Fair Grading Practices Essay

3130 Words Mar 5th, 2008 13 Pages
Running Head: An Analysis of Grading Practices

Examining the Validity of Current Grading Practices:

A Comparison of Two Models

Penn State University


Grading is a topic in education which has caused much discussion and disagreement among educators; most agree that it has much potential to be used in ways which enhance student performance and achievement, but agreeing on specifics of how to design grading in a way most beneficial to students has been another matter. This paper compares two grading systems: the commonly used one hundred point system, and a fifty point system. It will examine the validity of both systems as in terms of measuring student achievement. Additionally, it will provide some points for
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It stresses that anecdotal information such as records and comments can often supplement and help to clarify a grade (Dockey, 1995). The author of this paper has found that students and parents are much more satisfied with a grade when they understand it and perceive it to be fair.
Hand-in-hand with this is the idea that understanding and acceptance of the factors going into determination of a grade are crucial. Will behavior be a part of an academic grade? Is failure to do an assignment an academic or a behavioral concern? Is class participation to be counted in determining a grade? Should a teacher deduct points from an academic grade for procedural concerns such as putting a name on a paper? Whatever the answers to such questions, it is important that all parties impacted by such decisions understand what a given school system and teacher's specific policies are and the rationale behind these (Dockey, 1995). Fairer policies are likely when all interested parties understand the reasoning behind them.
Another topic in the article relevant to this inquiry is that of fair test design. Teacher-made tests in general are fairer than textbook tests because they more nearly test what was taught. The format of the questions even in criteria such as the type of vocabulary used in asking the questions is usually much more relevant to students when designed by their teacher than by a textbook company. Fairer tests result in fairer

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