Why does the math proficiency rubric have a floor of 60%?

Summit Learning approaches grading with a growth mindset. Assessment is meant to be "for learning" as opposed to "of learning." Each interval within the proficiency rubric indicates a level of understanding so that students can see growth in their understandings of the concepts. A score equal to or below 60% indicates that a student is not showing evidence of understanding the concepts. A score between 60% and 70% indicates that a student is barely showing an understanding of the concepts. A score between 70% and 80% indicates that a student is showing some understanding of the concepts. A score between 80% and 90% indicates that a student is almost proficient and a score between 90% and 100% indicates that a student fully understands the concepts. As students’ scores move within these intervals they can see how they are progressing in their understanding of the concepts. 


Minimal/

No Evidence

Not Yet 

Proficient

Partially 

Proficient

Mostly 

Proficient

Fully 

Proficient

0 - 60%

>60%

>70%

>80%

>90%

There is minimal or no evidence of understanding the mathematical concepts.

There is evidence of a surface level understanding of the mathematical concepts, with many conceptual and/or procedural gaps in understanding.

There is evidence of understanding the mathematical concepts, with some conceptual and/or procedural gaps in understanding.

There is significant evidence of a broad understanding of the mathematical concepts, with few conceptual and/or procedural gaps in understanding.

There is strong evidence of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application of the mathematical concepts.

 

In the intervals described above, the interval for “no evidence” covers a drastically disproportionate range when compared to the other ranges. This creates a situation in which students can receive grades that put them at a significant disadvantage or danger of not passing the course simply due to one end-of-unit assessment. Let's look at some examples. 


 

Unit x End-of-Unit Assessment Score

Unit y End-of-Unit Assessment Score 

Average of End-of-Unit Assessment Scores

No Floor

85% (mostly proficient)

30% (no evidence)

57.5% (no evidence)

Floor of 60%

85% (mostly proficient)

60% (no evidence)

72.5% (partially proficient)


The first row of scores in the table shows a student who earned a 30% on the Unit y End-of-Unit Assessment. This score indicates that there is no evidence of the student understanding the concept. When this 30% is included in the calculation for the average End-of-Unit Assessment score, it is challenging for the student to numerically recover from an average score of 57.5%. This student, who demonstrated a mostly proficient understanding of the concept on the Unit x End-of-Unit Assessment, nevertheless has an overall average that represents “no evidence of understanding.”  

The second row of scores in the table shows that same student, now using a floor of 60% to show no evidence. When we calculate this student’s average, we see that this student can numerically recover and show growth in their understanding.

In the transition from concept rubric scoring to %-based scoring, Summit Learning investigated several different options in order to best align previous concept scores with current %-based scores, while also establishing a floor that would allow students to feasibly recover from one or more low assessment performances. The proficiency rubric explained above, the floor of 60%, and the scoring system for each end-of-unit assessment are the result of that work. 

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