Sound Grading Policies

By Douglas B. Reeves

I don’t know of a more controversial topic in educational policy right now than student grading. It is front-page news in national newspapers, and articles about grading policy can attract angry and emotional responses from parents, teachers, administrators, and other interested citizens.

Most board members have received more than a few comments about grading policies that are too hard (at least for my kids), too easy (certainly for other people’s kids), and inconsistent. Some teachers accept late work while others do not. Some teachers use the average while others do not. Some teachers emphasize the final exam while other teachers do not give a final exam.

If your district is considering an overhaul of grading policies, here are practical guidelines for the board to follow.

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