Rating System

Definition 

The scale that's used for assessing student mastery. The scale is an essential feature of scoring rubrics.

Features 

  • Advancement on Mastery
  • Competencies
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Meaningful Assessment

Designer's Tips 

Explore our featured tool, Building a Mastery-based Grading Policy, which offers a comprehensive guide to creating a mastery-based grading policy, and includes recommendations for developing your school's rating system.

Tips for a Short Implementation Time-Line 

If you use PARCC's PLD's, then you would need to use PARCC's rating system: They use 2-5, with 1 signaling that there isn't enough to assess accurately. If you are considering Asia Society, it has its own rating system.

Curated Resources: This collection of resources from the field includes models and exemplars, as well as “DIY” guidance to facilitate your exploration of this term. 

BDEA Common Grading Protocols

Description 

This one-page guide defines the school-wide rating system or 'ranks' for courses at Boston Day and Evening Academy. The resource also illustrates how the school's ranks correspond to the Carnegie Unit-driven letter grades and grade point averages used by Boston Public Schools. As designers create a mastery learning system, this type of simple reference guide can provide parents, students, and new faculty with much needed clarity regarding assessment practices.

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

Boston Day and Evening Academy

Type of Organization 

  • School or District

Terms 

Grade Composition
Grade Reports
Graduation Plan
Promotion Plan
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System

Casco Bay High School: Faculty Grading Guide

Description 

This extensive guide to Casco Bay's standards-based Grading System provides a useful model for schools seeking to develop their own Grading Policy Handbook. It helpfully describes the principles that underlie their system, in addition to providing practical tools, FAQ's, and guidance on such issues as homework and late assignments. See NMEF's "Making Mastery Work" and Springpoint's "Inside Mastery-Based High Schools: Profiles & Conversations" for an overall description of CBHS's practice and approach.

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

Casco Bay High School

Type of Organization 

  • School or District

Terms 

Grade Composition
Grade Reports
Grading Policy
Graduation Plan
Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Promotion Plan
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics

Getting Up to Speed on Proficiency-Based Grading

Description 

This blog post provides links to a curated collection of resources addressing various aspects of grading within a mastery learning system, including a video discussion between a Casco Bay teacher and student. The resource will be especially helpful to designers who want to introduce this approach to stakeholders, or who want to quickly learn more about mastery learning.

Authors 

Chris Sturgis

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 

CompetencyWorks

Type of Organization 

  • Government Organization
  • Intermediary or Management Organization

Terms 

Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics
Grading & Reporting System

Great Schools Partnership: Assessment Verification

Description 

In this section of the Great Schools Partnership website, district and school designers will find guidance on what to assess, how to assess it, and how to verify and report student proficiency in relation to standards. Given that many mastery learning schools often struggle with the purpose of homework and how to structure it, the GSP' tool on how to use homework in a proficiency-based environment may prove particularly helpful.

Resource Type 

  • Tool

Publishing Organization 

Great Schools Partnership

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Grade-Level Descriptors
Grade-Level Expectations
Grade-Level Indicators
Performance-Level Indicators
Performance Indicators
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System
Learning Progressions
Learning Targets

Making Mastery Accessible--Grading Policy Guide

Description 

Developing a grading policy is a key step toward solidifying and communicating a mastery learning system to stakeholders. Our Grading Policy Design Guide details the must-haves for setting up a coherent and comprehensive system to support and track mastery learning. Because so many schools operate within states and districts that are organized around the Carnegie Unit, the guide also provides a set of recommendations and workarounds to address the particular tensions that arise from this circumstance.

Authors 

Antonia Rudenstine

Resource Type 

  • Tool

Publishing Organization 

reDesign

Type of Organization 

  • reDesign

Terms 

Grading Policy
Graduation Plan
Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Promotion Plan
Grade-Level Descriptors
Grade-Level Expectations
Grade-Level Indicators
Performance-Level Indicators
Exhibitions
Performance Indicators
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System

Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education

Description 

This iNACOL Issue Brief provides an overview of grading in a competency-based system. Readers will find that this Brief identifies problems with traditional grading systems, explores alternatives, presents lessons from the field, and offers a glimpse of reforms on the leading edge. It is a helpful resource for practitioners working to understand the landscape as a whole.

Authors 

Chris Sturgis

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

iNACOL

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Grade-Level Descriptors
Grade-Level Expectations
Grade-Level Indicators
Performance-Level Indicators
Performance Indicators
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System
Learning Progressions
Learning Targets

Understanding Sanborn's Grading and Reporting System: A Guide for Parents & Students

Description 

Sanborn (New Hampshire) Regional High School developed this guide for students and parents to provide a detailed explanation of how students are graded and progress within Sanborn's mastery-based system. Included is a sample report card, which other schools and designers may be able to use as a model.

