Weekly Coaching Communication

Make it a great day -- every day!

16 -- 20 May 2016

On the Standards Front . . .

Guskey & Bailey's Product, Process, and Progress

In Dr. Tom Guskey and Jane Bailey's book Developing Standards-Based Report Cards, chapter four, "Developing Reporting Standards," discusses three different types of "learning goals": product goals, process goals, and progress goals. Each goal is explained individually:

  1. Product goals describe the major cognitive and academic learning outcomes being sought. They provide the foundation for standards-based reporting, as well as all standards-based approaches to teaching and learning (as cited in Stiggins, 2008b). Product goals center on what students should know and be able to do at a particular point in time. Grades or marks based on product goals are usually determined from the results of students' performance on summative exams, final products such as reports, projects, or exhibits; overall assessments; and other culminating demonstrations of learning.
  2. Process goals focus on learning activities and classroom behaviors rather than on specific learning outcomes. They derive from the belief that grading and reporting should reflect not just the final results but how students got there. In other words, process goals consider how students behave while they are learning. Some researchers consider these goals to be "enabling behaviors or traits" (as cited in McMillan, 2001). Responsibility, effort, study skills, work habits, homework completion and quality, class participation, punctuality in turning in assignments, attendance, and other similar aspects of learning all relate to process goals.
  3. Progress goals consider how much students gain from their learning experiences. They relate not necessarily to where students are but to how much improvement has been made over a period of time. Other names for progress goals include "learning gain," value-added learning," and "educational growth and development." (Guskey & Bailey pp. 50-51).

Product goals are what most teachers are used to grading. Using well defined objectives and purposeful rubrics, teachers evaluate projects, papers, speeches, etc. and currently give a grade based on the total points. These are summative products to show a culmination of learning. Guskey claims that those "major cognitive and academic learning outcomes" (p.50) should be the basis of the grade for products rather than just total points or a weighted average. Although Guskey acknowledges there is value in providing product grades to show that student's achievement at that one point in time, the goal that best fits with the standard-based learning model we are trying to implement is through the progress goals.

As Guskey and Bailey note, progress goals "focus on how far a student has come over a period of time . . . and can be highly individualized" (p. 51). The ultimate goal of standards-based learning is to personalize the learning so that each student can reach his or her maximum potential. Our agrarian calendar and traditional leveling of students by grade bands based on age does not allow for a true test of personalized learning; however, through standards and progress grading (using standards unwrapped into learning targets to assess student knowledge and performance and allowing for the reassessment of those learning targets in the standard) we can make an attempt to personalize learning as much as our current constraints allow.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provides standards for 21st Century Skills, including employability skills. Many schools are using these standards and skills to write and measure students' process goals. The practice of standards-based learning is to separate the behavior feedback and influence from the academic ability. Effort and accountability have their place in teaching and learning, however, as Guskey and Bailey report, it is best to keep the process grades separate from the product and progress grades (p.53).

In fact, Guskey and Bailey recommend that all three learning goals be kept separate and reported separately: "The intent is to provide a more accurate and more comprehensive picture of what students accomplish in school" (p.53). The achievement grade, or product goals, "represents the teacher's judgment of students' levels of accomplishment and performance relative to explicit product goals or standards established for the subject area of the course" (p.53). In other words, teachers evaluate products that are specific to that content area to determine the achievement for that student. The "Citizenship Grade" (p.54) is based on the process goals, where the homework completion or quality, punctuality, etc. is taken into consideration. Lastly, the progress of specific skills and progression of learning targets is specific to the level of learning and developing proficiency.

Guskey and Bailey report that "employers and college admissions also like seeing separate grades or marks for product, process, and progress goals because they offer more detailed information about students' accomplishments" (p.55). And, although the grades are separate, the needed numbers to figure GPA and class rank can still be compiled.

Currently, Power School averages all of the standard and learning target work into a product grade, noting the students' achievements in a course. Students and parents have to look at each individual standard to see the progress, and process is not being assessed.

Changes to our grading process and how we look at standards in terms of the three learning goals are coming. It is all part of the shift that has to happen to implement standards-based learning and continue to improve our practice to raise student achievement.

Quick Clicks

Quotation of the Week . . .

This past week on Thursday, the 12th of May, Derek Dixon from English Valley and Sara Mohr, from GWAEA, visited to observe our Social Studies and English teachers and to discuss practices with standards-based learning. Derek and Sara were both quite complimentary of our students and staff and our facilities, including the middle school.

Huge shout out of thanks to Mr. Tupa, Mr. Burke, Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Husmann at the high school and Mrs. Grief and Mrs. McNeill at the middle school for being so generous with their time and classrooms. Another shout out to Mrs. Dierks, Mrs. Mahoney, and Mrs. Smock for being willing to share until the schedule changed and the afternoon agenda was cut short. The conversations were great, and I'm in awe listening to the experiences and learning happening among these teachers. It was true collaboration among adults to learn and share better ways of teaching.

I'm more in awe of how quickly we can lose sight of how good we really have it. I know we complain of kids who lack motivation and are complacent with not performing optimally; however, hearing Derek and Sara's compliments about the enthusiasm our students showed in the classes they observed and the congeniality of our school was a stiff reminder to not look a gift horse in the mouth. Our very own teachers who are retiring reminded us of the greatness of the students and staff at the Staff Appreciation assembly on Tuesday.

The interactions in our hallways and classrooms is a testament to the caring relationships and the positive attitudes teachers and students have with each other and our guests. Teachers have pride because our students have pride. CPU really is a good school and a great place to work. Let's not lose sight of how good we have it. #SPP #nobetterplacetowork #makethechoice

Coaching Schedule -- see Google Calendar for specific "Busy" times **schedule subject to change**

Monday, 16 May

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources

Tuesday, 17 May

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources

Wednesday, 18 May -- Data Team Meeting 7:30 AM -- LAST ONE!!!!!

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources
  • 11:30 Volleyball Meeting in Husmann's Room

Thursday, 19 May -- STATE TRACK

  • Serve Teachers & Students
  • Classroom Observations
  • Research & Resources

Friday, 20 May -- STATE TRACK

  • Pope/Libolt IC Meeting -- 7:30 AM
  • MS/HS Planning Meeting 9-11:30AM
  • IC Team Meeting
Pope's IC Weekly Communication Archive & Index 2015-2016

Click on the link to access prior weekly communications.

Contact Information

Instructional Coach

Center Point - Urbana CSD