Well-renown educational researchers, including Rick Wormeli, Rick Stiggins and Robert Marzano, have stated that every aspect of our teaching, including our grading and assessment practices, should be fair to students, and it should reflect student’s learning. They also have stated that entering a zero or very low assessment scores, when using a percent scale, has devastating mathematical consequences on grade averages, often putting students into an irrecoverable position. After all, why bother to keep trying when you know that nothing you can do will bring that percent average up to a passing mark?
Using best practice research, Whitefish Bay Middle School uses a rubric grading scale that translates the traditional percentage scale to grade points prior to averaging when determining grade marks. In this assessment practice, our assessment scores are fair to students in minimizing the impact of zeros and low percentages on overall averages. Our assessment philosophy also avoids placing our students in such low percentage averages that it would be difficult to recover, despite academic growth.
"Today's system of classroom grading is at least 100 years old and has little or no research to support its continuation" - Robert Marzano
"...we should teach and grade in such a way that engenders hope...and accuracy" - Rick Wormeli
"...the common use of the zero today is based on a 100-point scale. This defies logic and mathematical accuracy. On a 100-point scale, the interval between numerical and letter grades is typically 10 points, with the break point at 90, 80, 70, and so on. But when the grade of 0 is applied to a 100-point scale, the interval between the D and F is not 10 points but 60 points." - Douglas Reeves
WHITEFISH BAY MIDDLE SCHOOL
ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING SCALE
Grade Mark Percentage Grade Point