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Meghan Cureton

NAIS - One School's Approach to Equitable Grading - 1 views

  • a student’s grade could be more reflective of the teacher’s approach to grading than the student’s academic performance.
  • because many of the teachers’ grading practices rewarded or punished students for every assignment, activity, and behavior in the classroom, students often were less willing to take risks and make mistakes, and cared less about learning
  • But Previna didn’t blame the teachers. After all, none of them—herself included—had ever received any training or support with how to grade
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  • She started by sharing a few articles about the weaknesses of common grading practices with the entire middle school faculty
  • Then she invited all faculty to research, examine, and imagine ways to align grading to their vision for progressive and equitable education
  • first learned how many common grading practices were created during the Industrial Revolution and are based on century-old beliefs about teaching, learning, and human potential that have long since been debunked. By continuing to use these practices, we contradict our current understanding about effective teaching and learning
  • After studying the research about grading and learning about research-supported grading practices that are more accurate, more bias-resistant, and develop intrinsic motivation in students, the pilot group of middle school faculty members was excited to start using them. These more equitable practices included using alternatives to the 0–100 scale, not including behavior in the grade, ending extra credit, using rubrics, and developing a culture of retakes and redos
  • Students were less stressed, and classroom environments felt more relaxed and supportive of learning.
  • Grade inflation decreased
  • Grades are more accurate and less biased
  • Students’ motivation increased
  • Changes to grading practices leverage other aspects of programmatic reimagining
Meghan Cureton

The Case For Competency-Based Education | Getting Smart - 0 views

  • transformed schools that feature tasks and projects that challenge young people in authentic ways to build design, collaboration, and communication skills that prepare young people for navigating new and complex situations.
  • Quality preparation. Much of the corporate training world has shifted from participation to demonstrated skills in order to improve job readiness.
  • Equity. If gap-closing equity is a stated goal, then structures, schedules, and supports can be aimed at struggling learners that need more time and assistance to accelerate their learning 
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  • Learning science. As Harvard’s Todd Rose notes, there is no average; each of us has a “jagged profile.” He and others argue that we should address the individual needs of learners.
  • Agency
  • The extent to which a student owns their own learning, often called agency, is key
  • innovation is required in five dimensions: More innovative learning models and networks, particularly for high schools (XQ, NewSchools, and NGLC grantees are a good start); Competency-based learning platforms, gradebooks, badge and portfolio systems; Quality guidance systems that ensure equity and access. Mastery-based transcripts that allow students to more fully share their capabilities with postsecondary institutions and employers; State policy that advances a relevant graduate profile, makes room for innovation pilots, and articulates a quality outcome framework (see the CompetencyWorks report Fit for Purpose).
Meghan Cureton

Want to Assess Noncognitive Competencies? Examine Student Work | GOA - 1 views

  • we should deeply examine student work, and this must include robust student self-assessment.
  • Unfortunately, many transcripts or report cards simply give course titles and grades. We should have transcripts and final reporting mechanisms that show the whole child, beyond their grades and their work in typical cognitive domains.
  • Using noncognitive competencies as assessment tools in courses and student projects is often something that teachers don’t have much expertise in. Many teachers have been hired for their content expertise and they are much more invested in, and/or have been trained in, the assessment and reporting of cognitive competencies.
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  • Ensure competencies are written in student-friendly language.Use single point rubrics.Encourage student reflection about their own work.Explore school models which encourage public exhibitions of student work and deep examination of student work, with students heavily involved and perhaps leading the assessment process.
T.J. Edwards

