Grading Philosophy*

All Dearborn Public Schools grading and reporting will support the learning process and encourage student success.  Grades measure a student’s mastery of the course content expectations.

Purposes for Grading Students’ Work*

Primary Purpose

  • Communicate achievement to students, parents, and others

Secondary Purposes

  • Provide information that students can use for self-evaluation and growth
  • Encourage student growth and progress in learning
  • Identify students for available educational opportunities (e.g. AP courses)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of curricular, instructional, assessment practices and programs

Assessment Categories

  • Summative assessments demonstrate the student’s knowledge of a subject after instruction.  Summative assessments include tests, projects, products, and demonstrations.
  • Formative assessments demonstrate the student’s progress in mastering subject content during the course of instruction.  Formative assessments include homework, participation, daily quizzes, and inquiry activities.

These guidelines emphasize summative assessments.  The final grade is determined by at least 80% summative and at most 20% formative.

Summative Assessment Retakes

Except for AP and honors classes, beginning with the second semester of ninth grade, teachers will make summative assessment retakes available to students based on the following principles and process:

  • Only one retake per summative assessment is permitted.
  • The higher score is the score of record.
  • Students must follow the retake process established in the respective school, but each process should include the following:
  1. A written request by the student, including an explanation for requesting the retake
  2. The student’s demonstration of effort to attain mastery learning, which might include test corrections, caught-up homework
  3. The teacher’s approval for retake following 1 and 2 above
  4. The student’s arranging with the teacher for retake
  5. Completion of the retake within a reasonable time frame, e.g. within 1.5 weeks of the original summative assessment
  • Retakes may be in a different format from the original summative assessment.
  • End-of-semester exams cannot be retaken.

Zeros and Late Work

Zeros are allowed on formative assessments.  Each teacher will decide how to handle late work and partial credit.

Zeros are not allowed on summative assessments.  The student is responsible for arranging with the teacher to take any missed summative assessments.

Cheating, however, is a disciplinary issue which may result in a zero, whether the work involved is a formative or a summative assessment.

(*From GIPS Grading and Reporting Practices, 2006)