A LYS reader asks: In light of the new STAAR tests (upcoming Texas state accountability test), don’t we need to look at grading policies. Maybe put more weight on assessment scores rather than teacher created daily work? SC Response Great question. STAAR test or not, we need to look at grading policies, or as I like to call it: Grades – The Biggest Source of Fiction in Education. Recently, Dr. Jim Davis (aka: “The Big Easy”, or “The Smart One”) and I were discussing how to best fix this. Here is a thumbnail version of the Davis/Cain grading system, hereby to be referred to on most schools as, “Pure Crazy Talk.”1. Look at the scope and sequence (the crazy talk begins).2. Line out two weeks worth of work.3. Do daily work and homework (as outlined by the scope and sequence).4. Every two weeks, give a short quiz (and/or writing assignment) that is perfectly aligned to the scope and sequence.5. At the end of six weeks. Average the daily work / home work grades. Average the quiz grades.6. If the quiz grade average is higher than the daily grade average, use the quiz grade average for the final 6 weeks grade.7. If the daily grade average is higher than the quiz average, count the daily grade average as a fourth quiz grade and then use that average as the final 6 weeks grade. There you go, no muss, no fuss. Now you are assigning grades based on student mastery of the material and you are not unfairly penalizing the students who either took longer to understand the content or who are dealing with distracting life issues. Like I wrote above, “Pure Crazy Talk.” Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn…Visit the LYS Booth at the TASA Mid-Winter Conference

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