding Common Ground blogger Lisa Westman. Lisa is an instructional coach specializing in differentiation for Skokie School District 73.5 in suburban Chicago. She taught middle school gifted humanities, ELA, and SS for twelve years before becoming a coach.

Recently a friend called me in a panic. She was beside herself because she had just received her seventh-grade daughter’s new standards-based report card.  My friend relayed that her daughter (who was formerly an “A” student) was now “just average” according to the new report card.

I asked my friend if the report card had the word “average” on it and my friend said, “no.” She elaborated that her daughter had received all “meets” and no “exceeds” on her report card, and, therefore, her daughter…

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