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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Should a grade reflect effort or achievement?

Here is an age-old debate for you.

How much should a student's grade reflect their knowledge and skills in the subject area. All of it? Almost all of it?

Or should a teacher give extra credit for trying, for working hard etc?

Or should good behavior be part of the grade?

Or should the grade be strictly an academic issue with behavior and work ethic recorded on a grade card somewhere else?

What SHOULD a grade represent?

Here is an interesting Washington Post article on the issue.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adding another topic to the debate: should a calculus II grade count equally with a freshman PE grade in determining overall grade point average and class rank?

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what we think a students grade should be the teachers will still find a way to credit them the way they want.

How about a report card for teachers? When a student forgets a paper at home they get less credit for the assignment because the teachers are teaching them a lesson in responsibility. But what happens when a teacher messes up? Do they apologize to the student? NO! How about when they loose a paper that a student turned in? Do they admit their mistake? NO!

Anonymous said...

I think it should be left to the teacher how to award a grade - so long as the expectations and rules of such grading system are communicated to the students (and their parents) the first day.

I rarely did my homework whien I was in High School - and my grades reflected that. I chose not to do it - I was awarded my just grade.

Dave Shearon said...

As Philip Daro has said, we already have standards, and students know what they are. He points out that our standards are whatever it takes to get a "B" in Ms. So-in-so's room. Obviously some rigor in that expectation, and some consistency across a districts (state? country?) is a goal. How to get there? Well, it won't be by a "policy". In general, teachers change behavior like other professionals, only through small groups engaged in reflection and trying things to improve their practice.

(For notes on the Dr. Daro's speech where I got that quote, see
http://www.shearonforschools.com/vanderbilt_chancellor.htm.