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October 2013 | Volume 55 | Number 10
How We Got Grading Wrong, and What to Do About It
Rubrics hold a mirror up to your objectives for an assessment task. Matt Townsley remembers well the day he looked into this mirror and didn't like what he saw. "I realized my criteria were mostly about how neat the project looked. It hit me that students could do well without knowing a whole lot about the learning objective."
Townsley, who taught high school math for six years before becoming Solon Community School District's director of instruction and technology in Iowa, conveys a common folly in grading. "We tend to reward working, instead of learning," explains Cathy Vatterott, author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs (ASCD, 2009). "Do the pile of work and you'll get the grade. Don't do the work—and even if you demonstrate mastery of the skill or content—you won't get the grade."
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Copyright © 2013 by ASCD
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