Some ideas from Joe Feldman’s comments on Rick Hess’ blog

“Equitable grading” is defined by Tyner and Coffey as “lowering standards through lenient grading policies” in a recent report. Joe counters that the adoption of equitable grading does not support pass/fail alternatives, the elimination of sanctions for tardiness and cheating, or the suspension of mandatory graduation requirements. He underlines that there should be repercussions regardless of a student’s mark and that fair grading does not support pass/fail alternatives, eliminating late fees, or condoning plagiarism or cheating.

Joe notes that the authors’ reasoning rests on a series of false assumptions, the first of which is the true claim that increasing GPAs don’t correlate with constant scores on standardized tests. They subjectively refer to some acts as “lenient” and assert—without providing any supporting data—that these particular actions are the reason behind grade inflation. Without providing any supporting data, they also mistakenly categorize those particular “lenient” grading procedures as components of equal grading.

According to Joe, the findings of both research show that kids will aspire to high standards and fall short of low ones. The foundation of equitable grading is the idea that a student’s grade ought to represent their knowledge, not their behavior, number of tries, or completion of extra credit assignments.

Grading policies that are equitable can and frequently do lessen grade inflation and deflation. Although deflated marks are more worrisome, students who earn inflated grades are frequently disregarded or excluded from opportunities for which they are qualified.

Richer students are more likely to enroll in Advanced Placement courses and participate in extracurricular activities that enhance their resumes, according to Rick and Coffey, who contend that underprivileged students depend on their institutions for credentials and motivation. Additionally, they contend that parents who have higher expectations for their children tend to have higher expectations for their advantaged children, which emphasizes the need for schools to hold parents of less advantaged children to a higher standard. Joe, on the other hand, disagrees with their recommendation, saying that educators and schools need to continue holding all kids to high standards, especially those who have historically been held to lesser standards and have fewer resources available to them outside of the classroom.

These drawbacks are mitigated by equitable grading, which requires teachers to concentrate only on accurately describing a student’s comprehension of the material covered in the course and to design grading and assessment procedures that encourage and provide equal chances for all students. He also points out that behavior and effort are now graded independently of academic mastery in Boston public schools. He contends that online grade books currently show kids’ scores in several areas and let parents view the results.

According to Joe, fair grading more accurately represents the professional workplace than standard grading because the real world of business is typically less forgiving than the world of education. Instead of emphasizing compliant behaviors, equitable grading should concentrate on critical thinking, in-depth comprehension, and self-regulation. Curriculum and instruction should be required by schools, along with more exacting, fair grading, in order to prepare children for professional work environments at the highest levels rather than the lowest skilled positions.