Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guskey and Grading

I had the enormous opportunity yesterday to see Thomas Guskey speak about GRADING. For me, grading has always been a struggle. I strive to be fair, efficient, and clear. However, there always seems to be gray areas when it comes to grades.

During his talk, Guskey noted the following:

Given how much we know about grading...
And how long we've known it...
It is unbelievable how long we've ignored the research in our schools!

Essentially, there is an implementation gap. We know the best practices, but we maintain culturally accepted practices that do not push student achievement forward.

Did you know?
  • Grades have some value as rewards, but they do not have any value as punishment.
  • The more grading categories you have, the more subjective your system will be!
  • Student CAN and DO learn without grades.


Quakertown Community School District is currently exploring standards based grading. It has not been easy, but the district is doing a great job. They have increased the rigor presented in their classes, and they have provided specific information about student progress. Also, students are encouraged to engage in 2nd chance learning, and they are rewarded for reaching mastery at any point in the semester. Want more information? Check out their program here.

1 comment:

  1. I share your struggle. The shift for me and my district is difficult and going to be a long process but believe as you do that it is a necessary change. Great post.

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