Grading Policy for Standards-Based Education

O'Connor 3rd Edition

Today’s ASCD Express featured a link to a “new voice,” Ken O’Connor, on grading for learning.

Ken is not exactly a new voice. He wrote his first grading piece for the NASSP Journal (National Association of Secondary School Principals) in 1995, and I had the great fortune to take a two-day ASCD Institute on “grading for learning” from Ken in Albuquerque, NM, in May of 2000.

Here is Ken’s summary of grading concepts that will help more students succeed in school.

Ken’s new 3rd edition of his comprehensive book on grading for learning is pictured above. It’s available from Assessment Training Institute (ETS) in Portland, Oregon, or

Ken’s grading and assessment concepts should be part of every teacher’s toolkit.

BTW, if you’d like to see how I melded my philosophy with Ken’s principles, click here and scroll down to my grading guidelines that I wrote in 2000.

Do We Really Need Grades?

generic_mapBack in the nineties, Tom Guskey said that grades were not necessary for learning to take place. As true as that is, folks still need a quick and dirty method for keeping track of achievement. My fond dream is for grades to become an invisible and non-threatening part of the background of assessment for learning (i.e., grading for learning).

Ken O’Connor sent me the following link. It shows how far the SBG movement has come, and that we not only have achieved a critical mass, but there are folks out there pushing the limits.

Apologies for the failure of the link. I registered on National Post, searched, and couldn’t find it.  I’ll do some more searching (08JUL2011).

Hot Opportunities — Free Webinars

Just got my catalog for professional development opportunities from ETS/ATI (the folks I presented for in Portland in December), and there are a couple of free webinars, one featuring Ken O’Connor on “grading for learning,” the other featuring Rick Stiggins on formative assessment.

The times are somewhat inconvenient but who knows what arrangements can be made by resourceful professionals!

I’ve heard both speakers present. They know their stuff and they are passionate about it.