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On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting

On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting

by Thomas R. Guskey

Paperback(3rd ed.)

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Create and sustain a learning environment where students thrive and stakeholders are accurately informed of student progress. Clarify the purpose of grades, craft a vision statement aligned with this purpose, and discover research-based strategies to implement effective grading and reporting practices. Identify policies and practices that render grading inaccurate, and understand the role grades play in students’ future success and opportunities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935542773
Publisher: Solution Tree Press
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Series: Essentials for Principals
Edition description: 3rd ed.
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 232,627
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Thomas R. Guskey, PhD, is professor of educational psychology in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he served as director of research and development for Chicago Public Schools and was the first director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national research center.

Dr. Guskey is the author/editor of numerous books and book chapters, articles, and professional papers on educational measurement, evaluation, assessment, and grading. He coedited the Experts in Assessment series. His articles have appeared in prominent research journals, as well as Educational Leadership, Kappan, and The School Administrator.

Dr. Guskey is listed in the National Staff Development Council's Leaders in Staff Development. He is the only person to have won the Council's Book of the Year Award twice and the Article of the Year Award three times. His work has been honored by numerous organizations, and he has been featured on the National Public Radio programs Talk of the Nation and Morning Edition.

He served on the policy research team of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, the task force that developed the National Standards for Staff Development, and was named a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association, which also honored him in 2006 for his outstanding contribution relating research to practice.

Table of Contents

About the Author vii

Introduction 1

An Enduring Problem 3

Essential Beginning Steps 4

The Importance of Being Bold 7

Chapter 1 Define the Purpose of Grades 9

Shared Naiveté 10

The Purpose of Grading and Reporting 13

The Importance of a Purpose Statement 15

Key Questions in Defining the Purpose 16

The Report Card's Purpose Statement 20

Summary 21

Chapter 2 Challenge the Use of Percentage Grades 23

A Brief History 24

Modern Resurgence 25

Logistic Challenges 27

Accuracy Challenges 28

Percentage Grades Versus Percent Correct 29

The Zero and Minimum-Grade Challenge 31

Solution 32

Summary 33

Chapter 3 Challenge Plus and Minus and Half-Grade Increments 35

The Illusion of Precision 37

Research on Implementation 43

Summary 45

Chapter 4 Challenge Beil-Shaped Grade Distributions 47

Curving Grades 47

Prescribing Grade Distributions 48

Assumptions 49

Negative Consequences 51

Grade Inflation 52

Perspectives on Purpose 54

Summary 58

Chapter 5 Challenge the Computation of Class Rank 59

Why Do We Compute Class Rank? 61

Class Rank for College Admissions 62

The Selection of Class Valedictorian 64

What Becomes of High School Valedictorians? 66

Alternative Methods of Selecting the Class Valedictorian 67

Summary 69

Chapter 6 Challenge the Use of a Single Grade 71

Sources of the Problem 72

Hodgepodge Grading 73

Purposes and Criteria 74

Conflicting Solutions 76

Multiple Grades 77

Summary 80

Chapter 7 Challenge the Use of Mathematical Algorithms 83

Electronic Gradebooks 84

Mathematical Precision Versus Valid Grades 85

Questionable Grading Practices 88

Summary 95

Chapter 8 Challenge Practices That Confound the Meaning of Grades 97

Grades as Rewards and Punishments 98

Grades to Ensure Compliance 99

Summary 107

Final Thoughts 109

References 115

Index 129

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