Therefore, each step is clued-up by the prior step or steps (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008).
Assessment is the central idea of standards based assessment. Students are assessed at each level. At each level, they are tested for whether they know what they must know and what they are able of knowing. Also, in standards based assessment, when we talk about students, we do not use it as a generic term. Instead we look at them as individuals. How Their individuality is reflected in the standards set by what they can achieve. Under this approach, students are compared to a standard of achievement, not other students (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008).
With this approach, students are not graded with letters, instead they are graded with 'meets the standard', 'exceeds standards' or 'below standards'. As a result, each student is allowed to succeed; they are not ranked in a normal curve where some students are labeled 'failures'. This is also the most significant benefit of the standards based approach.
The grading criterion of this approach is such that the whole response of a student is analyzed rather than the final answer. This is clearly done by humans then because computers cannot realize the response. This is known as 'holistic grading'. As a result of this, the thought process of students is given more importance than the strict approach of marking students based on their final answers.
An example of such grading criteria is 'inventive spellings'. This is when students are encouraged to spell words on how they hear them, rather than spelling them as how they are universally recognized. This clearly reflects their individual understanding. Some would say this is an extremely reasonable way of testing students.
Because of a grading approach that assesses students based on their thought processes, students can be easily evaluated to see where they stand. Diplomas are then given to them based on their standards, thoughts and knowledge. For this reason, we arrive at its second important advantage and core value; high school diplomas are more meaningful for students and colleges alike.
As far as reporting tools are concerned, the grade that they receive; where students stand in terms of meeting the standard, must be used as the reporting tool. Also, the grading tools used for subjective assessments can be used as a reporting tool. This could be a teacher's indication of what part of a group project work does not meet standards yet.
To conclude, I will summarize the core democratic values of such an assessment approach. These are simply and basically fairness, equal opportunity and the well-being of all members of society; and (American Federation of Teachers, 2003). Also, some light must be given to the challenges. These include inconsistencies in grades at different levels, such as national, state or district, there is heavy dependence on who is assessing and grading the students. This means that different teachers will grade significantly differently (American Federation of Teachers, 2003). Also, in my opinion, this is a very idealistic approach. A gain in score is not a definite indication of success.
For this reason,