Frisco ISD introduces Standards- Based Grading

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Kaylehn Molitor

Frisco ISD students are adjusting to not only going back to in-person classes this school year, but also to a new grading system. 

Standards-Based Grading is a system that breaks assignments into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards required by teachers to teach and students to learn and weighs each grade equally.  There are no longer minor and daily grades, leaving only one grade category left- major. 

The district’s secondary schools are moving towards standard based grading; within the next couple of years the district plans for this new grading system to be  fully implemented from sixth through 12th grades.

“The concept of standard-based grading is breaking down chapters or topics by standards so that we know exactly what part of the lesson students struggle with. This way we can help students be successful in any of their academics,” IHS Principal Alan Waligura said. 

Amy Jones, Social Studies Instructional Coach and Humanities teacher, talks about the benefits that are targeted through standards-based grading.

“One of the biggest reasons why the teachers tease out the standards in assignments and assessments is to provide students with very specific feedback. And with that feedback, it allows us classroom teachers to differentiate remediation and to know which students need help and this will bring more students to complete mastery,” said Jones.

Jones said she believes students’ grades will be higher this year due to the opportunities standards- based grading offers. 

In the past, reassessments were capped at 85%, but with the new system students have the opportunity to redo assignments up to a 100%. Another advantage for students is there are no more penalties for late work. 

Jones said just because something is past the due date, there should be no penalty because that knowledge is still valuable. 

“I think it will result in better grades because of the new opportunities that are offered to us- like retesting and no more late grades,” said sophomore Ava Wilson.

This system is a mindset shift for teachers and students. Teachers have to rethink assessments, assignments, activities and take an even deeper look at the standards required for their courses.

“We are doing this for students to be more successful. We are doing this to be more fair to students. We are doing this so that the grades are actually a more accurate reflection of where they are with their learning. At the end of the day, this is a student- friendly decision,” Jones said.