Monday, March 24, 2014

HS PTA Coffee: Learning and Grades

Image, Coffee and Cream via Creative Commons by Will Keightly
The topic for this month's HS PTA Coffee is "Learning and Grades"and we'll be talking about the school's plans for improving grading and reporting for students. Over the past year a schoolwide Grading and Reporting task force has been studying standards-based grading and there are plans to change our practices starting next year. In this meeting we'll focus on helping parents better understand the following:

  • What is standards-based grading?
  • How does standards-based grading differ from Graded's current system in the high school?
  • What changes will students and parents notice in the future?

We hope that you will join us on Wednesday for this very important topic. 

For those of you who would like to learn more about the topic feel free to take a look at the following resources.

The Atlantic article, Letter Grades Deserve an 'F' by Jessica Lahey

"However, if the purpose of academic grading is to communicate accurate and specific information about learning, letter, or points-based grades, are a woefully blunt and inadequate instrument. Worse, points-based grading undermines learning and creativity,rewards cheatingdamages students' peer relationships and trust in their teachersencourages students to avoid challenging work, and teaches students to value grades over knowledge."

AASSA Conference presenter Doug Fisher shares his school's story in No Penalties for Practice. 

Although many question the value of grades-especially when they’re used to bribe students to complete work (see Kohn, 1999)—when they are given, they should reflect students’ understanding of the content. As one teacher noted, “I realized that bringing a pencil to class was not one of the algebra standards.”

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