So do teachers who count classroom
grade on the basis of the student’s
these factors usually relate to specific
quizzes, formative assessments, home-
performance on projects, assessments,
student behaviors, most teachers record
work, punctuality of assignments, class and other demonstrations of learning.
numerical marks for each ( 4;
=;consis-participation, or attendance.
Often expressed as a letter grade or per- tently; 3;=;usually; 2;=;sometimes; and
Progress criteria are used by educa-
tors who believe that the most impor-
tant aspect of grading is how much
centage (A = advanced, B;=;proficient,
C;=;basic, D;=;needs improvement,
F;=;unsatisfactory), this achievement
1;=;rarely). To clarify a mark’s meaning,
teachers often identify specific behav-
ioral indicators. For example, these
students gain from their learning
grade represents the teacher’s judgment might be the indicators for a homework
experiences. Other names for progress
criteria include learning gain, improve-
4 = All homework assignments are
improvement students have made over
a particular period of time, rather than
just where they are at a given moment.
As a result, scoring criteria may be
highly individualized among students.
Grades might be based, for example, on
the number of skills or standards in a
learning continuum that students mas-
tered and on the adequacy of that level
of progress for each student. Most of the
research evidence on progress criteria
comes from studies of individualized
instruction (Esty & Teppo, 1992) and
special education programs (Gersten,
Vaughn, & Brengelman, 1996; Jung &
ment scoring, value-added learning, and
educational growth. Teachers who use
3 = There are one or two missing
progress criteria look at how much
or incomplete homework assignments.
2 = There are three to five missing
or incomplete homework assignments.
1 = There are numerous missing or
incomplete homework assignments.
reporting multiple grades will increase
their grading workload. But those who
use the procedure claim that it actu-
ally makes grading easier and less work
(Guskey, Swan, & Jung, 2011a). Teach-
ers gather the same evidence on student
learning that they did before, but they
no longer worry about how to weigh
or combine that evidence in calculat-
ing an overall grade. As a result, they
avoid irresolvable arguments about the
appropriateness or fairness of various
Reporting separate grades for prod-
uct, process, and progress criteria also
makes grading more meaningful. Grades
for academic achievement reflect pre-
cisely that—academic achievement—
and not some confusing amalgamation
that’s impossible to interpret and that
rarely presents a true picture of stu-
dents’ proficiency (Guskey, 2002a).
a more accurate and comprehensive
Teachers also indicate that students
picture of what students accomplish in
of the student’s level of performance
relative to explicit learning goals estab-
take homework more seriously when
it’s reported separately. Parents favor
Although schools in the United States lished for the subject area or course.
the practice because it provides a more
are just beginning to catch on to the
Computations of grade-point averages
comprehensive profile of their child’s
idea of separate grades for product,
and class ranks are based solely on these performance in school (Guskey, Swan,
process, and progress criteria, many
achievement or “product” grades.
& Jung, 2011b).
Canadian educators have used the
In addition, teachers assign separate
The key to success in reporting mul-
practice for years (Bailey & Mc Tighe,
grades for homework, class participa-
tiple grades, however, rests in the clear
1996). Each marking period, teachers
tion, punctuality of assignments, effort, specification of indicators related to
in these schools assign an achievement
learning progress, and the like. Because product, process, and progress criteria.