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Suppose you were asked to participate in an interview about grading practices for the next special edition of Educational Leadership (a publication worth reading). This edition would focus on teacher’s perspectives on the purpose and place of grades in education. Since several teacher’s perspectives were being solicited, all participants were sent the interview questions. You open your email, and these are the questions or statements awaiting your response.
Thank you for your willingness to participate in this interview. Let’s get started.
1. What is your philosophy of grading? Or, maybe better, what are the purpose of grades?
2. How similar or dissimilar is your grading practice compared to your experience when you were in high school?
3. If your administrators began an initiative to get rid of traditional grades (numerical or letter) and move towards content-based grading or standards-based grading (narrative or feedback grading), would you be supportive or opposed? Explain.
4. Some teachers say that because grades should reflect what a student knows (or does not know), any grading system that includes extra credit, reassessments, and participation have little academic value, and tell the parents (and student) little about what the students know. Do you agree or disagree?
5. There is a movement growing in some educational circles calling for the end of the “0” Links to an external site.as a grading practice. Those in this camp say the “0” is too significant of an academic punishment because “0” are often given for missing work, not evidence the student “knows nothing.” What is your opinion on getting rid of the “0”?
6. Finally, what advice would you give to a new teacher about grading practices? What have you learned in your years in the classroom?