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Griffy: Standards Grading System Better for Students, Teachers

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A Marshall County School official thinks their new elementary grading system is better for students and teachers, and predicts other schools will pick up the system. Elementary instruction supervisor Abby Griffy says the school system has begun using standards-based grading at Central Elementary. The plan is to include all six district elementary schools next year. Griffy says standards-based grading breaks down learning into skill sets. It also cuts out non-academic criteria that’s included in traditional grading, like “punctuality” and “cooperation.” Griffy says school administrators had to ask themselves, “What’s the purpose of a grade?”

“Is it to reflect a child’s knowledge? Because if it’s that, and we agree that it’s to reflect a child’s knowledge, we don’t need to incorporate things like ‘responsibility’ into that academic grade. We need to report that separately," she said.

Griffy says standards-based grading allows students to see exactly what they’ve mastered, and what they still need to practice. The Kentucky Department of Education has no law or regulation governing grading systems. Griffy believes many schools have stuck with traditional letter-based grades out of habit. But she predicts more will make the switch.

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