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Improving Instruction and Student Scores Through Standards-Based Grading

Improving Instruction and Student Scores Through Standards-Based Grading

Presented by Sarah McPartland, President, Benchmark Grading

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  • Who am I? Teacher for 9 years, moved to standard based grading after two years, before that I averaged. Story of my nephew and a few of my old students. Standard based teacher for the last 6 years. Proposal for class..disbelief that it would fill in one day with a wait list.
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  • Print. Give principals time in small group to discuss what they notice about each student.
  • Print. Discuss following questions on the next slide.
  • Discuss with principals what the benefit would be to have these discussions.
  • Give teachers a T chart with Pros and Averaging and have them brainstorm what they think are the pros and cons.
  • Through standards-based grading, teachers have the tools to identify students who have mastered the skill and who need re-teaching. Instead of forming high, medium, and low groups, teachers now have a tool to form standard specific groups. The students who need to advance on to another standard can and the students who need more instruction can receive it. Teachers also have the tools to identify students who are not showing understanding of testable standards which allows them time to modify instruction, find supplemental material to support the learner, and discuss with colleagues other strategies that might work before the student is assessed formally.
  • With the principals, do a compare and contrast between averaging and standards based grading. What do they notice?
  • If a teacher would have to assign a grade, which method would be the most accurate of the student’s performance? Using the evidence to decide when to assess instead of having the lessons decide when to assess.
  • Put in Cyndy’s Math III Unit 1 Standards Tracking.
  • Note that progress reports with the skills/standards noted on them empower both the student and parent to continue the learning process. Grading to standards allow students to assess their understanding of standards and set specific goals that are standards based.
  • By monitoring class success rate on specific standards, teachers are able to get immediate feedback on their teaching practices and change if necessary to work towards 100% attainment of the standard. This also empowers teachers to have conversations about their teaching practices using their own evidence of learning.

20101004 principalsconference 20101004 principalsconference Presentation Transcript

