Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
By Margie Wuebker
Expert provides tools to fix grading system
New Bremen
  NEW BREMEN - With teaching becoming increasingly standard based, area educators learned Tuesday that current grading systems are in need of repair.
Ken O'Connell, an internationally known grading expert, provided 175 educators from St. Marys, New Bremen and Minster with a repair kit during a daylong program at New Bremen High School.
O'Connell's presentation came about as part of the Race To the Top initiative, according to New Bremen superintendent Ann Harvey.
The longtime educator told teachers that grades must be accurate, consistent, meaningful and supportive of learning. Those that do not, qualify as "broken" or ineffective.
He said grades are broken when they include components that distort achievement, come from low quality or poorly organized evidence such as inappropriate number crunching and fail to support the learning process.
Grades should reflect achievement and not student behavior such as effort, participation and following classroom rules. Likewise, students who turn in late assignments need educational support, not reduced grades, O'Connell said.
The author of "A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades" discourages the use of extra credit or bonus points because they have nothing to do with achievement. He encourages teachers not to use absences when grading.
"You don't need your rear end in a seat all the time to get a good grade," he said.
He displayed a grading chart for a student who had numerous absences but achieved perfect scores on tests. Teachers debated whether the student deserved an A or an I for incomplete classroom performance.
O'Connell favored the higher grade.
He also dislikes grading on a curve.
"There are no right grades only justifiable grades," O'Connell said.
One of the teachers present said she looks forward to implementing the speaker's concepts; another said there is more to learning than what mere letter grades convey. A third teacher admitted with a chuckle she has a lot of homework to do.
Harvey lauded the program which was funded by a grant to improve instruction in such areas as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Five school districts - New Bremen, New Knoxville, Fort Recovery, Mississinawa Valley and Ansonia - will be splitting a $250,000 state grant over the course of two years to make that happen.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Area school districts earn high marks on state report cards
• It's a whole new game for young athletes
• Celina council talks tax issue
• Man's attorneys want statements suppressed
• Local motorcycle crashes investigated
• Craft shop offers hands-on instruction
• St. Marys' boys, Wapak's girls earn wins
• Regatta returns to Grand Lake
• Bulldogs hoping to repeat success from last year
• Cavaliers ready for another push to playoffs
• Indians hope to get off to another quick start
• Avoiding injuries a big concern for Goodwin
• Wildcats will try to repeat success of 2010
• Lack of size in trenches concerns Messick
• Cairns brings in spread offense to Parkway
• St. Henry going with I-formation on offense
• Phillips in charge of rebuilding Roughriders
• Celina hungry for fourth straight WBL title
• Coldwater focusing on defense, ball control
• Huelsman promoted to Indians' head coach
• Versatility will be an asset for the Flyers
• A season of change for Minster volleyball
• Cardinals trying to rebound from struggles
• Panthers will have a more diverse offense
• Kramer expecting big things from Redskins
• St. Marys hoping to contend for WBL title
a_d
Friday Night
61°
Isolated Thunderstorms
23%
Saturday
80°
Chance Thunderstorms
34%
Saturday Night
59°
Partly Cloudy
9%
Sunday
81°
Partly Sunny
12%
Sunday Night
58°
Partly Cloudy
6%
Monday
81°
Partly Sunny
12%
Monday Night
62°
Partly Cloudy
13%
Tuesday
82°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
24%
Tuesday Night
63°
Chance Thunderstorms
28%
Wednesday
80°
Chance Thunderstorms
32%
Wednesday Night
62°
Chance Thunderstorms
27%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
video_logoOnline Video
Sunday, July 27
index pict
2014 Celina Lake Festival
camera_logo Photo Albums