The first session I attended at NCTE was Faking the Grade. I went to this session with Laura and the room was so crowded we both had to sit on the floor in the front of the room. On the up side, I had never heard of the grading system these teachers were describing.
These teachers were from a vocational school and they started off by asking whether an essay grade really reflects the student’s writing ability. Many of the teachers in the room had different ideas of what a D meant on a paper so that question seemed to rely on a teacher’s personal grading methods. Therefore, the teachers from the vocational school introduced their grading system: Standards Based Grading.
The standards that this school focused on were: Reading and Literacy, Writing, Language, Speaking, and Work Habits. Each of these categories were 20% of the student’s final grade. These teachers seemed to believe that this type of grading solves the problem of us all being “Slaves to the 100%.” Since I am not totally great at explaining this, here’s a little chart that might help understand the rationale behind Standards Based Grading:
If you click on the picture, the blog the picture is on will also further explain Standards Based Grading.
I am not quite sure about implementing Standards Based Grading because I do not like relying solely on standards in the classroom. However, I did enjoy looking at a different system besides the traditional because that means that some schools and teachers are trying to think outside the box.