Standard Based Grading

I wonder how many educators "buy" into standard based grading.  I recently attended a workshop by Ken O'Conner, author of How to Grade for Learning and I found the workshop absolutely confirming of ideas I had had swirling within my head for years and practices I had implemented without attaching a name to them.  It was a freeing experience.  The passion I feel for the topic is the impetus for this blog.

I attended the conference as a role I have as part of a focus group currently evaluating standard based grading and the possibility of implementing it school wide.  I am convinced it is the only way and am moving my classrooms in that direction regardless of what official policies the school adopts.  Taken from an article I recently read, I want my lessons "from the warm-up at the beginning of class to final grades...[to be] formative-minded, or about finding out 'how well do my students know this?'" (How We Got Grading Wrong and What to Do About It by Laura Varlas ASCD 55:10 Oct. 2013).  

After the conference, the four of us who attended presented to our focus group the ideas of the conference and a proposal to move forward.  Next week on Wednesday we will offer an initial presentation to the staff to simply get everyone thinking about grading practices. 

Here are the books, among others, I have on my nightstand:

  • How to Grade for Learning by Ken O'Conner
  • Standard Based Teaching: A Classroom Guide by Danell Elder
  • Developing Standards-Based Report Cards by Thomas R. Guskey and Jane M. Bailey
  • Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading  Thomsas R. Guskey, editor

I plan to keep track of this journey of implementation (and other teaching experiences) on this blog.  Please feel free to add comments and thoughts on the topic, especially if you have any experience with standards based grading.