Grade Policy Review
Solidifying what works and fixing what doesn't
As with all good teaching practices grading design requires self reflection. Identifying the things that work and the things that don't work are equally important.
- Things that work should point directly to student achievement and learning. They should be easy to justify and their importance should be easy to explain.
- Things that work should have intuitive support from all investors. Investors in the grading policy should include students, parents, teachers and administrators.
- Things that don't work produce road blocks to student achievement and learning. They are difficult to justify and continually produce uneasyness.
- Things that don't work cause contention from one or more of the investors.
- The grading policy has cleaned up superficial grade inflation. Things that have nothing to do with content are no longer a part of a grade.
- The grading policy is a teaching tool that helps students see specific areas of deficiency. Standards based grading encourages students to re-learn and re-asses sections of curriculum that did not happen before.
- Re-assessment allows school to be a safe place to fail and recover. Partical or standards based reassessment encourages students to fill in knowledge gaps that other grading systems do not encourage.
- The grading policy defines what a grade means. A grade is a communication of current understanding of specific material. As the understanding improves the grade reflects as such. The timing of the understanding is removed from the grade communication.
These things work well:
- Grades are generated only from assessments of learning.
- The concept of a learning safety net, implemented through reassessments.
- The concept of standards based reassessment and allowing students to reassess only standards that are below expectations.
- Using a grade to assess understanding and not nessicarily the timeing of the understanding.
There are TEKS for everything that a school delivers to students. That is simply not true.