It seems like a no-brainer to me… students should be graded on achievement, not effort. However, every time I read about schools introducing Standards-based Grading to their parent community, the backlash is loud and clear… and very negative.
Take a look at this article out of Milwaukee, then read all of the comments. http://www.jsonline.com/news/grades-b9996297z1-223933981.html
First of all, I would like Arrty to speak with our teacher/parent community- he is so passionate (and refreshingly blunt).
Parents need to understand this necessary shift in education. The only way to get their understanding and support is through communication. This communication must not begin once the school, or district, has made up its mind- Parents need to be part of the process.
Oh, wait, I’m jumping the gun… the teachers also need to understand this shift in order to support it. They must understand how to assess learning, as well as behaviors – but separately. They must be able to support their grading practices. They must use meaningful feedback on formative assessments so students learn more (and better)- and then use the data from the formative assessments to direct their teaching. Therefore, teachers need to be part of the process.
Without the understanding and support of teachers and parents, this will be an unfortunate failure. Then we will be back to teaching for yesterday instead of tomorrow.
This is more than a shift, this is 21st Century Learning.
Who’s on the bus?