Measuring the Immeasurable: GRIT in Education

Every now and then I’m blown away by something I find online. This happened today, when I stumbled across the “GRIT Rubric” created by the College Track program in San Francisco. “College Track is an afterschool, college preparatory program that works to increase high school graduation, college eligibility and  enrollment, and college graduation rates in under-resourced communities.” The program is awesome, but what blew me away was the GRIT acronym and student rubric. College Track has broken the word Grit down to four factors: Guts, Resilience, Integrity, and Tenacity. From their site:

It takes a lot beyond academic readiness to succeed in college. Tackling challenges like dealing with a difficult roommate, finding the financial aid office and registering for classes requires resiliency and tenacity, and these are two character traits that College Track San Francisco is targeting.The site is working to make habits of mind and GRIT visible to all students by recognizing positive character traits that are linked to college success.

They went a step farther and created a rubric for students that measures the seemingly immeasurable (check out this talk by Will Richardson on the immeasurable in education).


How cool is that?!?! This program is taking a BIG idea like Grit, and making it tangible for students to understand. In a world that is constantly connected, and “flattening” more and more by the day, the people that succeed need grit. This rubric may be made for college, but it applies to all levels of life. If you want to be successful, you need Guts, Resilience, Integrity, and Tenacity. Please share this with educators, parents, and students you know. It may just open their eyes.

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19 comments… add one

  • Thank you AJ. This is so simultaneously powerful and sensical! These are exactly the kinds of measures that our students need to develop their growth mindsets. JPA – Just plain awesome!

    • Robert, I agree. JPA!

      • AJ, make this post perfect by removing the extra “u” in immeasurable in the title. I’ve got your back on this one!

        • Thanks! Done :)

  • AJ,

    Thanks for this useful post. I, too, wrote a blog post about grit recently that takes a similar path to understanding how it applies to students. Mine takes a slightly different approach to G.R.I.T.

    Here is a link to it. I hope it helps.

    From one educator to another, thanks for being a part of this important conversation.

  • Hi! So cool that you found this. I’m actually the creator of the rubric and I’d be happy to share an updated version with you if you’re interested. Thanks for being a proponent of our work and of College Track.


    • Hi Lia,

      Great job on this! It is so important for us to reframe our thoughts of success from students. Could you email me the new rubric?


    • Hi Lia, what a great rubric! Could you please send me the updated GRIT rubric? Thanks for sharing!

      Cheers, Kristen

      • Sure – send me your email!


        • Me too, please!!! Lia, I would love the updated rubric! It has been the basis of so many interesting discussions with my students and colleagues! Thank you! Christy

        • Hi

          I would also Love the updated version!

          :) Beautifully done. Game changer!!

        • Please send me the updated rubric too please.
          I appreciate your work.

  • OK, this is very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wonderful, what a blog it is! This weblog gives valuable information to us, keep it up.

  • I just listened to the podcast interview you did with The Cult of Pedagogy where you talk about 20% time. I had to immediately find this Grit rubric when you spoke about it and I love it! It all makes so much sense to help our students. Thank you!

  • What an excellent idea! Thank you for sharing this rubric! We have always felt that our students need to develop grit-many of our postgrad students lack this too-making a rubric is awesome!
    Please could you email me the updated version of the rubric ?
    Thank you! Nayana

  • Would you mind sending the updated rubric to me too, please??

  • I’ll be sharing the GRIT rubric with staff to support my encouragement for them to extend learning and promote engagement.


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