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Teacher: Is There an Alternative to the 100-Point Grading System?

Teacher: Is There an Alternative to the 100-Point Grading System?

Is the 100-point grading system flawed? One teacher thinks so. 

Brianna Crowley looks at her school's efforts to alter grading in her blog post (the first of a series) on 

"This post is the first in a series of reflections on our current grading system where I try to tackle these questions: Is the current system fair and relevant? What is the relationship between grading and learning? What alternatives to the 100 point system do educators have?" Crowley wrote. "Throughout the series, you will hear from other classroom teachers, my current students, and researchers who have delved into these questions with a scientific lens. In the final post, I will share what I plan to do in my own classroom as a result of these conversations and reflections."

Crowley referred to an article by Mark Barnes titled, "How Eliminating Grades Changed Everything in my Classroom." She said that Barnes "decided to eliminate the traditional grading system in his classroom."

According to Crowley, "in its place, Barnes provided his students with ungraded feedback as well as challenging questions. He asked students to self-assess and take ownership over their own learning journey."

"Upon reading this short post, my feelings of being unsettled distilled into a restlessness for action," she wrote. "I too felt that our current grading system was broken, but what was I going to do about it? I started asking myself tough questions like: what did I believe was the purpose of grades? Could I help my students by taking a risk to try a different system of accountability and assessment?"

Crowley said that the grading system "seems up for review."

"Teachers care about learning and about students meeting their potential; teachers are worried about the lack of joy and the proliferation of stress in our schools today," she wrote. "These teachers are ready to have a conversation beyond duct-tape options. We are ready to reexamine the system, look at the research, and have that bigger discussion of fairness and equity."

Crowley said that in her next post she will share "both the research I found as well as the responses from my students when I asked them about their relationship with the grading system."

Read the full story and comment below. Do you grade on or off a 100-point scale?

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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