What IS the difference between competencies and standards? | reDesign - 2 views

  • Competencies, on the other hand, tend to emphasize the application of skills, knowledge and dispositions rather than content knowledge.
  • Competency-based models approach content as the backdrop, while putting essential skills and dispositions front and center. In this way, content serves as the context for practicing and demonstrating “transferable” competencies that can be applied in different contexts.
  • In competency-based models, the entire system must change. Students advance upon mastery  when they are ready, not when an arbitrary academic calendar suggests that they should be.
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  • Optimally, competencies are broad enough that student pathways and demonstrations of proficiency can be vastly different, organized to encourage and nurture student passions and questions.
  • Competencies sit above standards in terms of grain size.
  • competencies tend to encompass an interrelated set of skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and/or capacities.
  • competencies are often constructed as groupings of related skills or attributes that are purposefully designed to be explicit, measurable, transferable, and empowering to students
  • Competencies define skills that are practiced and developed continuously. They are not “one and done,” like many standards, which are course-based and attached to specific grade levels or bands.
  • in truly competency-based systems, PLDs are not attached to specific grade levels
  • we believe strongly that we must guard against tying PLDs to age-based grades or cohorts.
  • PLDs are guideposts to mastery
  • When learning outcomes are defined in terms of the application of skills or the synthesis and creation of new knowledge, we’re then talking about a much more sophisticated assessment type
  • competence is about successful application of skills and knowledge to achieve a particular purpose, not simply to show basic levels of understanding
  • In a true competency-based system, students can’t fail. Instead, students receive concrete and specific feedback on their work, and are provided with opportunities for additional practice and support in order to develop and demonstrate growth in their competencies.
  • Mastery-based grading and promotion policies are radically different in competency-based systems because promotion is based on mastery of specific skills, not on completion of courses made up of arbitrary and highly varied bundles of content, skills, and concepts.
  • As competency-based education gains ground in formal K-12 schooling, there is a very real chance that the movement could lose the “spirit” of its intent and become yet another, albeit more refined, form of standards-based learning
  • In competency-based models, performance level descriptors (PLDs) clarify the developmental journey from novice-to-expert or to "mastery."
  • Quite differently, competency-based models reach back centuries, with early apprenticeship learning that created pathways for mastery and gainful employment. Think: Medieval craft guilds, masonry, baking, carpentry, shoemaking.
Meghan Cureton

Reasons to Stop Using Rewards and Punishments in the Classroom - 1 views

  • How can we ask our students to take charge of their learning and think for themselves when we are using carrots and sticks to control their behavior?
Jim Tiffin Jr

A Plan to Kill High School Transcripts … and Transform College Admissions - 0 views

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    Top private high schools start campaign to kill traditional transcripts and change college admissions
Bo Adams

No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down | World news | The Gu... - 0 views

  • the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves
  • “The mission of a progressive school should be to prepare young people to cope with change, or better still, to make them look forward to change. In the 21st century, schools should see it as their job to develop strong personalities.”
  • “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.
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  • The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results.
  • “In education, you can only create change from the bottom – if the orders come from the top, schools will resist.
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    HT Education Reimagined Issue #17
Bo Adams

Stop telling us it's not about the points | thebloggerina - 1 views

  • If I focused on just learning all of the material instead of playing for points, I would fail.
  • If I learn now, I’m denied a bright future of learning later.
  • Even though I have good grades, my academic confidence is very low.
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  • As far as I know, the people judging our transcript will always win.
  • Instead, I would introduce a system of portfolios to let schools judge your real work and see you as a person, not as an average of numbers and letters.
  • If I had to put a date on when points became my main priority, I would say it was my first day of high school.
  • You could be wondering “Why doesn’t she want to focus on simply learning?” My answer is very easy. No one has time for that. Just as my day is split into 7 periods, so is my time after school. There is only so much I can do and only so much that I can handle.
  • If I learn now, I’m denied a bright future of learning later.
  • When I hear the frustration of my teachers about the desperation students have for points, I feel two things: guilt and a longing to be able to say that I don’t live on points and I fully submerge myself in my subjects. But that possibility seems untouchable, a million miles away.
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    #stuvoice
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    HT @MeghanCureton
Bo Adams

The Case Against Standards-Based Grading - And How to Respond to It | Solution Tree Blog - 0 views

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    HT @eijunkie
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