Enact innovative grading systems that more accurately describe student progress! This book challenges traditional grading practices and provides alternatives that can have direct impact on student success. By making subtle shifts toward standards based grading systems, schools can reduce unnecessary course failures, provide students and their families a more accurate picture of current progress, and increase opportunities for success. The author offers a range of grading reform strategies that are built from practical frameworks that are effective and simple to adapt. Among the many strengths of this book are: • Practical application of existing research and evidence base for effective secondary grading reforms • A framework for schools and districts to apply and adapt failure prevention strategies such as early failure detection, Amnesty Days, and meaningful stipulated second chance opportunities for students to reach mastery • Functional strategies and actions for shifting toward standards-based (referenced) grading without entirely abandoning letter grades • Countering resistance to change through a-clearly-articulated plan for conducting school-wide and classroom level action research around the effectiveness of new or adjusted grading practices “Informative and pragmatic, this book is spot on with analysis of this elephant in the room issue. Nagel uses both empathy and humor in getting to the heart of a process to generate real solutions while underscoring the ultimate need for teacher voice in any successful implementation. He provides ready-made strategies for real, impactful change. I’m left hopeful that feedback will rule the day!” —Bruce Potter, Superintendent Berkshire UFSD “Nagel offers an insightful and articulate voice to secondary improvement and alignment through grading practices. His tried and true methods through working with real districts provides a starting place and examples for others to follow. A must-read for anyone serious about ensuring student engagement through meaningful feedback.” —Debra K. Howe, Superintendent Tri-Creek School Corporation?
Chapter 3: Policy A Starting Point, Not the Destination Finder
Policy A Starting Point, Not the Destination Finder
The word policy is defined as “a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions” (Merriam-Webster, 2014b). Policies are formed to provide guidance for employees for what actions they should do in common or important situations. This guidance should help them make quicker and effective decisions when faced with multiple options. Organizations, including schools, also create policies to prevent stagnation in decision making as much as to increase fidelity of the actions themselves.
Companies can increase the fidelity with which employees adhere to their policies by having fewer of them to remember. Organizations can ...