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PowerTeacher Gradebook: Weighting Rubrics–A Specific Example

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Using rubrics is one of the best ways to assess student performance on a high-level open-ended task. Often times, rubrics (like the one pictured above) will include multiple areas of assessment. For example, the “Math Knowledge” and “Strategic Knowledge” grades of the rubric will enter in to the “Mathematics” Gradebook. On the other hand, the “Explanation” grade, which is also critical, is a “Communications” grade and will be entered in to that Gradebook.

Regardless of which Gradebook the grade will reside, the team must consider the following important question to “translate” the rubric in to points that can be entered in to the Gradebook.


What is the total value of the assignment (or a particular row/area of assessment on a rubric)?

How much is each category on the rubric worth so that the percentage of points received from the total points possible makes sense?

  • Traditional “4,3,2,1” rubric values need to be translated into appropriate point values so as to not skew the accumulated percentages for students.
  • For instance, a “4” on the rubric above needs to be given a value representative of the importance of the assignment and in line with the percentage scale.

Helping students understand where they are performing on a 4-point rubric is very important in order for students to become owners of their own learning.  While we can utilize the 4,3,2,1 with students, these numbers need to translate accordingly into PowerTeacher.

If a team determines that this assignment is worth 32 points, teams will also determine how many points will be recorded in the Gradebook for students who score in the Exceeds category on the rubric, the Secure category on the rubric, the Developing category on the rubric, or the Needs Support Category on the rubric.  These values for each performance category will be the same for each student scoring in that category.  In addition, the values should be in line with the percentages that are used by the Academic Grade Scale in PowerSchool.

So, on this project, the team has decided that each category of the rubric is worth 32 points, a medium sized grade on this team in Mathematics and Communications. In this example, the team assigns the following points to students who receive scores within each category:

  • Exceeds = 30 points (94% – fits within the 90%-100% range of Exceeds – and, students do not have to have perfect performance to score a 4)
  • Secure = 27 points (84% – fits within the 80% – 90% range of Secure)
  • Developing = 24 points (75% -fits within the 70% – 90% range of Developing)
  • Needs Support = 21 points (65% – fits within the 70% and below range of Needs Support)


Is this task capturing evidence of student learning in one discipline or more than one discipline?

In the rubric pictured above, the first two rows, Math Knowledge and Strategic Knowledge, would be recorded within the Math Gradebook.  The final row, Explanation, will be recorded in the Communications Gradebook.

Topic: Assessment, PowerSchool

Each District 21 school is named after an American author, and learning and literacy is at the center of our Professional Learning Community. The Modern Pen provides a collaborative location in which District 21 teachers can come together to learn the skills that will enable their students to learn new skills and to understand concepts at an even different level than before.