Monday, June 21, 2010


As an educator, communication is vital to compel productive student achievement and success. One manner of communication readily available and implemented most often is that of grading. Grading affords teachers the opportunity to provide students with feedback, and feedback is the most vital robust learning strategy. Since proper effective communication is vital to any relationship, it is easy to conclude that this would also apply to relationships educators have with students, their parents, administration, and colleagues.

The question I ponder today is; Does the grading procedures and system that we incorporate into our teaching reflect real student achievement, or does it prepare them for standardized assessment?

I personally desire to provide my students with quality assessments that will exhibit student work in relation to state standards. The grades my students receive should both communicate achievement and intelligence, and prepare them for assessment. I find this increasingly more difficult as I move toward a more technological approach to instruction and the state exams remains traditional in its assessment format.

Generally speaking evidence that is collected for grading purposes will either be an original student created piece of work, such as a project, or will be student created work in response to teacher created assignments. In either case the grade received will be indicative of the correct manner in which the work was created and compiled, not necessarily a true measure of student learning. Through teacher created tests, the grade received is based on the correct number of responses or skills that each particular student was able to achieve, match, or meet. When dealing with an original student created work the grade received will be the result of how the piece created by the students matches to the corresponding criteria and mastery level of a rubric.

According to the New York State Standards, students are required to be able to use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of geography, the history of the United States, the world from multiple perspectives, and the development of economic systems. As educators we are to teach so they have the ability to demonstrate multiple intellectual skills regarding these standards. but are they a true measure of achievement?

A look at my students Regents grades causes me to question many things. Things which I will address in the near future...

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