• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Enact innovative grading systems that more accurately describe student progress! This book challenges traditional grading practices and provides alternatives that can have direct impact on student success. By making subtle shifts toward standards based grading systems, schools can reduce unnecessary course failures, provide students and their families a more accurate picture of current progress, and increase opportunities for success. The author offers a range of grading reform strategies that are built from practical frameworks that are effective and simple to adapt. Among the many strengths of this book are: • Practical application of existing research and evidence base for effective secondary grading reforms • A framework for schools and districts to apply and adapt failure prevention strategies such as early failure detection, Amnesty Days, and meaningful stipulated second chance opportunities for students to reach mastery • Functional strategies and actions for shifting toward standards-based (referenced) grading without entirely abandoning letter grades • Countering resistance to change through a-clearly-articulated plan for conducting school-wide and classroom level action research around the effectiveness of new or adjusted grading practices “Informative and pragmatic, this book is spot on with analysis of this elephant in the room issue. Nagel uses both empathy and humor in getting to the heart of a process to generate real solutions while underscoring the ultimate need for teacher voice in any successful implementation. He provides ready-made strategies for real, impactful change. I’m left hopeful that feedback will rule the day!” —Bruce Potter, Superintendent Berkshire UFSD “Nagel offers an insightful and articulate voice to secondary improvement and alignment through grading practices. His tried and true methods through working with real districts provides a starting place and examples for others to follow. A must-read for anyone serious about ensuring student engagement through meaningful feedback.” —Debra K. Howe, Superintendent Tri-Creek School Corporation?

Standards-Based Grading
Standards-Based Grading

In a quick Internet search of minimum standard, I found that there are minimum standards published for child care facilities, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in most states, and even wildlife rehabilitation. For each one of these and countless other processes, programs, and entities, there is a grade, so to speak, that people or groups earn based on performance against specific criteria. These standards help with quality control, safety, and also consistency. The consistency is what many of us expect in our lives and take for granted almost everywhere, except across classrooms. A Big Mac from McDonalds is expected to be the same in Chicago, Cleveland, and Cheyenne. If we were to order one and not have “Two all-beef patties...” (I ...

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