Back to Educational Leadership September 2020 Grade Expectations
Volume 78, Number 1
The September 2020 back-to-school issue of EL explores the pressing topic of grading reform, with a focus on models and practices designed to make grading more transparent, equitable, and meaningful. This issue also highlights best practices for grading as schools reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, providing key resources for navigating K–12 education’s next phase.
14 Taking the Stress Out of Grading
Now more than ever, we need to take steps to reduce students’ anxiety about grading (while improving learning). Will we?
22 Grading During the Pandemic: A Conversation
Joe Feldman and Douglas Reeves
Two experts agree that now’s the time to look hard at “broken” grading practices.
28 The Only “F” that Matters
Making grading more about feedback—and less about the score.
34 Does This Count?
Lee Ann Jung
We can fix gaming-for-grades school cultures by changing our understanding of “formative.”
40 Breaking Up the Grade
Thomas R. Guskey
Course grades should reflect a range of distinct criteria that make up student learning.
48 Avoiding Unintended Consequences in Grading Reform
Before enacting grading reforms, you’d better understand why the policies you’re scuttling were adopted in the first place.
54 The “Economics” of Grading
Eric M. Carbaugh and Kristina J. Doubet
Five ways to improve communication—and symmetry—in performance-based classrooms.
60 Stepping Up the Grading Environment
Students’ expectations of the grading process can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Here’s how to change the narrative.
67 How I Revamped My Grading System
A science teacher reflects on her path to finding a grading system that reflects her educational philosophy.
9 Reader’s Guide/A School Year to Make a Difference
84 Research Matters/Grading to Encourage Re-Learning
Bryan Goodwin and Kris Rouleau
Using grading practices that reflect the science of learning.
86 Show & Tell: A Video Column/Time for Competency-Based Grading?
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Pandemic-related learning gaps suggest it may be the right way to go now.
88 Leading Together/Time to Power-Up Teaching Practice
Jill Harrison Berg
The pandemic gives us an opportunity to zero in on what’s essential.
90 Confronting Inequity/Well-Rounded Grading
Matthew R. Kay
Schools can take some inequity out of grading by rounding to “the fives.”
92 ASCD Policy Priorities/Rising (Again) to the Challenge
Educators must continue to lead in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
6 Readers React
71 ASCD Books Catalog
83 Whole Child Spotlight/A Whole Child Approach to Grading
85 Index to Advertisers
94 ASCD Community in Action
96 EL Takeaways/Making the Grade
EL ONLINE EXCLUSIVES
Five Inconvenient Truths About How We Grade
Daniel R. Venables
It’s time to slay the “monsters” that drive our grading practices.
Eight Essential Principles for Improving Grading
Susan Brookhart, Thomas R. Guskey, Jay McTighe, and Dylan Wiliam
Done well, grading can play a key role in a balanced district assessment system.
Instructional Shifts to Support Deep Learning
Jay McTighe and Harvey Silver
For learning that sticks, classrooms need less rapid-fire content coverage and more meaning making.
The Power of Digital Badges
Digital badges can provide a clearer view of student learning than traditional grades.
Tell Us About . . .
Educators share how they’ve changed their grading policies during remote learning.