As part of an effort to improve grading and homework practices, one school district has discovered that standards based grading reinforces personalized learning.

Soft SkillsIn Minnesota, Waseca Superintendent Tom Less says that schools will be moving to standards based grading and alter report cards so that instead of a single grade for a subject, the subjects will be broken down into several components. This allows teachers to give a better picture of a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Lee says that the new system is meant to emphasize meaningful work over busy work.  Contrary to rumor the district is not doing away with homework.  Rather the assignments will involve deeper activity and stretch over the long term.

In the high school, this change is merging into a personalized learning system already in place. Teachers are integrating the standards based system into existing changes related to encouraging each student’s personal learning style and development. The standards based grading will start this year in the elementary school, and include the middle school the following year.

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