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Answers to Essential Questions About Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting
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Answers to Essential Questions About Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting



© 2013 | 176 pages | Corwin

The definitive guidebook to the complex terrain of 21st-century standards!

Standards, assessments, grading, and reporting provide the foundation for nearly every initiative in modern education reform. But what do these terms actually mean—and what changes in each area will bring about the improvements teachers and school leaders want to see? Here, Thomas R. Guskey and Lee Ann Jung collect the essential questions that stymie educators, and give each one a short, simple, jargon-free response.

Perfect for new teacher induction or professional learning on Common Core Standards initiatives, this book offers:

  • A vocabulary and frame of reference to share with other educators
  • An understanding of effective implementation in standards, assessments, grading, and reporting
  • Specific ideas for purposeful action

Organized in a unique, accessible Q&A format, this easy-to-use guide gives educators the common ground they need for successful improvement efforts.

"This text is a useful tool that educators can use to build common definitions about frequently used and misunderstood educational terms within their state, district, or school. Only when educators have the same understanding of 'formative assessment' or 'grade reporting' can they be implemented with fidelity."
—Julie Quinn, Accountability Specialist
Utah State Office of Education, Salt Lake City, UT

"Written in small sections, this book explains well how we assess, why we use different assessments, and asks guiding questions for application of assessments. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in educational assessments."
—Jeanne Collins, Superintendent
Burlington School District, VT

 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Preface: The Nature of Essential Questions
 
Part I: Standards
 
1. What are Standards?
 
2. Are Standards a New Idea in Education?
 
3. Why Do Some People Oppose Standards?
 
Part II: Assessments
 
4. What Is Assessment?
 
5. What Is the Difference Between Assessments and Tests?
 
6. What Is Formative Assessment?
 
7. Why Are Formative Assessments Important?
 
8. What Are Common Formative Assessments?
 
9. What Is Summative Assessment?
 
10. What Is High-Stakes Assessment?
 
11. What Are Instructionally Sensitive and Instructionally Insensitive Assessments?
 
12. How Do Assessments for Learning Differ From Assessments of Learning?
 
13. Do Formative Assessments Improve Student Learning?
 
Part III: Grading
 
14. What Are Grades?
 
15. What Is the Purpose of Grading?
 
16. Are Grades Essential to Teaching and Learning?
 
17. Why Are the First Grades Assigned So Important?
 
18. Do Low Grades Prompt Students to Try Harder?
 
19. Why Is Setting Percentage Cut-Offs for Grades an Arbitrary Process?
 
20. What Is Wrong With Grading on the Curve?
 
Part IV: Reporting
 
21. What Criteria Do Teachers Use in Assigning Grades?
 
22. What Is Standards-Based Grading and Reporting?
 
23. Why Do Some Parents Have Concerns About Standards-Based Grading and Reporting?
 
24. If Schools Implement Standards-Based Grading, Will the Grades Assigned to Students Likely Go Up or Down?
 
25. What Is the Most Important First Step in Implementing Standards-Based Grading?
 
26. What Is the Best Way to Inform Parents About Moving to Standards-Based Grading?
 
27. What Is the Best Way to Encourage Parents to Make Comments on the Report Card?
 
28. Will Standards-Based Grading Improve Student Learning?
 
Part V: Grading and Reporting for Exceptional and Struggling Learners
 
29. Who are Exceptional and Struggling Learners?
 
30. How Do We Assign Grades to Exceptional and Struggling Learners Who Require Modifications?
 
31. What Is the Difference Between Accommodations and Modifications?
 
32. How Do We Legally Report Grades for Exceptional and Struggling Learners on Report Cards and Transcripts?
 
33. Do High School Students Requiring Modifications Receive Course Credit Toward a Diploma? Do Modifications Make a Student Ineligible for Extracurricular Activities, Such as Interscholastic Athletics?
 
Summary and Conclusions
 
Index

“Guskey and Jung have waded into the murky waters of standards, assessments, grading and reporting to emerge with a very accessible, readable text, providing thoughtful, research-based answers to the questions most often asked. Whether read in its entirety or utilized as a chapter-by-chapter resource, individuals and groups from all facets of the educational community will find value in its pages.”

Kurtis Hewson, Faculty Associate
University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

“This book was an excellent introduction to assessments for the practitioner, pre-service educators and the lay person. Written in small sections, it explains well how we assess, why we use different assessments, and asks guiding questions for application of assessments. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in educational assessments.”

Jeanne Collins, Superintendent
Burlington School District, Burlington, VT

“This text is a useful tool that educators can use to build common definitions about frequently used and misunderstood educational terms within their state, district, or school. Only when educators have the same understanding of 'formative assessment' or 'grade reporting' can they be implemented with fidelity.”

Julie Quinn, Accountability Specialist
Utah State Office of Education, Salt Lake City, UT

"A strong, knowledge based book that hopefully will be well used to guide educational change in the areas of standards, assessment, grading and reporting by all the stakeholders in education."

Sharon K. Tritschler, National Career Academy Coalition Career Academy Review Coordinator and National School Reform Faculty National Facilitator
Osprey, FL

"This book is a must read for educators and policy makers at all levels. The authors do an excellent job answering essential questions on standards, assessments, grading, and reporting using research-based evidence. If educators follow the authors’ suggestions, learning and teaching in schools would be transformed."

Nancy Kellogg, Educational Consultant
Boulder, CO
Key features
(1) A definitive source book: guides readers through the complex terrain of 21st century standards, assessment, grading and reporting with clear explanations to the essential questions.

(2) Navigability: unique Q&A format makes it easy for readers to find answers to their essential questions.

(3) Authorship: Authors are nationally-recognized authorities on assessment and grading.

(4) Addresses vitally-important topics: includes unique coverage of grading considerations for struggling students.

(5) Versatility: excellent background for PD on Common Core Standards initiatives, new teacher induction, collaborative curriculum design, and common formative assessments. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

1. What Are Standards?


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ISBN: 9781452235240

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