  • Improving Instruction and Student Scores Through Standards-Based Grading Sarah McPartland President and Co-Founder, Benchmark Grading Former Educator, Vancouver Public Schools
  • Are your teachers’ grading practices moving students towards success ?
  • “ If our grading systems don’t guide students towards excellence, it's time for something completely different .” -Patricia L. Scriffiny
  • Teacher’s Role in Grading
      • To decide what information provides the most accurate depiction of students’ learning at this time.
    •  
      • To decide what information goes into calculating a grade.
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      • To determine the weight that will be attached to each source of information.
      • To decide what method will be used to tally and summarize information.
      • To determine which method provides the most accurate summary of student achievements and level of performance.
  • Purpose of Grading To assign grades that fairly and accurately reflect students’ achievements and level of performance on specific standards/skills.
  • Averaging
      • Is this method fair ?
      • Does averaging provide the most accurate summary of each student’s achievements and level of performance?
      • Does averaging meet the purpose of grading ?
  • All units are of equal weight . Guskey, R. Thomas & Jane M. Bailey: Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning. California: Corwin Press, 2001 Student Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Average Score Grade Deleting Lowest Score Grade 1 59 69 79 89 99 79% C 84% B 2 99 89 79 69 59 79% C 84% B 3 77 80 80 78 80 79% C 79.5% C 4 49 49 98 99 100 79% C 86.5% B 5 100 99 98 49 49 79% C 86.5% B 6 0 98 98 99 100 79% C 98.8% A 7 100 99 98 98 0 79% C 98.8% A
  • Which method provides the most accurate summary of each student’s achievement and level of performance? Do all seven students deserve the same grade ? Would it make a difference if we knew the content of each unit assessment was cumulative ? (Unit 5 includes material from all five previous units.) Would that make grading easier? » » »
  • 1. Alex 5 F 5 F 14 C 14 C 12 D+ 16 B 80 B 146/200 73% C 2. Anna 4 F 4 F 15 C+ 13 D+ 13 D+ 18 A 100 A+ 167/200 83% B 3. Fred 5 F 5 F 13 D 15 C+ 14 C 16 B+ 88 B+ 156/200 78% C+ 4. Mya 5 F 1 F 16 C+ 16 C+ 13 D 19 A 95 A 170/200 85% B 5. Zeek 8 B+ 7 C+ 17 B+ 18 A 16 B+ 20 A+ 100 A+ 186/200 93% A
    • Notice the grades at the end show different results than from the beginning...
      • Should the first attempts be averaged in to the final grade?
      • How many times should we teach a concept?
  • Averaging
    •   Pros:
      • Good for identifying kids for selected groups or programs
      • Individual honor
      • Easy to calculate for teachers and professors
    •   Cons:
      • Lumps multiple skills together
      • Motivation to learn decreases – once students calculate that they can’t get an A, “Why try?” attitude kicks in
      • Doesn’t communicate understanding of specific skills
      • Lumps past assessments together – if students increase their score, the average doesn’t show their improvement
  • Standards-Based Grading
  • Standards-Based Grades are: Grades or marks that are directly connected to a set of identified standards .
  • Screen Shot from Benchmark Grading Grade Book
  • Screen Shot from Benchmark Grading Grade Book
  • Grades are connected to a specific standard, allowing the teacher to view student progress over time .   The teacher now has the benefit of identifying learning trends on specific skills within their student population and adjust their instruction based on the results they see from their grades . » Standards-Based Grading »
  • The four step process of Standards-Based Grading according to Guskey & Bailey.
  • Step One Team of educators identify the major learning goals or standards* students are expected to achieve at each grade level or in each course of study. * The state has done this for us, and districts that are forming PLCs are continuing this process. Guskey, R. Thomas & Jane M. Bailey: Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning. California: Corwin Press, 2001
  • Step Two Performance indicators* of those standards or learning goals are established. * Teachers decide what evidence best illustrates students’ attainment of each goal or standard. Guskey, R. Thomas & Jane M. Bailey: Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning. California: Corwin Press, 2001
  • Step Three
    • Developing incremental levels of attainment. 
    •  
      • Identify benchmarks or increments that show the students are on their way to meeting the goal or not meeting the goal.
      • Decide what evidence best illustrates students attainment of the goal or standard. (e.g., tests and projects that are standard specific)
    Guskey, R. Thomas & Jane M. Bailey: Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning. California: Corwin Press, 2001
  • 1.3.2 Understand and apply content/academic vocabulary critical to the meaning of the text. 2.1.5 Apply comprehension monitoring strategies before, during, and after reading: predict and infer from grade-level informational/expository text and/or literary/narrative text. 
  • 2.1.7 Apply comprehension strategies during and after reading: summarize grade-level informational/expository text and literary/narrative text.
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  • Educators develop reporting tools* to communicate teachers’ judgment of students’ learning progress and culminating achievement in relation to the learning goal or standard.   * e.g., report cards, progress reports, teacher-created documents Step Four Guskey, R. Thomas & Jane M. Bailey: Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning. California: Corwin Press, 2001
  • Screen Shot from Benchmark Grading Grade Book
  • Graph shows progress on standards Benchmark Status Graph from Benchmark Grading Grade Book
