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During the research process, several articles described the difficulty of getting teachers to be upfront about their grading policies. It seemed to be a personal, subjective and sensitive topic. However, researchers found that teachers were more willing to explain their grading techniques and philosophy if they felt confident their school system had articulated a plan with guidelines for them to follow, therefore making the process less subjective (Howley, Kusimo & Parrott, 1999). In addition to examining the overall grading protocol, looking at how individual assessments are approached by the teacher within the classroom has a large impact on how the students attempt the assessment (Brookhart & DeVogel, 1999). A teacher may have an overall fair grading policy when combining assessment scores, however if how they are grading each assessment is not consistent, then the overall validity is irrelevant.
Every student deserves a high-quality education that prepares them for college and beyond. Teachers’ grades can affect students not only academically, but emotionally and socially (Brookhart & DeVogel, 1999). Grades are used for recommendation and placements which can vastly determine a student’s path beyond K-12 education. If a student is told in the form of grades throughout their life that they are an “A” or “B” student, when in reality these scores are earned from attendance and homework completion, not actual retained knowledge, then this student may not be able to identify they have areas of weakness (Quinn, 2013). This could greatly affect a student in the future because they do not know their complete learning profile. Comparatively, if a student consistently earns “Ds” due to poor behavior and participation, yet aces the unit ...

... middle of paper ... authentically assess their work and truly focus on grading what students learn, not all the extraneous elements that can be include in a grade such as effort, participation, attendance and behavior. An honest reflection of student learning can still look very different pending if a teacher is using more traditional or progressive grading practices. Traditional practices use a 0-100 point scale and average end of year grades, including zeros, between many categories including all assessments, effort, homework and even behavior (Hanover Research, 2013). Progressive grading practices include using only product instead of process, eliminating effort components and disallowing zeros in the gradebook. This proposal aims to determine if using more progressive grading practices show a more authentic representation of students learning and achievement.
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