Thursday, December 22, 2016

High school slowly integrating standards based grading

Standards based grading is taking the high school by surprise.

Brianna Laarman and Caitlin Carroll
T’Hawk Staff Writers

Standards based grading has made its way into more classes at Hamilton High School this school year.

According to the school administration, standards based grading is designed to give students better feedback and help the student gain ownership over their own learning. This system is meant to clearly outline what the student needs to know and how they can master a standard. By outlining what the student needs to do, standards based grading should help a student improve their grade.

Standards based grading removes non-academic factors from the grade that could inflate or deflate it, such as extra-credit, level of effort, attendance, and behavior. This separates what the student knows and what they can do, from the non-academic factors.

By removing those factors, it means the student’s grade is based upon their learning, not how well they behave in class.

Many students do not like standards based grading. They don’t see how it’s helping anyone’s grade to improve.

“You have to critically think, which is a skill some of us don’t possess,” sophomore Emily Boerman said. “You can be a pretty smart student and not be able to critically think.”

Many other students think this also. Even some of the teachers are having a hard time adjusting to this new scale.

Mr. Lefere told his 5th hour Algebra 2 class about all the work he and the other Algebra 2 teachers are putting into tests. “It’s a heck of a lot of work,” he said.

He also said that the reaction to the new grading is like anything new, with change comes negative feelings.

Mr. David Tebo, Superintendent of Hamilton Community Schools, believes that initially students will struggle with standards based grading and have negative thoughts about it, but will eventually like it once it’s more familiar to everyone.

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