Part 1: What does the data say about grades?
Consider the scatter plot above, which represents data from an LAUSD high school. On the scatter plot, each point represents a student. Student grades in 11th grade ELA (x-axis) are compared to their scores on the 11th grade ELA SBAC (y-axis). SBAC scores: 4=Standard Exceeded, 3=Standard Met, 2=Standard Nearly Met, and 1=Standard Not Met.
Given this information, what story does the scatter plot tell? What might be some areas of concern? Support your analysis with evidence.
Part 2: What do students say about grades?
Students Answer Questions About Grading – Consider asking your students what they think about grades. You could have them respond orally, on paper, or create a Padlet (a free electronic Post it notes forum). Here’s an example of the responses one teacher got when she did exactly that.
Part 3: Would you like to read more on this topic?
“Grading Policies That Work Against Standards . . . And How To Fix Them” – In “Grading Policies That Work Against Standards. . . . And How To Fix Them” Thomas R. Guskey, author of numerous books on Standards-Based Grading, suggests remedies to four traditional grading practices: grading on a curve, valedictorian selection, punishment grading, and using zeros in grading.
A History of Grading -This academic article provides a brief timeline and description of the evolution of grades.
Making the Grade: A History of the A-F Marking Scheme – This lengthy academic article on the history of grades outlines the origins and permutations of grades over time since 1785.
Read one or more of the resources above. In the comments section below, cite textual evidence and explain “what might be some problems with traditional K-12 grading practices?”