Day 35 (of 184) what does a score if 26/23 mean?

Day 35 (of 184) 26/23

It shouldn’t bug me but it does.

My eldest daughter (grade 8) loves bugging me about some of the marks she brings home. She has often brought home scores which show that she has done extremely well – but it bugs me when she brings home scores like 26/23.

William Patterson said “the grading box is alive and well, and in some schools an classrooms, it is impenetrable”.

For a number of years I have pushed, encouraged, an modelled an assessment approach based on descriptive feedback and achievement scores connected to learning outcomes.

Yes I’m a big fan of the work done by Ken O’Connor (@kenoc7) – especially his ’15 Fixes’ which always bring up very powerful discussions. The book is great – some of the highlights are:

1. Don’t include student behaviour in grades (easy to score kids down or up because of their demeanour in class)

2. Don’t reduce grades for work submitted late (hard because of some self-imposed deadlines, but learners learn at different rates….)

3. Don’t use zeros. (Zero is not a number – even if there is great philosophical debate about it – avoid paradigm enigmas and avoid the 0)

4. Don’t punish academic dishonesty with reduced grades (mark the work. Their work.)

5. Don’t consider attendance in grade determination (some kids don’t need to attend everyday to master a subject. Or to at least pass the thing)

6. Don include group scores in grades. (In no group does everyone do equal work, yet when it sometimes looks like everyone is working with different amounts of effort, it might be that the work is all equal. It’s all very difficult to figure out and understand. Better to just avoid it)

7. Use standards as a basis for assessment (have performance standards at various achievement levels which they can be assessed next to – know what an “A” is…)

8. Know the difference between formative and summative assessment and when to use each (no comment here)

9. Involve students – here’s the connection descriptive feedback.



I’ve for my second breath (for the umpteenth time) and ready to reassume the battle against percentages and remember my Marzano:
“Why would anyone want to change current grading practice? The answer is quite simple: grades are so imprecise they are almost meaningless”

Hmmm maybe like a meaningless 26/23 in math today…..further thinking and discussion required!!


About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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