22 October 2008

Carnival of Grading

A month ago, I posted an assortment of article and other thoughts collected from the edusphere on the subject of grading. Grading practices appear to be a rather hot topic, to which I say "Better late than never." These discussions have been put off for long enough. And now, I have a new collection to share with you. I am sure that I have missed a few---I don't have mad skillz where my aggregator is concerned---but you may still find an idea or two here that inspires you to jump headlong into the fracas. (Or, you can click on the "grading" tag below this post and see the ~70 posts I have on the issue.)
  • ASCD considers the issue of grade inflation at colleges and universities. "Teachers considered 'tough graders' risk poor evaluations and low course enrollment from students and losing institutional support from parents. Colleges like Wellesley and Princeton have enforced policies to raise the criteria for high grades, but so far, no widespread action has addressed grading inflation." I'm left wondering if the term grade inflation will still have a place in a standards-based world. I'm thinking it won't, but until then, higher ed is going to have some growing pains.
  • In addition, ASCD points out Seven Reasons for Standards-Based Grading, but Jim over at 5/17 is keenly watching the implementation of these practices in a neighbouring district.
  • While not specifically addressing grading, Polski3 is wondering about the possible impacts of Pre-Testing in the Classroom. I include a link here only because it does raise the question of what one might do if you discover there are students who are already at standard before you even begin a unit.
  • Meanwhile, back at the WaPo Ranch, parents in a second county are claiming that the Grading Bar Is Too High. "A parent-led campaign to overhaul Fairfax County's grading scale has sparked a similar effort in neighboring Loudoun County. The Fairgrade group is seeking to lower the Fairfax school system's cutoff for an A from 94 points to 90 on a 100-point scale, arguing that the higher bar hurts competitiveness in college admissions and scholarships. Now the effort has traveled up the Potomac River as Fairgrade Loudoun tries to make a similar change to the Loudoun school system's 93-point A" Personally, I think the parents are concentrating on the wrong thing here. I'd like them to care more about what the grade represents than nitpicky points.
Take your pick of the litter and click on over to join the fray!

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