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Reporting On Student Learning


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Reporting On Student Learning

  1. 1. Reporting on student learning: Seven Perspectives Phil Woodall Middle School Head St. Gregory College Prep August 26, 2009
  2. 2. Perspective #1: “Grading is not essential for learning <ul><li>1. As soon as grades are introduced, teachers, students, and parents emphasize grades rather than learning. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Students and parents have been taught to overvalue grades </li></ul><ul><li>3. Good Grades may motivate but poor grades have no motivational value. </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Do our current reporting of student practices focus more on the grade, the learning, or both? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Perspective #2: Grading is Complicated! <ul><li>Grades are shorthand, they are symbols that represent student performance. In order to arrive at grades, hundred of decisions have been made along the way, the final grade could be very different if any of those choices had been made differently. In particular, the decisions about how numbers are crunched are critical </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does our current practice of writing comments adequately get at the learning represented by the report card grade? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Perspective #3: Grading is Subjective and Emotional <ul><li>1. “What grades offer is a spurious rating masquerading as an objective assessment.” (A. Kohn) </li></ul><ul><li>2. “ A reporting based on points and percentages is inherently subjective.” (Marzano) </li></ul><ul><li>3. “Teachers’ professionals lives might be more pleasant if evaluating and reporting could be tidy and objective, but they aren’t. Evaluation is inherently subjective.” (Guskey and Bailey) </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does our current practice of student learning effectively screen out subjectivity? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Perspective #4: Grading is Inescapable <ul><li>Almost everywhere that schools or school systems have tried to remove grades from report cards, they have been faced with parental reaction so strongly negative that educators have been forced to return to traditional grades. </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is inappropriate to focus on trying to eliminate grades; it is more productive to focus on making grades better. The harmful effects of grades can be eliminated by a focus on clearer learning goals, more chances for success, more feedback, more reinstruction.” (Wiggins and Guskey) </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>How can our grades communicate more effectively about what a student knows and can do? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Perspective #5: Grading has a limited research base. <ul><li>“ Large proportions of teachers hold opinions and pursue practices contrary to what many assessment specialists would recommend based on their studies.” (Wiggins and Stiggins) </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Are you open minded about testing your beliefs and practices in the reporting of student learning? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Perspective # 6: Grading has no single best practice. <ul><li>The private nature of grading and the dramatic inconsistency in approaches within high schools and middle schools and colleges provide us with grading practices examples that have both advantages and disadvantages. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no one best way to grade. </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Are you open minded about improving our reporting of student learning practices? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Perspective #7: Grading that is faulty damages students and teachers . <ul><li>Our Goal: Expand our capacity as a school to make grading more meaningful, and demonstrate grading practices that support our learning goals and encourage student success. </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Can we do it? </li></ul><ul><li>Will we do it? </li></ul>
  9. 9. The End in Mind <ul><li>Expanded Format Reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Telling the Learning Story Using Multiple Lenses to focus on learning goals. </li></ul>