Standards drive virtually every aspect of education, yet so few schools embrace standards-based grading (SBG) across all grade levels. If we truly want to know what our students can do then we need to seriously consider implementing SBG. This article describes a number of reasons that SBG is the way to go.
When I first heard people talk about "no zero" policies I thought the idea was ludicrious. Why would a teacher give students credit for nothing? But as I began to learn more about the practice, I began to appreciate the logic behind no zero policies. In this video, Rick Wormeli discusses why it is important to revamp our grading policies. He also addresses the issue of the impact that zeros have on an average. You will never look at grades the same way again.
When I first heard teachers talk about throwing out grades I thought they had completely lost their minds. If you have never considered the idea or if you are opposed to it, I urge you to read this article by Starr Sackstein. She reflects on the factors that caused her to rethink how she was moved from a traditional method of assessment to completely throwing out grades. I think many teachers will find they can relate to the points that Starr makes.
We live in a society that is obsessed with grades, but what do grades mean anyway? They don't give us any indication about what students know or can do! Their sole purpose is to rank students. In this interview, Mark Barnes, one of the leading advocates for throwing out grades, shares his beliefs about why grades are bad for students and for learning.
What does a grade reflect? Sometimes a student might master the work but receive a low grade because they don't do their homework or because they have have poor attendance. Is this fair? Can students re-do work? If so, how much credit can they get? Rick Wormeli addresses these questions as well as many others in this book.