Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nothing important, really

So, I did get to level 50 on freerice over Thanksgiving break. Of course, I had the help of the entire family! Haven't made it there on my own yet.

Of late, I have been doing quite a bit of reading about grading policies:

Hugh aka Repairman says No zeros! No zeros! and the Science Goddess chimes in with a chorus of "Standards-based grading!" (although it's been awhile, I know, I bin slack, so look for 'grading' as a label or go to the November 2007 archives and scroll down a bit)

Then again, Right Wing Prof returns with TBSS, that's not how the world works (or is it?!) and Mamacita says "you don't get points for NOT getting the ball through the hoop."

And then there's lil ole me, stuck in the middle, not sure what to think.

Blih. Gotta go - I've got papers to grade!


Mrs. Chili said...

It's a tough question, though I tend to side with the Mamacita's of the world. Substandard work does not fly in the real world - if we don't do our jobs well (whatever those jobs are), we get fired. Besides, if a student hands me nothing, what grade SHOULD they receive for the effort?

I've had endless conversations with teacher friends about this, and we can never seem to come to consensus...

The Science Goddess said...

The difference is simply that in a standards-based system, you're not grading them for effort. You're grading them for learning. The kids have to get the ball through the hoop.

If you want to evaluate effort, that's a behavioral issue. A kid who doesn't do their work earns a detention, a call home, or whatever consequence is appropriate.

Both learning and "work behaviors" are important---and things kids need to practice. Only one, however, is worthy of a grade.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Clix, SG said it simply and eloquently. Separate behavior reports from achievement reports. Otherwise, how will you have any idea how the kid is doing relative to state standards?

I posted my grading guidelines as a "page" on my new platform. They reflect the SBG attitude. SG and The Exhausted Intern put theirs on the Edubloggers wiki, which you can get to from their web sites and mine.

As for the "real world" argument? I can't buy it. School kids are in school, not the office, and besides, real world penalties are not so uniformly draconian as a statistically irresponsible zero.

We have to model responsibility, and to do that we have to take the high road -- evaluate the learning according to the learning goals articulated in the standards.

BTW, I don't consider rightwingprofe part of the grading conversation. (I see no evidence of cogent argument or of giving a hoot about anything but getting some attention.)

Thanks for visiting RepairKit now and then -- I was in a transition period when you last commented and was remiss not answering!

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