Dating engagement letter
Myth 1: Letter grades are mathematically valid representations of student achievement.
I vividly remember my algebra teacher saying, “I don't give grades; I report the grades you earn.” But does a grade evolve only from the student's actions?
But what useful information could a parent glean from that A?
Traditional letter grades do not enhance a parent's understanding of a student's achievement or learning, nor do they usually provide insight into the child's true understanding or the degree to which he or she has mastered the curriculum or kept up with peers.
If a parent consistently reinforces the value of grades, the child will want to please that parent by getting good grades. In my family, it was one thing to come home with a C on a report card, but much worse to come home with a mark indicating a problem in citizenship, such as “Does not follow directions in class.” My family emphasized following the rules and being a good citizen.
But if significant adults instead value “doing your best” or “following the rules,” that is what the student will value and strive for. Myth 3: Letter grades show how a student is doing with reference to normed expectations.
And that any accuracy score below 90 percent indicates this text is not a good match for Tim as a reader (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996)? Is a letter grade accurate at all on this assessment?
During the last 20 years, many schools have created more challenging curriculums and developed practices to differentiate instruction.
This process prodded me to reflect on my practices as an educator and my assumptions as a school leader.In short, our understanding about learning has evolved over time—as should our grading systems. Three years ago, all Allen Park elementary schools began to move to a standards-based report card. We devised a comprehensive standards-based report card that showed parents specific targets spelling out the skills on which students were being assessed.
We derived these targets from our district's curriculum maps, which were linked to the Michigan Department of Education's curriculum.After attending a professional development event led by Thomas Guskey, reading some of Guskey's writing (2001) and pondering my basic tenets as an educator, I realized that the practice of giving letter grades stands in direct opposition to the goal of informing parents about their child's learning.