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  • Grades versus Growth

    Posted by Christine Betley on March 17, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I am struggling in a new district where students/parents do not have a clear understanding of their achievement towards grade-level standards. My students are disproportionality scoring on the lower end of nationally normed tests (ie. PARCC). However, grading policy and teacher autonomy have obscured this reality from parents and students. Further, the community is very strongly focused on “grades” regardless of whether they accurately communicate a student’s understanding. They expect As and Bs despite students demonstrating below grade level understanding on standards and are devastated by grades that more accurately reflect current achievement.

    Personally, I hate the way we grade but that is beyond my pay scale. I need help communicating students’ strengths and weaknesses in a way that is accurate and growth-oriented, but also doesn’t contribute to the ill-effect of students/parents feeling unsuccessful within the confines of a traditional grading system.

    Leslie Dulock replied 3 years ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Leslie Dulock

    March 17, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    What are your thoughts on capturing grades based on specific standards?

    My teachers capture the students grades not by assignment, but on specific TEKS. For example, {8.8C – solving equations with variables on both sides} would be entered in to the gradebook. The teacher would capture the student’s current level of mastery through conferring with the student, an in-class assignment, Canvas assignment, quiz and even a unit assessment. On my teacher’s unit assessments, the assessed standards are broken down by question for the students to see how their performance on individual TEKS effects their overall average.

    While this doesn’t solve the expectation of A’s and B’s from parents, it does create a clearer picture of reality for the parents as to where their student’s strengths and weaknesses are.