As the regs around here know, I've gone whole hog with standards-based grading in my classes this year. The kids and I are learning how to handle things and I think we're doing pretty darned well...except for one thing.
My sophomores "get it." They are speaking the language of assessments (formative and summative)...they know that they're aiming for 3's on their work...they understand using the median...and so on. They ask me why their other teachers don't grade like me and wonder about how to start these kinds of conversations with their teachers. They appreciate and learn from feedback and like the way we determined progress at the quarter.
My juniors and seniors, however, are totally lost. It appears as if whatever happened during their sophomore year has completely brainwashed them into being point whores. They have no care about whether or not they learned something, just "Did I get credit for turning it in?" Not a single one of those students has come in for tutoring or the opportunity to reattempt a summative assessment. They don't want to engage...and just let the teacher fill their heads without actually being responsible for any learning. As you might imagine, not much seems to be happening
What happened, I wonder, as sophomores? Were they beaten into the ground with zeros? Are they so used to "read the book and answer the questions" that they have forgotten how to think (as I ask them to do as often as possible)? When did school become a competition of "What grade did you get?" for them...and why? Who's been messin' with their heads?
If nothing else this year, I'm going to make sure that my sophs don't fall into that pit.