The determination of the merit or worth of something in an absolute (rather than relative or comparative) sense (see Ranking). Evaluation questions that call for grading include, “Is this intervention (or product or individual) good enough to implement (or buy or hire)?” and, “How should we characterize this level of performance (on a particular dimension or overall)? Is it excellent? Good? Satisfactory? Poor? Completely unacceptable?” Grading does not necessarily involve the use of letter grades, but it does always involve generating an evaluative claim about the absolute quality or value of an evaluand, using explicitly evaluative terms such as “excellent,” “adequate,” “worth implementing statewide,” and so on.

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