2 - Rationale for SBG

Rationale for SBG

Why move to SBG?
As explained by Patricia L. Scriffiny in "Seven Reasons for Standards-Based Grading", there are compelling reasons for reforming current grading practices.  
  1. Grades should have meaning. There should be qualitative differences between an A, a B, and a C.  
  2. We need to challenge the status quo. Many assumptions we hold about grading do not stand up to real scrutiny.
  3. We can control grading practices. There are many factors outside a school's control.  However, we can control how we assess students.
  4. SBG reduces meaningless paperwork. SBG enables teachers to maximize time giving feedback, allowing them to know a great deal more about students than in a traditional model.
  5. It helps teachers adjust instruction. SBG gives a wealth of information to help the teacher adjust instruction.
  6. It teaches what quality looks like. SBG creates an environment where standards can and must be met and where students are not permitted to submit substandard work without being asked to revise.  
  7. It's a launch pad to other reforms. SBG requires teachers to deeply understand their curriculum and identify and use formative assessment and intervention strategies.

What are the advantages of SBG?
Learning outcomes are clearly articulated to the students throughout instruction.  Students and parents can see which learning outcomes students have mastered and which ones need re-teaching or re-learning.  SBG can change the complexion of at-home conversations between the student and the parent/guardian from "Why didn't you finish your work?" to "Tell me your understanding of this standard," "How does your teacher connect your in-class work to the unit's targets?" or "What more do you need to do to meet expectations?"  Some students struggle at the beginning of units, fail assessments and give up; with SBG, the door remains open to achieving standards.

Research on standards-based grading shows overwhelmingly that students learn their subjects better and perform better in later education levels such as college when implemented with fidelity both for instruction and assessment.  The works of educational researchers and experts such as Popham, Reeves, Marzano, Pickering, McTighe, Wiggins, Stiggins, Guskey, Brookhard, O'Connor, and the High Schools That Work Breaking Ranks program are good sources of evidence.  Links to articles and books by these experts can be found in the 'Additional Resources' section of this website.   If interested in specific information regarding the rationale for SBG, please refer to the resources below. 

Source: Singapore American School