3 Years ago, the administrative team, through their trainings and readings, began reflecting on grading and how it was being reported at the secondary level. The team began to look at articles and research on grading reform. The district brought 3 experts in the field to meet with the administrative team. This included, reknowned author of education Rick Wormeli as well as Dr. Thomas Guskey (one of the leading researchers in the area of grading reform) as well as working with his colleague, Dr. Laura Link.
With partnership with Drs Guskey and Link, in the Spring of 2021, we distributed a survey to all stakeholders (parents, students, teachers, administrators, board members). Each had the opportunity to comment on perspectives such as standards based grading, the importance of feedback, thoughts on the 100 point scale, philosophy of grading etc.). That data showed the need for a steering committee and then to establish a coalition of stake holders to discuss and improve grading practices at the secondary level of Washington Township Schools.
Our first Grading and Assessment Coalition Meeting met on November 15, 2021. The coalition met 5 times and has planned to continue the work starting in the Fall of 2022. This coalition is comprised of published researchers, admissions/transcript screening personnel at colleges, professors, business people, parents, teachers, administrators, board members, and especially students. Based on feedback and research from the coalition, the Grading Purpose Statement (GPS) became the driving force and belief for authentic assessment and grading of students. This gave rise to a framework for teachers and policy revision that reflects the work and insights of the coalition and provides clarity and consistency in how we interpret grades, late work, retakes, recovery learning, feedback, and grade percentages. That framework was part of the opening day discussion with the teachers on August 29 and 30, 2022.
Throughout the 2022-23 school year and beyond, the district is committed to these equitable grading practices that foster true learning.