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Assessment, grading, and the question of rigor: subjects to be explored as we plan for the start of the school year, during the course of the year, and again at the end of the school year. If you are looking for ways to continue the conversation, check out Grant Wiggins latest blog post. tlb
Over the last few months I have worked with a number of high schools and middle schools where the grading and assessment practices simply do not work in a world of standards. The schools are not making local assessment rigorous enough in their concern with demoralizing students through low grades. The solution is straightforward: don’t thoughtlessly translate scores into grades.
The problem. schools have to meet standards, and local assessment should prepare kids to deal with the standards as tested by PARCC and SB. But the new tests are harder and more rigorously scored than most local tests. So, scores will have to be low. (Anyone following NAEP results has known this for years, alas.) This seems to run headlong into a long tradition of grading whereby we do not want to punish kids with low grades (akin to the outrage over sharply-lower school scores on accountability measures this year).
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