  • Standards-Based Grading
      • Skill-specific, which allows data to be used for diagnostic/ prescriptive purposes
      • Illustrates students’ attainment of goal or standard
      • Meaningful information on student achievements
      • Grades are referenced to specific criteria or learning standards, identifying students’ specific strengths as well as where improvement is needed to occur
      • Can be too specific, making report forms too cumbersome
      • Can be too complex for parents to understand
      • If standards are too broad, it is difficult to identify students’ unique strengths
      • A lot of work initially
    Pros Cons
  • What we can do to support teachers who are interested in standards-based grading ?
    • Have teachers start with one content area and do the following:
      •  
      • Identify the key standards .
      •  
      • Identify the prerequisite skills needed to understand the standard.
      •  
      • Decide what evidence best illustrates students’ attainment of the goal or standard.
    » » »
  • Start discussions with your teachers about the purpose of their grades . Talk with your teachers about a student’s first attempts at a skill. Should the first attempts be calculated in the final grade? Create definitions for each grade that is given in a class so the teacher, student, and parent have an understanding of what the earned marks mean. What you can do: » » »
  • 4 –Advanced (Consistently Meets or Exceeds Standard) Student demonstrates superior performance. Student shows in-depth understanding of complex concepts and skills and is able to apply their knowledge and skills to develop new understanding and solutions. 3-Proficient (Meets Standard) Student shows consistent understanding of the subject matter and is able to apply this knowledge to real world situations. Student can extend their understanding by making meaningful connections among important ideas or concepts and is able to provide evidence to support inferences and justifications of solutions. 2-Basic (Making Progress but Not Meeting Standard) Student shows partial mastery of essential knowledge and skills and partial success in tasks using this knowledge. Student is approaching acceptable performance, but has not yet achieved it. This student makes simple connections among ideas and provides limited support for their solutions and inferences. 1-Developing(No Progress or Very Little Progress) Student shows limited mastery of essential knowledge and skills. This student may require assistance in applying the knowledge and skills. This level indicates unacceptable academic performance. Sample Grade Definitions
  • Advanced : The student can perform the skill/standard with no significant errors on a continual basis and can apply the skill/standard to above grade level work. Proficient : The student can perform the skill/standard with no significant errors on grade level work and on a continual basis. Basic : The student makes some significant errors when performing the skill/standard but shows some evidence of understanding of the standard/skill. Developing : The student makes significant errors when applying the skill/standard that they can not complete the work. Sample Grade Definitions
  • A : Showed consistent evidence of understanding the grade level standard. B : Showed evidence of understanding the standard on an almost consistent basis. C : Showed some evidence of understanding the standard but not on a consistent basis. D : Showed little evidence of understanding the grade level standard. F : Showed no evidence of understanding the grade level standard. Sample Grade Definitions
  • An A means the student has completed proficient work on all course objectives and advanced work on some objectives. A B means the student has completed proficient work on all course objectives. A C means the student has completed proficient work on the most important objectives, although not on all objectives. The student can continue to the next course. A D means the student has completed proficient work on at least one-half of the course objectives but is missing some important objectives and is at significant risk of failing the next course in the sequence. The student should repeat the course if it is a prerequisite for another course. An F means the student has completed proficient work on fewer than one-half of the course objectives and cannot successfully complete the next course in sequence. www.ascd.org, Seven Reasons for Standards Based Grading,Patricia Scriffiny, October 2008, Volume 66 #2 Pgs:70-74,www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership?=/Oct08/Vol66/num2/Seven_Reasons_For_Standards-Based_Grading.aspx Sample Grade Definitions
  • Strategies to help teachers grade:
      • Use the most recent evidence.
      • Give priority or greater weight to most comprehensive evidence.
      • Rank order the evidence gathered in terms of importance to the course learning standards and goals. (e.g., projects that synthesize and apply what the students has learned instead of assessments that tap basic knowledge.)
      • Look at progressive data.
      • Make sure there is a standard-specific connection to assignments.
  • Guskey, R. Thomas & Jane M. Bailey: Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning. California: Corwin Press, 2001 O’Connor, Ken: How to grade for learning: Linking Grades to Standards 2nd Edition. Illinois: Skylight Press, 2002 Remember, a teacher ’ s professional judgment will always play a role  in grading.
  • Resources Free online Standards-Based grade book: http://www.benchmarkgrading.com Books: How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards by Ken O’Connor Developing Grading and Reporting Systems For Student Learning by Thomas R. Guskey and Jane M. Bailey     This presentation will be available online and linked from the BenchmarkGrading Facebook page. Sarah McPartland: [email_address]