Assessment, grading and rigor: toward common sense and predictable outcomes on tests

Granted, and...

Over the last few months I have worked with a number of high schools and middle schools where the grading and assessment practices simply do not work in a world of standards. The schools are not making local assessment rigorous enough in their concern with demoralizing students through low grades. The solution is straightforward: don’t thoughtlessly translate scores into grades.

The problem. Schools have to meet standards, and local assessment should prepare kids to deal with the standards as tested by PARCC and SB. But the new tests are harder and more rigorously scored than most local tests. So, test scores will have to be low. (Anyone following NAEP results has known this for years, alas.) This seems to run headlong into a long tradition of grading whereby we do not want to punish kids with low grades (akin to the outrage over sharply-lower school scores on accountability measures this…

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