Evaluating Grading Practices. 10.12.07 L.I.D . Adapted from Rick Wormeli’s 9.20.07 White River SD Differentiated Grading Presentation. Paradigm Challenging Statement. “A ‘D’ is a coward’s ‘F’. The student failed, but you didn’t have the guts to tell him.”
Adapted from Rick Wormeli’s 9.20.07 White River SD Differentiated Grading Presentation
--Doug Reeves, The Learning Leader
0 or 50 (or 60) all = F
What is the effect of each ‘level’ of F on a student’s motivation?
On a student’s ability to recover?
Which should we choose when working with students?
1. (M) Missing (there is no evidence)
2. (INC) incomplete (there is not enough
evidence to make a determination of learning)
3. NTY (there is sufficient evidence which shows
that the student is “not there yet”)
Is this representative of what was really going on?
If a student does no work, he
should get nothing, right? Agreed.
But how productive is it to tell a
student that he earned 6 times
less than absolute failure?
(adapted from Doug Reeve’s ideas in The Learning Leader, ASCD, 2006)
Clearly, in this absurd scenario, the ‘A’ has a huge, yet undue, inflationary effect on the overall grade. Just as we don’t want an ‘A’ to have an inaccurate effect, we don’t want an ‘F’ to have an inaccurate “deflationary” effect.
Using permanent zeros in a 100 pt scale has exactly this effect.
When used in a 100 point scale---
“We are faced with the irony that a policy that may be grounded in the belief of holding students accountable (giving zeros) actually allows some students to escape accountability for learning.”
“A zero has an underserved and devastating influence, so much so, that no matter what the student does, the grade distorts the final grade as a true indicator of mastery. Mathematically and ethically, it is unacceptable.”
--Rick Wormeli, 2006, pp. 137-38
“Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, is the blueprint of who we are. It’s structure was discovered by Watson and Crick in 1961. Watson was an American studying in Great Britain. Crick was British (he died last year). DNA is shaped like a twisting ladder. It is made of two nucleotides chains bonded to each other. The pose of the ladder are made of sugar and phosphate but the rungs of the ladder are made of four bases. They are thymine, guanine, and cytosine, and adenine. The amount of adenine is equal to the amount of thymine (A=T). It’s the same with cytosine and guanine (C=G). The sequence of these bases makes us who we are. We now know how to rearrange the DNA sequences in human embryos to create whatever characteristics we want in new babies—like blue eyes, brown hair, and so on , or even how to remove hereditary diseases, but many people think it’s unethical (playing God) to do this, so we don’t do it. When DNA unzips to bond with other DNA when it reproduces, it sometimes misses the re-zipping order and this causes mutations. In humans, the DNA of one cell would equal 1.7 meters if you laid it out straight. If you laid out all the DNA in all the cells of one human, you could reach the moon 6,000 times.”
1. The student took IB HL biology the previous year.
2. The student downloaded the entire content of the essay from
3. The student is an ELL student who emigrated from a non-English
speaking country 6 months ago.
4. The student is a drug impacted homeless orphan with a special
education profile that includes ADHD, mild autism, and dyslexia
Tools for student self-assessment (gathering other sources of learning evidence)
I wonder why . . .
An insight I’ve gained is . .
I’ve done the following to prepare . . .
I began to think . . .
I liked . . . because . .
I did not like . . . because
I was frustrated by. . .
A problem I had and how I worked through it was . . .
How come . . .
The most important thing for me to remember is . . .
The pattern I noticed was . . .
I’m confused by . . .
. . . surprised me because . . .
I used to think . . . but now . .
What if . . .
This reminds me of . . .
I predict . . .
I think that if I . . . then . . .
A better way for me to approach this would be to . . .Suggested Reflective Stems