This was part of a letter mailed to some high school staff in the area:
Another important thing to remember as you determine your grading criteria is the appropriateness of using participation as a grading criteria. We all know it is important for students to attend class daily and engage actively in class each day. Participation points are an excellent way to provide an incentive for students to be in class and to help hold them accountable for class attendance and participation. Consider adding participation points in your grading criteria if it is not already included.
If you've been reading here, then you can already guess that these statements didn't sit well with me. In fact, I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
The first sentence was okay. But instead of mentioning that grading participation was in no way appropriate, it got worse. Grading kids for behavior was suggested as something excellent. Furthermore, grades should be used to help hold kids accountable for attendance...fer cryin' out loud. Don't we have behavioral (and legal) policy for that?
I can't tell you that I have ever been or may ever be the perfect teacher. I freely admit that I have had some bad practices in the classroom---including my grading policies. I still have a lot to learn about working with kids. But it breaks my heart to read the words of an instructional leader that are so...off. How many teachers and students will be impacted by this? I hope that many of them read that paragraph and think "Thanks, but no thanks." to the idea.