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 8: Determining What (Could) Change
Determining What (Could) Change
In their masterful work Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath (2010) provide readers with simple and evidence-based tips for getting humans to accept the need to change our behaviors. One tactic they refer to often is to shrink the change by breaking it down into smaller and more manageable parts so the modification does not appear to be insurmountable. The less people are worried about the size of the change, the more likely they are to give it a chance.
The same simple idea can be applied to making sure middle and high school teachers and parents of their students are aware of aspects in the current grading system and practices ...