I am a big fan of standards-based grading. I was implementing some form of SBG for most of my teaching career. It makes sense if you want to more authentically assess student learning. However, it seems my Google Reader is overly littered with SBG posts and I fear that we are in danger of missing the forest (student learning) for the tree (SBG).
I think it is great so many people are jumping on the SBG express, but if your *teaching* doesn’t change, what’s the point? So you’ve made your assessment more transparent, you have clear goals and are going to measure student learning rather than compliance. GREAT! Now what are you doing in the act of teaching to help your students get to the deep levels of understanding you desire instead of just memorizing a bunch of vocab words?
I can’t wait to hear stories of how *teaching* is transformed to focus more on student learning. It is student learning and our teaching that matter most. Simply providing students the ability to “try again” to meet the standard doesn’t mean you are doing all you can as their teacher to improve their learning and thinking abilities.
Importantly, I’m not at all anti-SBG, I just hope our collective emphasis shifts away from assessment and toward teaching and learning. Yes, SBG is an important shift, but not the “magic bullet” to improve teaching. Only our hard, reflective work will do that.