Looking into a misread of the ministry report order for clarification on this….but I think I want to share my thinking on moving away from %s is still worth being here:
Summer of Learning 2019 #7 end of averages (an homage to @ltoddrose )
I am a huge fan of the writing and thinking of Todd Rose ( @ltoddrose ) and his books “End of Average” and “Dark Horse” have helped reinforce some of my thinking for doing different because when we try for “a” style of teaching and learning, we miss many. And I am mindful that my own push for differentiation and project based learning (with a Design Thinking mindset) seems like it too would not meet the needs of all, but much like the 90’s mis understood phonics vs whole language Ed-debate, as whole language did actually make use of phonics(just not relying on it), PBL can incorporate all styles of teaching learning (though I would argue that instead of having students take a test, it may be more interesting to have them create a test) and this week kicked off with a great share about the B.C. Ministry of Education changing the report order and releasing the need for percentages – and thereby the need for mis-using math to create “averages” to get to a % that is often/always more imprecise than what “a number” feels like it ought to be. From weighting different elements of work – assignments vs quizzes vs tests vs projects vs presentations vs etc vs etc…. to relying on one style of averaging (mean over median mode & range without fully understanding why…. if anything shouldn’t all averaging techniques be used and then a trend be used?) anyways, percentages is no longer needed on BC report cards:
(Real and true):
As I started my journey into eportfolios, a colleague and I declared our goal would be that our kids graduated with a portfolio rather than a transcript with percentages. And while my oldest girl missed it (graduating as valedictorian last year….if there is a game of school and a “first place prize” why not play to win?) the ref of our kids are now one step closer.
My “teaser” to a special project I am working on includes some more background into the almost 100 year resistance to the “farce of grading”, and removing the need for %s is a big step to support descriptive feedback looping!
And I am sure this summer (especially for our secondary colleagues) will be having a lot of discussion about the new order – including the ongoing debate about which are the “best words” for describing learning standards:
But this is a very positive step as we take more and more steps to make learning as personalized as the coffees many of us order each day!