The Weakness of Norm-Referenced Grading in Measuri

The Weakness of Norm-Referenced Grading in Measuring Student Achievement

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The Weakness of Norm-Referenced Grading in Measuring Student Achievement

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NameInstructorSubjectDateResearch Proposal: The Weakness of Norm-Referenced Grading in Measuring Student AchievementWhen a parent sees an F grade on a child’s report card, the immediate and logical reaction is to believe the teacher’s remarks; the student is a failure. However, few parents and teachers take into account the shortcomings of the assessment tools used to measure the child’s achievement level, and the inability of the commonly used grading systems to accurately describe learners’ competence levels. The grading of standardized achievement tests is usually norm-referenced. Norm-referenced grading groups learners into categories used a pre-established formula, whereby a given percentage of the top performers is assigned an “excellent” performance grade, while the bottom performers receive a “poor” or “fail” grade regardless their test scores. For instance, in school X a student who scores 70 percent gets an A if that is the highest performance, and teachers may assign A’s to all students scoring in the range of 60-70 percent. In school Y, the highest score in the same test may be 90 percent, and students scoring between 80-90 percent are assigned an A grade, while those scoring in the range of 70-80 are assigned a B. This scenario exemplifies the shortcomings of the letter grading as a measure of student achievement. If the “A students” in school X did the test in schoo...
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