National Expert Education Panel Publishes Tenets to Improve Grading

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LSI Offers FREE Policy Paper Targeting Balanced Assessments for School Districts, Includes Pandemic Principles

“Most school district assessment systems are neither comprehensive nor balanced.”

The National Panel on the Future of Assessment Practices, a group of forward-thinking educational leaders, is touting several comprehensive principles for school districts to adapt and ensure a balanced grading system – including how to manage the process during COVID-19. In a newly published policy paper, four of the world’s top assessment experts evoke guiding tenets for disrupting the status quo in school grading and the best way to fairly assess students when a pandemic disrupts their learning. A summary of the paper appears in the September issue of Educational Leadership magazine, and the full paper is available for free at Learning Sciences International’s Dylan Wiliam Center website (

Principles School Districts Can Use  to Improve Assessments for Students
WHO: National Panel on the Future of Assessment Practices
WHAT: Grading Improvement Tenets
WHEN: Free Download
WHY: School districts implementing a comprehensive & balanced assessment system – especially during a pandemic.

Susan Brookhart, Jay McTighe, Rick Stiggins and Dylan Wiliam collectively state that, “most school district assessment systems are neither comprehensive nor balanced.” To rectify that baseline belief, they want district leaders to first, reflect on why they have grading systems, second fully understand what the current state of grading practices looks like and third decide whether to reform or completely replace policies for the future.

Read the essential principles to improve grading by downloading the highly-acclaimed policy paper below. In the Free, on-demand downloadable policy paper Grading in a Comprehensive and Balanced Assessment System, authors Brookhart, McTighe, Stiggins and Wiliam – some who are scheduled as speakers at the virtual Formative Assessment International Conference December 8-9, 2020 (, challenge superintendents, assistant superintendents and education leaders to take a closer look at the way assessment currently is being handled in their school districts. A thorough review might reveal what the National Panel on the Future of Assessment Practices already knows – that assessment systems in most American schools are doing students a disservice. Current practices are likely even hindering student progress by failing to provide meaningful, relevant, sufficient information to learners and their teachers. These grading practices are preventing educators from eliciting, gathering and interpreting the real-time evidence they need to make minute-to-minute instructional decisions that, research shows, are key to improving learning. The policy paper has been newly amended to include insight for grading during COVID-19 and distance learning. It outlines how school districts have a good opportunity to reflect on and improve grading methodologies during virtual instruction, but they need to be careful about panic-driven choices that threaten to set grading back further.

Download the policy paper free: Register for the 7th annual Formative Assessment International Conference. For a limited time, tickets are BOGO – buy one get one free:

ABOUT LEARNING SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL Since its founding in 2002, LSI has empowered thousands of K-12 educators to empower their students by developing every students' capacity to take on greater responsibilities for their own learning and function at the highest levels possible. We do this through the guiding principles of LSI's Applied Research Center with approaches that are always measurable, replicable and reliable. Every activity, strategy and intervention has attained or is in the process of attaining criteria for evidence-based practices under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at Levels II or III. This is why our school and district partners regularly achieve sustainable and long-lasting results.

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Taylor Barahona