The adoption of the Common Core could usher in a new era of standards-based grading.
Time to put aside the demagoguery and look carefully at standards based evaluation. Grades are only vaguely related to outcomes and progress. They are at best subjective assertions, and at worst personal value judgments about a student’s level of compliance with rules and protocols imposed on powerless students by teachers. I have personally witnessed situations in which students demonstrated complete mastery over subject matter o a term or final exam and failed the course because they did not hand in all their homework! Standards based evaluation aligns precisely with actual accomplishments—authentic assessment judged using by a rubric that is publically shared. Just sayin’--Lou
"...As a teacher, I struggled with the fuzzy logic of grading every term. I was invested in all those points I totaled and calculated, in categories I devised and weighted on assessments I wrote. I considered their relative value, their worth as a measure of learning, their objectivity and subjectivity. Did I grade that first paper, the one I graded just after dinner, when I was fresh, full, and in a good mood, on the same relative scale as that last paper, when I was exhausted, and just wanted to get to bed? Did the midterm test comprehension or rote memorization? I agonized over these details as if they were my final and unequivocal communication of educational truth.
We are asked to assess students precisely and with the appearance of objectivity while using an inherently subjective process.
I realized that the current system of points-based grading is highly subjective. As Alfie Kohn has written, “what grades offer is spurious precision—a subjective rating masquerading as an objective evaluation.” A few years ago, I told my students about a study I’d read that showed judges rule more favorably after breaks, so from then on, students left snacks in my office and reminded me to take breaks when they knew I would be grading their work. If the purpose of grading is to objectively evaluate student learning and achievement, surely my work breaks and snacking habits should prove irrelevant in their calculation..."