Grades versus Growth
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.