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November 2011 | Volume 69 | Number 3
Effective Grading Practices
Jeffrey A. Erickson
At a suburban high school in Minnesota, grading reform has resulted in a fundamentally new way to approach learning.
Last summer, I took great joy in watching my daughter take swimming lessons. One of the most difficult tasks for her was swimming the front crawl 50 feet to the other side of the pool. During the three-week course, with ongoing guidance and feedback from her teacher, she relentlessly practiced this task every day. Only during the last class did she finally reach her goal and swim across the pool. Her final report for the class recommended that she move to the next level.
How shocked I would have been if her teacher had informed me that my daughter's final mark in the swimming course would be determined by the average of her performance over the entire course—that even though she had mastered the front crawl at the end of the class, she failed because the teacher had included all her unsuccessful attempts in calculating the grade.
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Copyright © 2011 by ASCD
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