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Sea to Sky CSL Pilot Presentation


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Ongoing assessments and no letter grades reporting pilot from February to June 2017

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Sea to Sky CSL Pilot Presentation

  1. 1. School District No.48 (Sea to Sky)
  2. 2.  Welcome  Big ideas  Presentation by our teachers  Time for questions at the end
  3. 3.  Ongoing assessment aligns much better with the new Ministry curriculum and with our Pathways Strategic Plan.  In order to adapt our practice, it is necessary for districts like ours to work together with students and parents to explore better ways of supporting and communicating student learning.  There is now 70 years of research that tells us letter grades do more harm than good when it comes to student learning.
  4. 4.  The Ministry Interim Reporting Order has opened the opportunity for all districts to work with their community on assessment change.  The movement reaches well beyond the corridor and our School District. Several districts around the province are doing similar pilots or already have a no letter grade option.  Some districts haven’t issued letter grades in grades 4-9 for some time now.
  5. 5.  There will be a pre pilot survey and a post pilot survey to give parents a chance to inform the process. Teachers, principals, and senior staff will collect information from parents and students in an ongoing manner.  The learning that we do during this pilot will impact our future assessment and reporting policies and practices.  Indications are that as practices evolve, interest in letter grades will diminish.
  6. 6.  The pilot is for grades 4-9 only and will occur from now until the end of this school year.  Parents in participating classes would have been notified by email.  Currently 28 teachers have “opted in” to do ongoing reporting.  Parents of students in a pilot class may “opt out” - Letter grades will be available by request during scheduled reporting times. Indicate your preference to your child’s teacher in the normal way you communicate with them.
  7. 7.  There will be a final summative reporting document at year end (without letter grades – except by parent request).  Permanent Student Records will still be updated with letter grades at year end as per Ministry process.  Pilot teachers will still try to give ongoing assessments to all students and parents as best they can, even if parents indicate that they will want letter grades.
  8. 8. Parents Local Media
  9. 9.  We are modernizing our assessment and communication practices in keeping with what we know about what impacts student learning and achievement most, based upon decades of research.  Better supports our curriculum focus on student competency development and pathways to learning.  And yet…it’s a huge cultural shift so we need to take slow steps forward and we need to take them together. Hence the pilot project that we are embarking on.
  10. 10.  We are shifting from “reporting/report cards” (summative) to “communicating student learning” (formative) which includes describing and documenting learning in new ways.  We will be supporting meaningful communication between teachers, parents and learners including clear descriptions, collections of authentic evidence and/or demonstrations of student learning on an ongoing basis rather than letter grades reported three times per year.  Communications will use clear, criterion based, performance standards-based or continuum language to accompany assessments and work samples.
  11. 11. Alfie Kohn,MA Paul Black, PhD and Dylan Wilian,PhD Carol Dweck, PhD John Hattie, PhD Boston Kings College, London Jo Boaler, PhD University of Melbourne Stanford University
  12. 12. Br J Educ Psychology, 1988;58:1–14 (original publication date). on student achievement The impact of grades and comments on student achievement
  13. 13.  When the classroom culture focuses on rewards, gold stars, grades, or class ranking, then (students) look for ways to obtain the best marks rather than to improve their learning.  One reported consequence is that, when they have any choice, (students) avoid difficult tasks. They also spend time and energy looking for clues to the “right answer”.  As few as two “poor” scores or letter grades can significantly damage students’ perceptions of their abilities as a learner. Decreased efficacy results in students lessening effort or avoid/ abort their involvement in the task. (Marzano & Pickering,2011, p.15-16)
  14. 14. meta -analysis 50,000 studies and 200+ million students Visible effect size 0.4
