anyone's high schooler have experience with "standards based grading"?

hello there! my son, HS sophomore, has recently stepped up a level to honors history. our history dept is piloting ‘standards based grading’, and even though i have read about it, i am wondering pragmatically how this is going to go. because he is on the fence on levels for history, i’d like to have some idea by the end of the first quarter how he is doing grade-wise, because he could conceivably retreat a level. anyone have experience with the grading?

No, so thankful my kids are out of school now. Our town’s district jumped through hoops for years, getting ready for standards-based grading, after the state of Maine mandated it. Then so many rural districts complained that the state backpedaled and got rid of the requirement. I should see what our district ended up doing.

I’m assuming you’re taking about grading on a 1-4 scale. The main advantage is that your grades, at least at my school, tend to be inflated as there’s a HUGE difference to your class grade between getting a 2 vs. 3 vs. 4. The disadvantage is that whether or not you answer nothing or 1/2 of the questions correct (or whatever % correct your kid’s teacher uses,) you’ll still have a 1. BUT, there’s also no difference between a 90 and 95%, for example: they’ll both become a 4.

Every school is different, and the decision to stay in honors history or not is your choice alone: CC can’t help as we don’t know how the class is taught at your kid’s school. If he has until the end of the first quarter to decide, then I recommend waiting until the first few assignments have been graded and seeing how the workload is before deciding. IMO, it’s not a big deal to take regular vs. honors history, especially if you’re not majoring in history/political science, as long as your other courses are rigorous.

Hope that helps!

I wouldn’t make this decision based on grades alone: Is he interested and engaged in honors? Is he gaining skills? Is he stressed by the workload or atmosphere, which might be the most important? (And was he bored at the lower level?) In high school there are also social factors in what class you are in. Many things to consider.

My kids had it K-6, was one of the reasons they went to private high school. It’s terrible. Everyone gets the same grade 3, only get a 4 if you have a perfect score ( and sometimes not even then). It was a joke as were the folks who supported it. Made for lazy kids and parents who had no idea where their kids stood. Laughable and so glad it’s over. Was great for the parents who thought getting grades would be too stressful for their kids. They loved it. My kids still laugh about it and get pretty upset about it.

We use a similar system here in Ontario. Teachers mark on a scale of 1-4 but for report card purposes that then gets translated to a letter grade for elementary/middle school and a percentage grade for high school.

I could have written this word for word. This grading system is akin to “everyone gets a ribbon”. It’s just another way to teach to the middle where the kids at the top get shafted and the kids at the bottom are made to feel just fine.

It was frustrating as a parent because I never really knew where my kids stood. My DS (first kid) really suffered because of this and I have deep regrets. He was a gifted student and in first grade tested into a pull-out program. But then they went to this new grading system and suddenly everyone got 3’s. He was not challenged and was fine getting those grades. His teachers kept saying he was doing fine. I should have demanded more but I didn’t know any better. We pulled our kids and put them in private school and then I could see the damage that had been done.

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Our K-8 uses standards based grading and I’m used to it, but agree with others that you never know where the kid stands because “4” is so huge. I wouldn’t mind K-5, but with K-8 I feel the kids go to HS not really understanding how grades work and not understanding how hard it is to climb out of a hole from a really bad test, etc.

In HS our Honors Chemisty is on it’s third year piloting a version of standards based grading that they are then turning into a regular grade for the transcript. My senior daughter was the first class and now my sophomore is in the course. They’ve actually changed the way they graded between years 1 and 3 for the better, but it’s still a difficult way to grade and the first time parents are freaking out about it (I know to just be patient and it will all work out).

There are no tests, just quizzes every three days on various standards. For each standard tested, if you get it right, you get a 2 (goes into the grade book as a 100%). If you get it wrong, you get a 1 (goes in the grade book as a 50%) They test the standards several times each, so you have the opportunity to “master” each standard, but in the beginning of the year, when parents and kids see a bunch of 50% scores - whoo boy, it’s a stressful mess. Your kid might see a failing grade or a D for awhile until they start mastering standards. Then as the quizzes keep happening, the kids end up with so many grades that it all works out, but man the beginning of the year is rough.

This year they’ve changed it from just Quiz 1 50%, Quiz 2 100%, Quiz 3 100%, Quiz 4: 50% - overall grade 75% etc to putting the actual standards on powerschool (our HS onling gradebook). That way, you do see an overall percentage, but you see your kid’s progress on each of the standards instead of the quizzes. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but still not great.