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Proficient Based Grading

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Zachary Davidson

on 23 July 2013

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Transcript of Proficient Based Grading

Obstacle 1
Obstacle 2

Obstacle 5
Creating the Change

Obstacle 3
Clearing Hurdles

Obstacle 4 the Balcony
Obstacle 6

a)Steps to be taken

i. First the district office must commit to keeping the leadership in place in order to mature the proficiency based grading system.
ii. A structure and system must be created which has fidelity to the proficiency based grading system.
iii. Staff must be trained in how to create effective assessments.
iv. Data teams must be utilized and PLC teams must create common assessments.
v. This structure must be communicated to staff and expectations, timetables and systems must hold them accountable.
vi. This system must be effectively communicated to students and parents
vii. Staff and student success must be recognized and celebrated

1) Our grading philosophy has been in limbo for several years now as we have sought to create uniformed standards for a grading system based on proficiency and common assessments.
a) This policy was undertaken by Scott Sullivan the current high school principal after he saw it on a school visit. It was then implemented at the junior high and intermediate levels at the elementary schools.
b) Although this initiative was forced they have eagerly sought to gain consensus in order to foster support.
c) The high school has apparently fully implemented it while the junior and the elementary schools are still in the process of adopting these policies.
a) Environment: High stakes testing has created a need for consistent reliable data to both inform teachers and students. While this is not a national or state mandate yet, it is a district mandate as they attempt to apply best practices and better equip students for the rigor of state testing.
(Rick Stiggins)
b)Strategic: Questions need to be answered, so proper assessments can be created and implemented.

1) First, how do you determine proficiency?
2) Second, how many data points are required to represent true student proficiency?
3) Finally, what do these assessments look like?
c) Organizational: First, assessments teams/departments need to create effective common assessments. Second, data teams need to be formed and trained on how to collect the data and respond to inconsistencies.
d) Culture: The district and school must be committed to making this become a reality by investing in staff training, accepting mistakes, learning from those mistakes and providing a structure and plan for the organizational change.
e) Behavior: Some staff will need to sacrifice their sacred cows in order to create consistency and effective assessments
f) Mindset: Most staff doubts change will occur because of a real lack of progress over the past 5 years under the direction of 5 different principals.
4) If you had observed this school over the past several years it would be very apparent that the Structural and Political frames are missing or very weak. A lack of consistent leadership has resulted in a lack of continuity in the process of creating an effective proficiency based grading system and staff buy in as a result has suffered because of an inability to create any traction.
b) I have already set a timeline for common assessments in my PLC for the start of the next academic school year, and some our being run on a trial bases already. Second, we will use our PLC time next year to compare the data our assessments yield in order to refine and improve our assessments. However, during this process we have had several conversations on what are effective assessments tools for properly determining proficiency and how many assessments are required to create a true indication of mastery. We are still struggling to answer these questions.
c) I believe Likert’s consulting and participatory management style would create the authentic and viable systematic change we are seeking. Furthermore, this would earn the support of the staff faster, but the correct staff members must be selected and empowered in order to create change.
d) Several of Kotters tasks would be essential for creating the required change. First, a sense of urgency to properly implement this system is essential to establish an effective timetable, which will challenge staff, but reassure them that this is possible and imminent. Therefore, some short term victories must be obtained in order mobilize the staff and reassure them that this can be implemented successfully. Finally, we must be persistent and relentless in our commitment to create this organizational change.
6) I am concerned that staff will be hesitant to change when they have been able to maintain the status quo due to the revolving door of administrators who have been unable to fully integrate any real comprehensive and systematic change these past five years. I am also afraid that new administration will come in again or that a timeline will not include appropriate deadlines and expectations to achieve desired results.
Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian, Portland-area schools debate proficiency-based education, (2010)
Bolman, L.G., and Deal , T.E., Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership, 4th edition. San Franciso: Jossey Bass, (2008).
Corwin. Hammeker, Practical solutions for serious problems in standards-based grading. Thousand Oaks, CA (2007).
Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review OnPoint (March-April), 1-10.
Likert, R. (1961), New Patterns of Management, McGrawHill. Likert, R. (1967), The Human Organization: Its Management and Value, McGrawHill.
Stiggins, Rick. Assessment FOR Learning: An Essential Foundation of Productive Instruction. Ahead of the Curve: The Power of Assessment to transform Teaching and Learning, (2007).
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