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standards based grading

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This summer, I had the opportunity to facilitate a multi-day K-5 standards based report card design workshop in a new-to-me school district that has recently begun shifting their assessments and assessment practices. As this initiative began, I blogged my previous experiences with standards based reporting in this space, and I also wrote about this team’s efforts to establish  norms and attend to transparency.  I entered this work on the heels of significant curriculum and assessment…

Sharing My Thinking and Learning and Work As promised, I’ll be sharing a few peeks into my work facilitating a standards based grading and reporting initiative in a New York State public school over the next several weeks and months. Each visit will bring me back to this space, where I’ll try to make our process and more importantly, our greatest discoveries and tensions, as transparent as I can. I’m hoping that this will…

When I was a fellow in Communities for Learning, Leading Lasting Change, I learned a great deal about seeking representation. “Who will be most affected by the shift you’re making?” I was asked. “How do you plan to assess their needs and interests and include them in the planning?” These questions came back to me as I began planning to plan a new standards based grading and reporting initiative a few months ago, and they…

Over the last ten years, I’ve facilitated district-wide shifts to standards based grading numerous times. As I prepare to begin again in a new-to-me school district, the memories of those professional experiences aren’t the ones rising to the top of my consciousness, though. I’m thinking about how standards based grading helped me parent better. I actually wrote a tiny bit about that on this blog, way back when. My daughter Nina was in fifth grade. She…

Standards based grading entered my little corner of the world on the winds of a perfect storm: teachers were acquainting themselves with a new set of challenging standards, they were eager to create a culture of learning after witnessing how our historic fixation on performance was influencing their kids, they recognized inconsistencies in their assessment and grading practices, and their report cards did not align well with their curricula. In short, their grades were meaningless at best and…

When I think back on initial conversations that took place surrounding standards based grading in the schools that I serve, I remember that the same questions kept rising to the surface. Establishing clarity and resolving dilemmas on the spot was critical, but often, issues were raised by representatives of grade levels or buildings, and I knew that the potential for the responses to reach everyone quickly and consistently wasn’t as high as we needed it…

HAPPY NEW YEAR WESTERN NEW YORK EDUCATORS! This week, I’ll be sharing a series of posts relevant to standards based grading. Over the last three years, I’ve learned and worked beside several district and building leaders as they’ve laid the foundation for this shift, and although the process has varied from one system to the next, these educators share one common understanding: they know that standards based grading cultivates far healthier practices and perspectives about learning…

I’m an instructional designer and an independent education consultant, as most of you know. In that latter role, I am typically hired to facilitate opportunity chasing and problem solving. I usually work with K-16 writing teachers who tend to be a highly creative bunch, and it’s rare that I don’t find myself learning more than I teach inside of any situation that finds me in rooms with these people. I get to have a lot…

Alignment matters. Defining the standards we expect students to meet, making them accessible to the kids we serve, and assessing and supporting progress toward them–this matters. Much. I’m not merely referring to state standards, either. I’m referring to the standards that our best practitioners–the experts in our field–have defined for us, based on decades of research. I’m referring to our personal standards and the ones that our school communities hold dear. I’m referring to the…

In today’s standards based report card design session, I shared a story from the road. It featured a devoted and tireless leader from another district that I supported in the same capacity a long, long time ago: I was doing a bit of norm-setting and establishing expectations relevant to transparency when it became clear that something was off. I wondered aloud if my friend was having second thoughts. Did he still want to move forward?…