The article below appeared in the York Daily Record from York, PA on July 10, 2015. It was written by Angie Mason who can be reached via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @angiemason1. I don't know if I've ever read a better real world case study on assessment-related issues than this article.
Please don't, after reading this, leave focusing on a fear of getting sued by parents. Instead, as you read it, look at all the different assessment related topics embedded within it. Notice class rank, GPA, zeros, grades impacted by behavior, communication between colleagues, school policies, extra credit, absences, full credit v. partial credit, make-up work, exams, detention, scholarships, college acceptance, etc. These are all topics we deal with regularly in schools, and they're all a part of this story.
My encouragement is for educators to read this article and then reflect on how it might have looked if this school - or at least the educators involved in this story - adhered to the principles of AFL. Specifically, how could adhering to the following concepts have altered the story:
- Assessment is primarily a feedback tool for students to guide their learning and for teachers to guide their instruction.
- The goal of teaching is learning, not grading.
- A grade should communicate a student's level of mastery of specific standards or learning objectives.
How would this story have played out in your school? In your classroom? How would the principles of Assessment FOR Learning have impacted this story?
Feel free to leave your comments!