An Iowa teacher recently contacted Russ and inquired about implementing standards-based grading.
--- Hi - I am one of the high school math teachers at Central City High School and beginning Fall 2011 we are switching to standards based grading in our classrooms. I have been given the name of a few school districts in Iowa from my administration that have converted to SBG and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions regarding how you run your classroom.
My main concern is: how you transform your standards into ﬁnal grades (A, B, C, D, and F]. I know colleges are not interested in getting a standards report of where they are proﬁcient and not proﬁcient, rather they would like to see what letter grade they received. Even though it would be ideal for them to see, unfortunately, colleges aren't at that stage, therefore, I must produce some kind of letter grade. I have been trying to do some research about how to transform a child's standards into a ﬁnal grade. and haven't come up with much. So, long story short, do you have to have so many 4's or 5's to receive an A, or do you do percentages/averages of all the standards?My second concern is homework. In the past I have given students completion points for having their homework done everyday. However, I have been reading on other blogs that they don't incorporate homework into their ﬁnal grades, as it is strictly standards. How do you incorporate homework in your classroom? Is it required for students to do it? Do they have to have completed all of their homework assignments to pass the course?
And then my last concern is assessments. How often do you have kids assess over standards? I have read and thought about it myself this upcoming year, is to test multiple times over one standard. Can they retest over a standard? How many times? What are your rules for retesting? Do they have to come in before or after school to receive "extra" tutoring, or are they required to have completed practice problems before they retest?
Sorry for all of the questions! I hope you aren't overwhelmed by all of them. I know there are no right or wrong answers on how to implement SBG in your classroom, but I am trying to get a feel for what other teachers around Iowa are doing.
Thank you for your time and I am anxious to hear what you do in your classroom with SBG.
Tune in to Episode 11 below to hear our response.