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Standards-Based Calculations Guide for Parents

This document is to inform parents about how Standards-Based Grading works as well as the calculations that may have been chosen in support grading practices by the District or LEA. Standards-Based Grading focuses on providing multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate a level of mastery on a skill or standard with a mark of 1-4.

For more information on current Grading Practices being conducted at your child(ren)'s site, please contact your child(ren)'s Teacher or Site Administrators.

Where to Start

Where to Start

Upon logging into your Parent Portal Account, you may choose the Gradebook Tile (1) or Gradebook module in the side navigation bar (2). This will take you to your child's Gradebook.

Select the Gradebook Title for which you wish to see more information about. For Standards-Based Gradebooks, an area called Calculation will display how the overall grade is being calculated.

Within the Gradebook description, you will find Calculation Method. The applied calculation will display with an (i) icon, click on it to learn more.

Standards Based Calculations Overview

Calculations setup on the gradebook are decided by your child(ren)'s Teacher and/or Site Administrators. Below are the descriptions for each calculation you may see applied to your child(ren)'s gradebook, and information on why it may have been chosen in support for your school community grading practices and policies.

Power Law

What is it?

A research-based calculation that calculates the standard score as a power function. The power law identifies trends in student performance and answers the question: How would the student most likely perform if he or she were assessed today?

Why Use It?

The Power Law is used so that the grade reflects a student’s current ability for each standard. The Power Law is designed to reward learning. The calculation recognizes a student who shows consistent improvement over time and computes a score that reflects his or her learning

Decaying Average (75%)

What is it?

A weighted average where the most recent score for each standard is worth 75% of the standard score.

Why Use It?

The decaying average rewards improvement. A student who receives low scores at the beginning of a grading period but high scores at the end will be rewarded for his or her growth because scores early in a grading period have minimal impact on the final standard score.

Decaying Average (60%)

What is it?

A weighted average where the most recent score for each standard is worth 60% of the standard score

Why Use It?

The decaying average rewards improvement. A student who receives low scores at the beginning of a grading period but high scores at the end will be rewarded for his or her growth because scores early in a grading period have minimal impact on the final standard score.

Median

What is it?

The median is the middle value in a list. Arrange the student’s scores in numeric order; the median is the center of the list. With an even number of scores, the two middle scores are averaged.

Why Use It?

The median summarizes student performance during the grading period and is often used because it is less sensitive to outliers than a traditional mean or average. Using the median, a single very low (or high) score is less likely to have a disproportional impact on the final score.

Mean (Average)

What is it?

The mean is the sum of all the scores for each standard divided by the total number of scores for each standard.

Why Use It?

The mean summarizes a student’s performance during a grading period. Each score counts equally. It is simple to calculate, easy to understand, and balances inconsistencies in student performance and assessments.

Minimum

What is it?

The minimum calculation provides the lowest score for each standard.

Why Use It?

The minimum calculation requires that a student consistently demonstrate their ability on all assessments and holds the student accountable for all assessments. Teachers using the minimum calculation often allow multiple opportunities to re-take assessments.

Maximum

What is it?

The maximum calculation provides the highest score for each standard.

Why Use It?

The maximum calculation focuses on and rewards the students best work.

Most Recent

What is it?

The standard score is the student’s score on the most recent assessment for each standard.

Why Use It?

The most recent calculation is used so that grades reflect the student’s current ability on any standard.

Next Steps

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