Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Grading systems in many secondary schools often follow a traditional system where students accumulate points from many different components in class which are then weighted to equate to one letter grade representing everything. More school leaders are beginning to recognize faults that traditional grading can have in lacking clarity, coherence, and validity in what grades report of student learning in a course, and therefore, are turning to a standards-based grading system. Transforming an entire grading system in a secondary school is a major undertaking that can have many implications. However, it is challenging for school leaders to be prepared for what to expect with grading reform and understand if it would be highly beneficial for their school. This review examines why schools are choosing to implement such a major change, beneficial strategies that other schools have employed in this transition, challenges that may appear in the transition, and the effects seen after implementing a standards-based grading system.