State Assessments, Rubric Scoring, and Technology

Regents

The NY State English Regents (state assessment) has a six point rubric. If I co-graded with a low scoring teacher, a student could get a 3 when I gave the student a 4. If I co-graded with a high scoring teacher, the same student could get a 5 when I gave a 4. A two point variance on a six point scale negates the whole rubric.

Likewise, one year the department chair informed us that we were grading to tough so that we should go to the higher score for any student. Now students that would have gotten a score of 4 got a score of 5.

No matter how we help students to write better for the state assessment through technology, their scores on the state assessment are dependent on other conditions.

Likewise, if we have students word process their writing during class like they will do in the world outside of school, and then have them handwrite their essays, there is a very different process involved. Handwriting takes away the brainstorming, quick editing, spell checking, and moving around of text that word processing allows. Handwriting an essay is much harder and more academic than real world writing.

What examples do you have of how your state assessment prevents students from doing technology-infused real-life activities with your subject area ?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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1 Response to “State Assessments, Rubric Scoring, and Technology”


  1. 1 Don Bemont December 25, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    As a long time high school English teacher, I have witnessed the increasing politicization of Regents grading.

    As far back as I can remember, a tension existed between those who graded with the student very much in mind (usually leading to higher grades) and those who insisted upon holding to “standards.”

    However, those two viewpoints have been eclipsed by a push from above to grade leniently in order to make the particular institution look good. Some of this pressure is subtle and indirect, and some of it is pretty blunt, but corruption is the only honest word for it.

    Most teachers most of the time want to please authority, and authorities have made it clear that they will be pleased, with no questions asked, if high grades are posted.

    As I once told my principal, the only way I can see to restore integrity would be a double blind grading protocol where teachers did not know the students or even the school district of the papers being graded. Given my druthers, I would also add some rotating citizen members of the grading committee who would express reasonable abhorrence at assigning decent grades for incoherent writing.

    Let’s just say that my principal did not like the idea.


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