Definition: This is a system that assesses students by aligning the curriculum to a body of standards and then allows each standard to be assessed or graded individually. The purpose is to communicate more specific information about what students know and can do, and to ensure alignment of classroom activities and learning to codified and standardized objectives for the year. In this type of grading, students typically are given credit for mastery of standards regardless of the amount of time or attempts it took them to master each. Teachers can differentiate using grade-level standards above and below the grade they teach in order to fill gaps or provide extensions.
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