What is Standards-Based Grading? It’s exactly what the name implies: student grades that are based on their understanding of the standards - and nothing else. The RCS Grading Committee has been studying this concept for more than two years. With the progress to date on the RCS Strategic Plan and the excitement generated by Cultures of Thinking, this "new paradigm of learning demands that students think their way to understanding, be able to use tools in new situations, and be able to apply skills to solve real world problems" (Vatterott, 2015, p. 27). The entire committee is convinced that the district should be moving toward practices in grading that more closely align with our practices in teaching. In Rochester Community Schools, the mindshift that Tom Schimmer introduced to us has begun!
The next question for most of us is, “How do I do this?” Truly, there is not one right way. There are many ways that teachers can begin the move toward a grading system that reflects a student’s understanding of the course content. This site is designed to be helpful in providing ideas and resources as teachers begin to shift their grading practices and align them with our Standards Based educational system. We hope that you can find inspiration, direction, and practical ideas as you explore SBG along with the members of the District Grading Committee.
In conjuction with the dynamic teaching strategies that RCS teachers already use and with the development of a Culture of Thinking, Standards-Based Grading has the potential to create a true culture of learning for the children in Rochester Community Schools.