Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading

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As schools increasingly focus on standards-based educational requirements, many educators face significant issues about equitable grading policies for diverse student populations. This edited volume distinguishes critical concerns around standards-based grading from those less consequential and describes the research base for each issue as it relates to grading and reporting. Relating the research to implications for better practice, the contributors offer specific suggestions for improving grading policies and practices at the school and classroom levels. Their insightful essays offer practical responses for serious questions such as:

  • Why is grading inconsistent across states and districts?
  • Why do students' report card grades and classroom performance vary?
  • How can teachers assign fair and accurate grades to students with special learning needs?
  • How can educators assign fair and accurate grades to English Language Learners and effectively communicate the meaning of those grades to parents or guardians?
  • What are the legal issues that influence grading and reporting policies in an era of high-stakes accountability?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412967259
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/6/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas R.Guskey is Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. He has taught at all levels, served as an administrator in Chicago Public Schools, and was the first Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. He is the author of numerous award-winning books and over 200 articles and papers. Dr. Guskey served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, on the Task Force to develop the National Standards for Staff Development, and recently was named a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association, one of the Association’s highest honors. He co-edits the Experts in Assessment Series for Corwin Press and has been featured on the National Public Radio programs, “Talk of the Nation” and “Morning Edition.”

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction - Thomas R. Guskey The Difficulty of Change Background and Format Content Summary Our Hope References
2. Grading Policies That Work Against Standards...and How to Fix Them - Thomas R. Guskey Policy #1: Grading "On the Curve"
Policy #2: Selecting the Class Valedictorian Policy #3: Using Grades as a Form of Punishment Policy #4: Using Zeros in Grading Policy #5: Hodgepodge Grading Summary References
3. The Challenges of Grading and Reporting in Special Education: An Inclusive Grading Model - Lee Ann Jung Why Does Special Education Grading Matter?
Grading Adaptations Implications of Standards-Based Grading Inclusive Grading Model Step 1: Determine If Accomodations or Modifications Are Needed Step 2: Establish Standards for Modified Areas Step 3: Determine the Need for Additional Goals Step 4: Apply Equivalent Grading Practices to Appropriate Standards Step 5: Communicate the Meaning of the Grades Summary References
4. Assigning Fair, Accurate, and Meaningful Grades to Students Who Are English Language Learners - Shannon O. Sampson Challenges of Grading Students Who Are English Language Learners Special Considerations Accommodations Modifications Current Research and Knowledge Base Recommendations for Effective Communication Implications for Educational Policy and Practice Steps Toward Better Practice Communication Reflection References
5. Legal Issues of Grading in the Era of High-Stakes Accountability - Jake McElligott, Susan Brookhart Current Research and Knowledge Base What Is a Grade and Who Assigns It?
Students and Legal Issues in Grading Due Process and Equal Protection Grade Reductions Confidentiality Teachers and Legal Issues in Grading First Amendment Liability Implications for Policy and Practice Confidentiality Grade Penalties Appeals Policies and Due Process Educator Responsibilities Recommendations for Improvement References Appendix
6. Fostering Consistency Between Standards-Based Grades and Large-Scale Assessment Results - Megan Welsh, Jerry D'Agostino Description of the Problem Overview of Standards-Based Grading in the District Understanding Teachers' Assessment Styles Assessing Most Standards Grading on Achievement, Not Effort Creating or Borrowing Assessments to Supplement Text-Provided Tests Tracking Performance Skill-by-Skill Focusing on Attainment of Standards Instead of the District Text Grading With End-of-Unit Assessments Other Grading Strategies Focus on Overall Achievement Frequency of Assessment for Grading Purposes Multiple Assessment Approaches Clear Grading Methods Implications Changes in Report Card Format Organizing for Standards-Based Grading Lack of Alignment Between District-Adopted Texts and State Standards Skepticism From Parents and Teachers Recommendations Approaches to Organizing Grade Books Using Diagnostic, Formative, and Summative Assessments Separating Content Area Grades From Effort Selecting a Method for Computing Grades Differentiate Teaching to the Standards From Teaching to the Assessment References
7. Synthesis of Issues and Implications - James H. McMillan Current Grading Practices Key Role of Teacher Judgment The Fundamental Purpose of Standards-Based Grading Validity of Standards-Based Grading Fairness in Standards-Based Grading Standards-Based Grading and Student Motivation Student Standards-Based Self-Grading Standards-Based Grading and Feedback Where Do We Go From Here?
References Index

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