UK College of Education Faculty Develop K-12 Standards-based Report Cards


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2015) — Report cards have long gone home with students showcasing letter grades based on everything from quiz scores to attendance. However, some schools are working with the University of Kentucky College of Education to rethink the grade book.

UK College of Education faculty Thomas Guskey, Lee Ann Jung and Gerry Swan are helping K-12 schools develop standards-based report cards that provide a more accurate assessment of all students. They are also training teachers and principals to become assessment leaders for their districts. 

According to the researchers, standards-based grading strategies are more accurate than traditional grading and provide better evaluation for all students – including English language learners and those with disabilities. These strategies facilitate better communication between schools and families, emphasizing students’ specific academic strengths and also identifying areas where additional work may be needed.

Their most recent workshop, held in Lexington in June, included participants from Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Colorado and Kentucky. Those in attendance included K-12 leaders, principals, and lead teachers. Called “Getting Standards-Based Grading Right —Honest and Accurate Grades for All Students,” the workshop offered these education leaders practical, research-based strategies for implementing standards-based grading in their districts. 

“The issues of standards, assessments, grading and reporting are foundational to every modern reform effort in education,” Guskey said. “Nevertheless, confusion and misunderstanding about these issues and their implications for classroom practice prevail. This workshop moves beyond the jargon to develop an essential understanding of their importance in the teaching and learning process.”

The implementation plan is noted by school leaders for providing the research, knowledge and practical foundations needed to gain the support of parents in the process — without creating excessive work for teachers. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2393,