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The New Grading Scale

Expect More, Achieve More: Tennessee is Raising the Bar for Students in the Classroom  

Whereas the old standards measure achievement among three levels, the new grading scale has four levels: Advanced, Proficient, Basic and Below Basic. These four levels are more consistent with national standards and are more informative to educators. They better distinguish between students whose performance is close to proficient and those whose performance is well below expectations. This allows for more targeted instruction and intervention, better individualized for each student's specific needs.

The New Grading Scale


Students demonstrate superior mastery and are significantly prepared to advance to the next grade level.


Students demonstrate mastery and are well prepared to advanced to the next grade level.


Students demonstrate partial mastery and are minimally prepared to advanced to the next grade level.

Below Basic

Students have not demonstrated mastery and are not prepared to advanced to the next grade level.

Last year, around 40% of students in Tennessee were advanced in both reading and math. Using the new scale this year, we expect about 5% to reach that same level. To better illustrate where we expect our students to stand, let's look at ten sample students from across Tennessee.

Ten Sample Students from Across Tennessee
In 2009:
  • 4 Advanced
  • 5 Proficient
  • 1 Below Proficient
In 2010:
  • 1 Advanced
  • 2 Proficient
  • 4 Basic
  • 3 Below Basic

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