Final Grades = Above Proficiency with many As

I’m going to be in trouble again with final grades and the school. Since my students can redo any assignment and even re-do the final, almost all my students end up with As. My students usually earn As or Fs (little or no work and little or no attendance). However, often administration thinks a teacher is an easy grader when almost all students in the class get As. In one class, students revised over 32 pieces of business writing. In another class, almost all students revised over 8 pieces of writing and their final research paper. I see the As as proof of students changing from being unproficient to being above proficient in their work. Even though students take the time to do the rewrites, they know what and how they have to improve their work; they based their improvement on formative feedback. I am more concerned about them learning to well than on the actual grade.

Do your grades resemble the traditional bell curve? Or do they show a proficiency/above proficiency curve with most grades in the Bs & As? Do your grades really reflect specific standards learning?

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4 Responses to “Final Grades = Above Proficiency with many As”


  1. 1 Carl Anderson April 8, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Why do we use grades anyway? Either you master the stuff or not.

  2. 2 hgtuttle April 9, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Carl,
    I agree. I feel that grades get in way of learning. Many students only want a good grade but do not care about the learning involved.
    Harry

  3. 3 Scott Mason May 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I am a high school history teacher and I agree with the concept that grades get in the way of learning. However the community in which I teach is a highly competitive and academicly driven, very focused on the grades which they equate with access to the best colleges. How does one sell the concept of AFL in this environment? Our district emersed in figuring out how to implement AFL but is experiencing great apprehension on the part of the parents.

    Scott Mason
    High School
    Central New Jersey

  4. 4 hgtuttle May 31, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Scott,
    Your school seems to be concerned with grades, not academics. IF students receive above proficient grading, that is the highest rating. I would hope that they would want to know that students had achieved the standards. In addition, Formative Assessment strives for all students to be successful so more students will be getting proficient and above proficient ratings. Colleges understand being proficient in standards. Some schools have gone to proficiency-based “grades” for all students and their students have been accepted at colleges.
    Harry


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