Standards Based Grading

Standards Based Grading

July 28, 2016 at 12:13 PM

How did you go from concept to implementation?
What advice would you give a district just starting down this road?

Tags:
Display Messages: Threaded     Flat
3 Replies

Re: Standards Based Grading

September 15, 2016 at 12:04 PM
In West Branch, we started out talking about toxic grading practices (resources = Guskey and Reeves) seven years ago. We then had four teachers pilot SBG in their middle school classes - including using the SBG side of PowerSchool. The pilot allowed us to see which approaches worked best for our students/staff (i.e. should it be a 4 point system? a 10 point system? How do we handle homework grading?) Piloting the SBG side of PowerSchool (without opening it for public viewing) allowed us to see the effect of different scoring systems and grading calculations (i.e. Mode vs Average)

When it became obvious that we had reached a tipping point of staff ready to implement, we formed a committee to develop policies. This committee used Ken O'Connor's book A Repair Kit for Grading as a primary resource.

As curriculum director, it was also my responsibility to inform our local school board and garner their support. I purchased a copy of the November 2011 Educational Leadership magazine for each of them. This was extremely timely and allowed them to see that we were being progressive in implementing school reform. We also invited representatives from Solon CSD to discuss their implementation journey and answer board member questions.

We also had multiple family/community forums to describe the why and the how of SBG at each building level. The first forum had 80 attendees, the next one had 20 and the last two were poorly attended.
 

Re: Standards Based Grading

September 15, 2016 at 1:20 PM
In West Branch, we started out talking about toxic grading practices (resources = Guskey and Reeves) seven years ago. We then had four teachers pilot SBG in their middle school classes - including using the SBG side of PowerSchool. The pilot allowed us to see which approaches worked best for our students/staff (i.e. should it be a 4 point system? a 10 point system? How do we handle homework grading?) Piloting the SBG side of PowerSchool (without opening it for public viewing) allowed us to see the effect of different scoring systems and grading calculations (i.e. Mode vs Average)

When it became obvious that we had reached a tipping point of staff ready to implement, we formed a committee to develop policies. This committee used Ken O'Connor's book A Repair Kit for Grading as a primary resource.

As curriculum director, it was also my responsibility to inform our local school board and garner their support. I purchased a copy of the November 2011 Educational Leadership magazine for each of them. This was extremely timely and allowed them to see that we were being progressive in implementing school reform. We also invited representatives from Solon CSD to discuss their implementation journey and answer board member questions.

We also had multiple family/community forums to describe the why and the how of SBG at each building level. The first forum had 80 attendees, the next one had 20 and the last two were poorly attended.
 

Re: Standards Based Grading

September 15, 2016 at 5:20 PM
I would agree with the steps mentioned by Sara in her post. Based on the level of pushback that sometimes occurs in communities when anything "standards-based" is put forth in a public forum, I recommend communicating the discussions as grading and assessment reform, or fair and effective grading practices, etc. I'm also becoming more of an advocate for a scaffolded implementation model, in which SBG is rolled out first in the lower grades, then is followed through on as a cohort of students moves through each successive grade level (high school implementation is particularly difficult, although much needed, in my estimation), and I suspect it would be less so if students and parents were well acquainted with the model prior to their entry into the upper grades. I'm also a big fan of conducting a book study with one's faculty, which allows people to gain a better understanding of the principles and engage in honest, low-risk discussions about how more effective and defensible grading practices could be implemented in their respective buildings and departments at a manageable pace. Along with O'Connor's "Repair Kit for Grading," Guskey's "Developing Standards-Based Report Cards" is another good option for this. However, my current favorite text for an easy-to-read, highly accessible and defensible explanation of implementation from start to finish is Tammy Heflebower, et al's "A School Leader's Guide to Standards-Based Grading." I have an executive summary of the book and would be glad to send it to you if you give me your email address. I can be reached at randal.peters@drake.edu. Always glad to talk further about this topic.