Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #21-09
February 22, 2021
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Thurmond Announces New Grading Guidance for Student Progress in Distance Learning

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the release of guidelines that address grading student progress and the ongoing issue of equity in distance and hybrid learning environments. Resources that support local control are included in the new guidance, allowing schools to make the best decisions for their respective student populations.

“As the majority of California’s public schools continue to respond to distance learning needs, we should reflect on how student progress is measured and consider how to shift to more equitable grading systems and policies, whether the instructional setting is in-person, virtual, or hybrid,” Thurmond said. “This is an opportunity to make a significant change.”

The new guidance includes research-based approaches to grading that may be especially helpful if students are not in class and access to technology and learning supports may be unequal. These include replacing grading quantities, such as the extent to which students have completed assignments, with grading qualities in student work that reflect students’ current achievement level at the time, and using flexibility in timing the collection of evidence for grading decisions so students are graded on the learning they do, not when they do it.

Resources for Making Local Decisions Regarding Grading Student Progress is located on the California Department of Education (CDE) Support tab on the CDE Distance Learning web page under “Grading and Graduation.” Contact the CDE Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resource Division at with any questions regarding the grading guidance and resources.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Monday, January 08, 2024
Recently Posted in News Releases