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Grading From the Inside Out

Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment Through a Standards-Based Mindset

The time for grading reform is now. While the transition to standards-based practices may be challenging, it is essential for effective instruction and assessment. In this practical guide, the author outlines specific steps your team can take to transform grading and reporting schoolwide. Each chapter includes examples of grading dilemmas, vignettes from teachers and administrators, and ideas for bringing parents on board with change.


  • Study the three components of the standards-based mindset that are reforming traditional grading practices.
  • Debunk five myths about standards-based grading.
  • Contemplate the hazards of punitive grading, and discover alternative ways to manage the issue of homework.
  • Consider questions that will challenge traditional thoughts on grading and help clarify next steps.

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Grading From the Inside Out

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Chapter 1: The Modern Assessment Paradigm
Chapter 2: Accuracy and Confidence: Our Grading True North
Chapter 3: Five Myths of Standards-Based Grading
Chapter 4: The Standards-Based Mindset
Chapter 5: How to Give Students Full Credit for What They Know
Chapter 6: How to Repurpose Homework
Chapter 7: How to Redefine Accountability
Chapter 8: How to Use Levels of Proficiency
Chapter 9: How to Teach and Assess Student Attributes and Competencies
Chapter 10: How to Use Standards-Based Reporting
Afterword: How to Navigate the Road Ahead


Grading From the Inside Out Study Guide




  • Guskey, T. R. (2015). On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Vagle, N. D. (2015). Design in Five: Essential Phases to Create Engaging Assessment Practice. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.