Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Issues in Education

(Part of @teachthought 30-day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge) more info here.

Day 17: "What do you think is the most challenging issue in education today?"

There are many issues in education that affect our staff, students, curriculum, funding, environment, resources, and more.

I believe one of the most challenging issues in education is assessment and grading

Assessment in some forms is necessary to determine the current status of students' learning and to make decisions about what they need to be able to do or learn next. However, there can be a "tipping point" where the number of assessments given and the high-stakes environment it often creates outweighs the information the assessment provides to the teacher. More time could be focused on planning, instruction, and providing for individual needs in the classroom instead of using an ever-increasing amount of instructional time to assess.

Grading is a way for students, parents, and teachers to be aware of student progress. However, grading can become very subjective if teachers are determining which assignments to grade, how many points to include, and what they consider to be proficient. A letter grade or even a score is sometimes not enough for the students, parents, or even teachers to really know and understand exactly what each student is able to. This can cause inconsistencies across teachers, classrooms, schools, and districts.

While assessment and grading will probably continue to be an issue of debate in many schools and districts, I hope to help move forward in bringing these issues to a new level of change and innovation. Learning more about standards-based grading will most likely help move educators in the direction of more meaningful assessment and grading.

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