Some folks in education like to think the old, dusty, paper grade-book of numbers and slashes has given way to a new and improved method of grade tracking complete with clarity and transparency.
Gone are the days of the instructor being the omniscient holder of knowledge and values in the classroom and now parents can SEE all that is behind the grades can understand how their student is doing. Participation, homework, quiz and test scores can communicate what a student is or is not executing and families can get on board in the education of their children.
Right? Well, kind of. The paper is gone, but one basic question remains: what are our grade-books actually communicating?
"Well sir, aren't we supposed to teach more than just our content? I want these kids to be good citizens, right?!?"
True, we must wear many hats as educators and I agree that what some researchers call 'soft' or 'executive' skills and functions must be taught and assessed but does our grade-book communicate these and especially how students can get better at them?
Should we begin to focus as an educational entity on Competency-based learning? Standards-based learning/grading? Non-graded practices? Common Core and College Readiness skills and problem solving only?
What and how should our grade-books communicate?
What does your grade-book communicate?
Just a chance to reflect over educational articles and ideas that float through my head.