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

Sanborn School District

Type of Organization 

  • School or District

Terms 

Graduation Plan
Promotion Plan
Rating System
Formative Assessment
Summative Assessment
Grading & Reporting System

Toxic Grading Practices

Description 

This video polemic by Doug Reeves highlights much of what is wrong with traditional grading practices and the thinking that underlies them. From handing out zeros to eliminating the possibility of improving one's work, Reeves skewers the status quo and provides effective alternatives. The video can be useful to share with families, students, and faculty who are new to mastery learning, and the new grading pracitces it requires.. 

Authors 

Douglas Reeves

Resource Type 

  • Video

Publishing Organization 

Assessment & Evaluation Symposium

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Grade Composition
Grade Reports
Promotion Plan
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System

BDEA Competency Tracking System

Description 

A look at Boston Day and Evening Academy's homegrown digital mastery-learning tracking system system. Presented as a set of screenshots, without text, this document provides a glimpse into how BDEA integrates competencies, benchmark tracking, and reporting.

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

Boston Day and Evening Academy

Type of Organization 

  • School or District

Terms 

Grade Composition
Grade Reports
Graduation Plan
Promotion Plan
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System

Asia Society Global Leadership Performance Outcomes, I Can Statements, Rubrics

Description 

This exemplar comptency documents linked here, developed by the Asia Socienty, focuses on Global Leadership. Included are rationales, "I can" statements, performance outcomes, and rubrics for students in grades 5, 8, 10, and 12. Designers will find these models helpful for their own work developing competencies and supporting documents.

Resource Type 

  • Tool

Publishing Organization 

Asia Society

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Competencies
Performance Outcomes
Learning Expectations
I Can Statements
Performance Indicators
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics

School District of Philadelphia Competency Toolkit

Description 

The School District of Philadelphia's created this Toolkit to support their comptency-based education efforts. It features resources and tools designed around its six essentials for mastery learning: Learning Targets, Scoring Rubrics, Performance-Based Assessments, Promotion Policy, Transparent Data Display, and Personalized Learning Experiences.

Authors 

Sydney Schaef

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

School District of Philadelphia

Type of Organization 

  • School or District

Terms 

Graduation Plan
Promotion Plan
Competencies
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics
Competency-Based Education (CBE)
Mastery Learning
Proficiency-Based Education (PBE)
Grading & Reporting System

Value Rubric Development Project

Description 

This is a set of 16 rubrics developed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities. They include Critical Thinking, Analysis and Inquiry, Creative Thinking, and Problem Solving. These are very strong rubrics that clearly identify the ways of thinking that are required for success in liberal arts colleges. They can be a strong starting point for schools looking to develop competencies and learning outcomes that are college- and career-aligned.

Resource Type 

  • Website

Publishing Organization 

Association of American Colleges and Universities

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Competencies
Performance Outcomes
Learning Expectations
Learning Outcomes
Performance Indicators
Rating System

Summit Public Schools PLP

Description 

This series of videos present Summit Public School's school model, which is centers around student agency and self-direction.

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

Summit Public Schools/FSG

Type of Organization 

  • Government Organization
  • Intermediary or Management Organization

Terms 

Graduation Plan
Promotion Plan
Rating System
Grading & Reporting System

Casco Bay High School: Universal Habits of Work Rubric

Description 

Part of Casco Bay (Maine) High School's mastery-learning framework is the use of a rubric to assess student Habits of Work in 3 categories: work ethic, citizenship, and collaboration. See NMEF's "Making Mastery Work" and Springpoint's "Inside Mastery-Based High Schools: Profiles & Conversations" for a description of CBHS's practice and approach.

Resource Type 

  • School-Developed Resources

Publishing Organization 

Casco Bay High School

Type of Organization 

  • School or District

Terms 

Rating System
Scoring Rubrics
Learning Progressions
Learning Targets

Great Schools Partnership: Selecting an On-Line Grading & Reporting System: Rubric to guide decision-making

Description 

This Great Schools Partnership-designed tool provides a helpful list of questions to ask when comparing and evaluating online grading and reporting systems for use in a mastery learning school. It can assist educators in identifying and prioritizing features, since no single system is likely to be a perfect solution.

Resource Type 

  • Tool

Publishing Organization 

Great Schools Partnership

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Grade Conversion
Grade Reports
Performance-Based Grading
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics
Competency-Based Education (CBE)
Grading & Reporting System

Tech. Tools Lag our Competency-Based Aspirations

Description 

As the title makes clear, this blog post discusses the current mismatch between what mastery learning system designers need, and what tech developers are currently producing. It describes how even the most innovative products are generally too limited in scope, too tied to old models of assessment and grading, or fail to fully integrate the assessment, grading, tracking and programming components that are highly interdependent in personalized, mastery learning schools. 

Authors 

Julia Freeland

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 

CompentencyWorks

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Student Information System
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics
Blended Learning
Grading & Reporting System
Learning Management System (LMS)