Grades have long been identified by those in the measurement community as prime examples of unreliable measurement (Brookhart, 1994; Stiggins, Frisbie, & Griswold, 1989). What one teacher considers in calculating students’ grades may differ greatly from another teacher (Guskey & Link, 2019; McMillan, 2001; McMillan, Myran, & Workman, 2002). A major factor contributing to the unreliability of grades is teachers’ inclusion of aspects of students’ behavior in the grades they assign. Despite the recommendation of experts to separate behavior from academic achievement in formulating students’ grades, teachers at all grade levels typically include student behavior as a contributing factor in determining grades (Brookhart, Guskey, Bowers, McMillian, Smith, J., Smith, L., & Welsh, 2016; Frary, Cross, & Weber, 1993; Gullickson, 1985; Link, 2018; McMillian & Nash, 2000; Randall & Engelhard, 2010).

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019

Notes/Citation Information

Published in Curriculum in Context, v. 45, no. 1.

Curriculum in Context has granted the permission for posting the article here.

This article is also available at http://wsascd.org/wp-content/uploads/2-How-Traditional-Grading-Contributes-to-Student-Inequalities.pdf.



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