A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades, 2/e
Communicating about student achievement requires accurate, consistent and meaningful grades.
Educators interested in examining and improving grading practices should ask the following questions:
• Am I confident that students in my classroom receive consistent, accurate and meaningful grades that support learning?
• Am I confident that the grades I assign students accurately reflect my school or district’s published performance standards and desired learning outcomes?
In many schools, the answers to these questions often range from "not very" to "not at all." When that’s the case, grades are "broken" and teachers and schools need a "repair kit" to fix them. A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades, 2/e gives teachers and administrators 15 ways to make the necessary repairs.
The "fixes" are in four categories that reflect common grading challenges: distorted achievement, low-quality or poorly organized evidence, inappropriate grade calculation and linking grades more closely to student learning. Student achievement isn’t only about "doing the work" or accumulating points. But, when students receive points for merely turning in work on time, or when teachers put a mark on everything students do and simply count them up to determine a grade, the message is clear: success is determined by the quantity of points earned, not the quality of the learning taking place. In fact, messages about learning quality get lost. Grades are artifacts of learning, and students need to receive grades that reflect what they’ve actually learned. That’s why this book advocates the implementation of grading systems based strictly on student achievement – and shows educators how to create them.
Ken O’Connor is a former Curriculum Coordinator with the Scarborough Board of Education in Ontario, Canada. He is an expert on grading and reporting with a particular emphasis on using these techniques to improve student achievement through student involvement. With over twenty years of teaching experience in secondary schools in Australia and Ontario, he has presented hundreds of workshops for teachers at every grade level, and is the author of the very successful How to Grade for Learning.