The 3rd Annual Alabama Conference on Grading and Assessment for Learning will take place online this Saturday – November 7 – with national assessment-for-learning expert Dr. Douglas Reeves as the keynote speaker. You can REGISTER NOW at the ACGAL website.
Following this personal message from Dr. Reeves you’ll find links to more information. We hope you’ll join us for this deep dive into how we grade and assess our students.
Traditional Grading That’s More Accurate and Fair
Grading reform is a difficult topic. Teachers around the nation have told me that since the dawn of the standards movement in the 1990’s, they have lost more and more professional autonomy, with curriculum and assessment decisions that used to be in the hands of teachers now largely controlled at the district and state level.
Grading, these teachers explain, is one of the last powers that they have left. But I think we can make a persuasive case that when grading reform is done well – teachers benefit. The failure rate goes down, student engagement goes up, and the classroom culture is improved.
Most importantly, we don’t need to over-complicate these ideas. Standards-based grading has failed in many schools because it was too cumbersome and complicated. Parents and students didn’t understand it and teachers didn’t have the time to laboriously assess large numbers of standards.
Moreover, parents and teachers are comfortable with a traditional grading system with grades of A,B,C,D, and F. In order to keep peace in the community, I would argue that we can:
► keep traditional grades, grade-point-averages, transcripts, and academic honors . . .
► but we can make them more accurate and fair.
In other words, by reassuring people about what will not change – like traditional grades – it is much easier to talk about what can change to make grades more effective for students and teachers.
While I wish I could be in the same physical space with you on November 7th, we’ll make the best of it, as teachers around the world have been doing for the past eight months. Join me online for a lively and interactive day of professional learning.
~ Doug Reeves
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:
► Read a blog post about this year’s ACGAL Conference
ABPC Assistant Director Dr. Stoney Beavers and Dr. Andrew Maxey, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Tuscaloosa City Schools, share their perspective that grading and assessment reform is an urgent leadership issue.
All registrants for Saturday’s conference will have access to archives of the live sessions. And each participant will receive, as part of the registration fee, a copy of Dr. Reeves’ bestselling book from Solution Tree, Fast Grading: A Guide to Implementing Best Practices (a $32 value).
See you there!