Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tests and Grades: Missing the point

Tests and grades have infected the culture of public education.

Teachers could give politicians all the test scores they could possibly want while giving the kids nothing they really need.

It is important to remember that those who make test scores and grades the heart of education tend to be able to hit their targets while entirely missing the point.


  1. I find that teaching without tests gives much more room for actual learning to take place. It's a little harder, both for me and for the students, but it's an investment that pays off.

  2. Thanks Joe. I completely agree and have changed my methods after 17 years of homework and tests.

    I now assign no homework and never give tests or quizzes. I also no longer grade. I sometimes create objective diagnostic tools, which I use only to decide future lessons.

    All assessment is formative -- daily feedback both from me and from students. Plenty of written feedback on our web-based grading tool and on student web sites.

    This has completely changed teaching and learning in my classroom.

    Thanks for your continued inspiration.


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