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Quit Focusing on Standards Based GRADING

Followers of this site know by now that Assessment FOR Learning is way more important than Assessment OF Learning.  In order to make sure our assessment and our feedback increase student learning, we need to communicate and assess in a standards based manner.

Many schools and school systems have begun their Assessment Journeys by focusing on Standards Based Grading Policies.  There are 2 key dangers of having Grading Policies as a point of focus:

  1. This puts too much emphasis on grading.
    Schools need to set the example for students that learning trumps grading.  Anything that reinforces the hyper-focus on grading that tends to motivate students will be detrimental to our goal of keeping our focus on learning.  This includes polices that create one-size-fits-all grading practices.
  2. Policy is not as valuable as professional development.
    There is no way to create a policy that addresses all possible scenarios.  However, a faculty that is well-grounded in Assessment FOR Learning philosophy can create its own logistical answers to the situations that arise.

Our friends at @CVULearns in Vermont have put together a wonderful argument for why focusing on Standards Based LEARNING is significantly more important that focusing on Standards Based GRADING.  All I can say is "Amen!"

Enjoy their thoughts here:

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