SACRAMENTO — California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Monday the release of grading guidelines that address assessing student progress and the ongoing issue of equity in distance and hybrid learning environments.
Resources that support local control are included in the new guidance, allowing schools to make the best decisions for their respective student populations.
“As the majority of California’s public schools continue to respond to distance learning needs, we should reflect on how student progress is measured and consider how to shift to more equitable grading systems and policies, whether the instructional setting is in-person, virtual, or hybrid,” Thurmond said. “This is an opportunity to make a significant change.”
The new grading guidelines include research-based approaches to grading that may be especially helpful if students are not in class and access to technology and learning supports may be unequal.
These include replacing grading quantities, such as the extent to which students have completed assignments, with grading qualities in student work that reflect students’ current achievement level at the time, and using flexibility in timing the collection of evidence for grading decisions so students are graded on the learning they do, not when they do it.
Resources for Making Local Decisions Regarding Grading Student Progress is located on the CDE Support tab on the CDE Distance Learning webpage under “Grading and Graduation.”
For the purposes of the guidance and resources on that page, “distance learning” means instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. This may include interacting through the use of a computer and communications technology, as well as delivering instruction and check-in time with the teacher.
Distance learning may include video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between the student and instructor is online interaction, instructional television, video, telecourses, or other instruction that relies on computer or communications technology.
It may also include the use of print materials incorporating assignments that are the subject of written or oral feedback. The page provides guidance and information for teachers, students, and parents who are transitioning or have transitioned to a distance learning model.