This week’s Take5 is all about standards based grading. I believe in it (I think) but my school hasn't adopted these practices. Instead, our school's policy is based on the curriculum teams' preferences. Changing our team's particular grading policy would require a reckoning and revamp that we haven’t tackled...yet. I admire my math colleagues who adopted standards based grading at my school years ago not because they were told to but because they thought it was the right thing to do for kids. To add another layer to my thinking, when as a parent I hear friends of school-aged children talk about standards based grading, I get impression that they don’t like it or they don’t fully understand it or they don’t fully understand it AND don’t like it.
So why today's post? I think standards based grading is the future as educators continue to focus on bringing equity to our classrooms. To that end, I to want to learn more and hope that through my own learning I can move closer to these grading practices and maybe become brave enough to advocate for it in my collaborative team. Bonus: the more I learn, the more I will be able to explain it to my friends when it comes up in my mom world. So Take5 and dive into standards based grading with me. Together, we might just broaden our understanding.
1) This recent Mindshift article entitled How Teachers Are Changing Grading Practices with an Eye on Equity is a great place to start an exploration of Standards Based grading.
2) Because I find that conversations about grading can become difficult quickly, Why it is Crucial --And Really Hard --to Talk About Equitable Grading was my next read. It takes a closer look at how grades are calculated and constructed.
3) Seven Reasons for Standards Based Grading (an ASCD article) articulates the why behind standards based grading in a thorough and compelling way.
4) I also like Education Week's Standards Based Grading Made My Kid Average by Peter Dewitt because I think it addresses some of the concerns parents have about these new grading practices. It's really hard to divorce ourselves from education as we knew it as students. If it worked for us, why shouldn't it work forever?
5) Lastly, this Edutopia article: 3 Peaks and 3 Pits of Standards Based Grading acknowledges that standards based grading comes with challenges that we need to overcome as teachers, parents and school districts.
What are your views about standards based grading? We'd love to hear from you.
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