  15. 15.  “We must constantly remind ourselves that the ultimate purpose of evaluation is to have students become self- evaluating. If students graduate from our school still dependent upon others to tell them when they are adequate, good, or excellent, then we’ve missed the whole point of what education is about.”  (p. 280) Costa, A. & Kallick, B. 1992. Defining Indicators of Achievement. ThousandOaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  16. 16. BGUTI  That leaves proponents of grades for younger children to fall back on some version of an argument I call “BGUTI”: Better Get Used To It (Kohn, 2005). The claim here is that we should do unpleasant and unnecessary things to children now in order to prepare them for the fact that just such things will be done to them later. This justification is exactly as absurd as it sounds, yet it continues to drive education policy.
  17. 17. Students will not do the work if not graded But teachers who can give a child a better reason for studying don’t need grades. Research substantiates this: when the curriculum is engaging – for example, when it involves hands- on, interactive learning activities — students who aren’t graded at all perform just as well as those who are graded (Moeller and Reschke, 1993).
  18. 18.  Move learning along a continuum  Promote growth mindset and life-long learning  Encourage meta-cognitive reflection  Develop self-efficacy  Increase ownership of, “buy-in”, and empowerment over learning
  19. 19. Options may include: Descriptive Feedback Digital portfolios Student Exhibitions/Three Way Conferencing
  20. 20. Tools Practices  Reading Assessments may include: DRA, PM Benchmarks, Jerry Johns, DART  Grade Wide Writes assessed with Performance Standards and Continuums  FSA  Classroom generated criteria  Core competency rubrics and profile statements  Triangulation of data  Teacher, peer, self assessments  Timely, ongoing, descriptive
  21. 21. Performance standards used to assess and set goals Descriptive vocab, variety of sentences, goal to work on editing for run on sentences Solid structure, goal to work on more descriptive vocabulary
  22. 22. Writing Continuums for assessment Student Comment- I am working on using metaphors and similes to make my writing more descriptive.
  23. 23.  “Letter grades don’t tell me what I need to work on.” Oscar, 10  “I felt great about my first letter grades because I got good ones. The letter grade doesn’t give me an example of what I needed to work on to get better in math. In ski school there is more explanation of exactly how to get better.” Tay, 9  “I kinda actually like it but don’t like talking about it with the class. If they didn’t get the best grades they don’t feel real good and if they did really good, they show off. Say you got a C+. “Oh I have to work on this at home but it doesn’t tell you what you have to work on exactly.” Ryan, 10
  24. 24.  Blackwell, L., Trzesniewski, K., & Dweck, C. (2007). Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention. Child Development, Vol. 78, No. 1, pp. 246-263.Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House: New York.  Boaler, J. (2016). Mathematical Mindsets. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from  Boaler, J. (2016). Aligning Assessment to Brain Science. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from assessment-brain-science/  Butler R. (1988) Enhancing and undermining intrinsic motivation: the effects of task-involving and ego-involving evaluation on interest and performance. Br J Educ Psychol. 1988;58:1–14. diepgang-in-leren.-Ruth-Butler-Engelstalig.pdf  Dweck, Carol. (2015). Mindset Works. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from motivation-grades-and-achievement-test-scores  Hattie, J. (2017). Hattie Ranking: 195 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from  Hattie, J. The Mindsets That Make the Differences in Education. John Hattie Visible Learning Laboratories University of Auckland Retrieved February 12, 2017, from
  25. 25.  Kohn, A. (2011, November). The Case Against Grades. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from  Lipnevich, Anastasiya A., (2008) Response to Assessment Feedback: The Effects of Grades, Praise, and Source of Information (2008) Educational Testing Service AAAAJ:u5HHmVD_uO8C  Sackstein, S. (2015) Hacking Assessment, Ten Ways to go Gradeless in a Traditional Grade School. Times 10 Publication, Cleveland.  Schinske J, Tanner K. (2014) Teaching More by Grading Less (or Differently). CBE Life Sci Educ. 2014 Summer;13(2):159- 66. doi: 10.1187/cbe.CBE-14-03-0054.  CBE Life Sci Educ. 2014 Summer;13(2):159-66. doi: 10.1187/cbe.CBE-14-03-0054.  Wilian, Dylan (1999) Formative Assessment in Mathematics Part 2: Feedback Equals: Mathematics and Special Educational Needs 5(3) 8-11; Autumn 1999