Wednesday, January 4, 2012



We at OMS are constantly trying to improve how we do things.

One of the things that we are currently focused on is grading.  Throughout the history of education, grades have been at the discretion of each individual teacher in their classroom.  Each teacher had their own set of rules for homework, accepting late work, and general assessment and evaluation of students and their abilities.

Historically, this has set up a situation that perpetuates inequities in the experience that students are receiving at school.  Some teachers may have a more lenient policy on late work while others are more strict with late assignments.  Some teachers may take effort or participation into account when factoring grades and others base final marks solely on what the student does on tests.

We have begun our journey down the path towards a more unified approach to grading that will hopefully align our practices and result in a standards based approach to how we communicate progress with our students.

This is not an easy task.  Since our initial conversations about this topic last spring, our staff has worked diligently towards changing to best practices that are research based and data driven.  This article by Marge Scherer is an example of how we started our conversation regarding changing our behaviors and beliefs:
What We Learn from Grades

Please read the article and let us know what you think.  This process is something that needs to be inclusive of all community members as well as the staff and students of OMS.

Until next time,

Mr. K

1 comment:

  1. Grading is always an interesting topic...what a can of worms! It goes along the same lines as changing the length/time of the school day for middle school students - even though research supports that a later morning start would be much more conducive to learning, school districts continue to allow bus schedules to drive the student school day.

    There was a comment in the article that mentioned over loading parents with information by using a new standards based report card. I think that could certainly be the case. I've seen the common core standards for middle school language arts - wow! The average parent either would not understand or care to read a document breaking down reading/writing skills to that extent. On the other hand, I would think an evaluation on a break down of those standards should be of value to other educators. Year to year teachers would know what has been mastered or not and they can adjust their lessons, intervention groups or enrichment as needed for students.