A teacher at a neighboring school district that I've consulted with previously recently emailed me a question.

"I am looking at my grades for my classes and I am a little worried that my grades for my students are maybe too good. There is no one with a C or less. I obviously don’t want my students to do bad but shouldn’t there be at least one student that isn’t doing good?..."
This email could have just as easily asked...
"...There is no one with a B or better.  I obviously want my students to do well, but shouldn't there be at least one student that is doing well?..."
Here was my response:

  • Be less concerned with the number of A's, B's, C's, etc. students are earning in your class.
  • Be more concerned with ensuring the grades students are earning accurately represent their current level of understanding.
  • Be more concerned that your grading system ensures students have an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding at any given time within the grading period, not just "by the test date."
  • Be more concerned that you've clearly communicated the purpose of your grading system with parents and students.
From assignment-based grading to standards-based grading
It's worth double checking.  Are our grading systems setup to communicate current levels of understanding or do they continue to report point accumulation based on assignments?

What did I forget in my response to this teacher?