Category Archives: Tests and Assessments

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Schools turn to standards-based grading

Educators at a Minnesota middle school found that in some cases, teachers were grading students based on behavior — rather than content mastery — after four years of data showed that the students with the worst grades sometimes performed better on final exams than their peers. The school adopted a standards-based grading approach that assesses students according to whether they know the material, not on how well-behaved they are. “We need to stop overlooking kids who can do the work and falsely inflate grades of kids who can’t but who look good,” one superintendent said. The New York Times (free registration)


Students must become critical thinkers, not test-takers

Students must become critical thinkers, not test-takers
Today’s teachers are forced to cover concepts quickly to prepare students for multiple-choice standardized tests, teacher and author Kelly Gallagher writes. This approach has been shown to produce higher test scores in high school, but lower grades in college, where students must demonstrate the ability to think critically. Obtainable standards and better assessments that focus on writing and critical thinking would be a better measure of student learning and teacher effectiveness, Gallagher writes. Education Week (premium article access compliments of

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