Year: 1996-1997
Month: January
Leader: Group D

Situation/Case Study:
TEACHER ROLE/RESPONSIBILITY

Description:
It was decided that the issue of grading would be discussed in a general way rather than focusing on a specific student situation this time.

Hypotheses:
1. A grade is a method of determining a ranking competence in a subject area. Its meaning tends to vary from teacher to teacher. It meaning is also varies from student to student. How to assign grades also varies even for an individual who sometimes may grade objectively and differently. 2. A grade is an artificial, extrinsic attempt to describe the work of an individual in a course. It is generally meant to compare her or him to others. Thus an A means the individual is superior to others in achievement for the course, etc. I myself grade students against a standard, allow work to be redone to meet the standard. It's a high standard but when met there is still quite a range of quality. Grades sort people and impact future opportunities. They may not reflect what has been learned. 3. A grade is a value marking placed upon a work by an outside force. It answers the questions: How did I do? How do I rate? Did I follow the guideline and meet your expectations? Do you like me? 4. A teacher may feel frustrated during "grading season" because; what is "A" work for one student may be "C" work for another. Where do you draw the line between these standards? 5. A grade reflects what the student is capable of. The grade represents a feeling they have about their work. It is a benchmark of progress. 6. A grade is a system of codes meant to simplify the analysis of student performance in school. The code letters are understood to signify the quality of a student's work while successfully completing the class (D-A) or the failure (F) to complete the class. Problem: there is no truly definable standard for course content, much less the differing interpretations of grades. Problem: grades have been inflated in recent years. 7. To me, a grade is a reflection of the knowledge and skills acquired in a particular unit of study with specific objectives and goals. A student's grade is made up of their responses to written statements and tests that are designed to evaluate the topics being discussed. To me, a grade therefore tells me whether or not a student has mastered the assigned material.

Theories behind practice:


Impact on others:


Solutions:
1. Try to get teams, schools, districts to discuss grades and what they mean. 2. Explain clearly to students what your grades mean. 3. Take opportunities to try alternative assessments.

Comments:
Everybody felt it worked well to divert from the stated process to discuss this issue.