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Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Grade Scale Raises Questions

Concord High School [NH] has begun rolling out a new grading system aimed at encouraging progress rather than marking achievement. But two years after the new 1-to-5 grade scale saw its first limited use, major questions remain about how competency-based education will work in Concord

The shift away from the 100-point grading scale will foster a different mindset about assessment, Crumrine told the 16 or so adults gathered at the parents meeting Thursday. Though the school will continue using the 100-point scale on transcripts, the current plan calls for teachers to mark report cards with grades ranging from 1, when a student shows no grasp of a competency, to 5, when he or she masters it.

The shift is intended to strip grades of association with judgment, so they become a tool of communication. A teacher can tell a student it's all right to begin with a 1 more convincingly than he could say it's all right to begin with an F, said Crumrine, who teaches two chemistry classes.

We're doomed...

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