As I review about 250 report cards tonight, I can't but help wonder do they represent what they should? To be quite frank, I'm not feeling very good about this.
When we give grades, what are we trying to say? That this grade represents their subject knowledge and understanding. Or does this grade represent a topic that a student struggled with for weeks but now understands thoroughly, but can't overcome a 30 and a 40 from earlier tests?
When I started teaching I admit to being a hard ass. A student earned what they earned and that was final! My God what an idiot I was...
I used to give zeros....
What did that prove? Who was I helping? (Or was I just being lazy!)
My 8th grade daughter currently has a B in one subject instead of an A. Why? because she is missing some homework assignments.
Wait, what? She has an A for tests, quizzes, and classwork, so she has shown that she knows and understands the content. The missing homework, does this take away from her knowledge, her understanding?
I was in a Tweet Chat a few weeks and someone proposed eliminating grades entirely. I had never given it much thought before, but the comment was made by a person I respect. I have given it some thought and I concur. A key question for me is if you get you license on the first time or the tenth time, does it look any different? Are your tests averaged together? No, each road test (opportunity) gives you a chance to demonstrate your knowledge and show that you have mastery of the subject matter.
Let's measure end knowledge and understanding, not the process of learning.
How could we replace grades? what should we use to measure knowledge and understanding? Would colleges accept such radical changes?
Thoughts, suggestions, ideas?