Making Grades Relevant.

Please review Rick Wormeli’s video above. I am not suggesting that all schools immediately change over to a standards based “one size fits all” method of assessment. This is an impossible task. Ken O’Connor suggests that there are four conditions of quality for grades that must be met for appropriate student assessment.

Make Grades Accurate

  • Student behaviors and attendance MUST be separated from attendance, so that grades are a pure measure of academic achievement.
  • Do not penalize students for late work.
  • Eliminate the need for extra credit work. They have nothing to do with demonstration of standards achievement.
  • Group scores have no place for individual mastery.
  • Find an alternative to ZEROS!

Make Grades Meaningful

  • Base grades on Standards not Assessments.
  • Each standard grade could have an area for comments on student strengths, areas of improvement and general observations.

Make Grades Consistent

  • Teachers must develop clearly understood performance standards.
  • Eliminate the percentage system. We can’t describe or measure what the difference is between 87 and 88%!
  • The primary goal for establishing achievement levels is to gauge whether students are proficient or not.ideas together

Make Grades Supportive of Learning

  • Students MUST understand that the focus in the classroom is on LEARNING not accumulating points.
  • Use “no mark-Comment Only” with formative assessments. This means that homework, quizzes and daily work have no place in grades.
  • Ignore failings and emphasize successes. If a student was struggling in December and is proficient in January, December becomes irrelevant.
  • Involve students in assessments. Allow opportunities for self and peer assessments. Consider student-led conferencing.

The above conditions make it possible for students, parents and teachers to develop more positive attitudes about learning and school.

I would love to hear your comments!

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