Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watch Out for Those Parent Revolts

Nancy Flanagan on "standards-based grading:"

The article and the arguments are proof that what goes around comes around. In the very early 90s, outcome-based education was the hot new model: prove you’ve learned it, or go back until you’ve reached an acceptable level of proficiency. Parent reporting was a list of outcomes–kids didn’t know it, sort of knew it, had mastered it. The words are different but the processes and intentions described in the article are exactly the same. And on the face of it–outcomes-based learning and reporting is exactly what we say we want to happen: credible measurement of learning rather than hoop-jumping or gaming the system.

And what happened with outcomes-based education(and remember–this was a decade before NCLB)? Well, it got shot down violently and publicly in a couple of well-publicized “parent revolts” and kind of quietly faded from the scene, replaced by more emphasis (and argument) around “standards” (variously defined) and core curriculum and multiple measures.

1 comment:

Nancy Flanagan said...

Thanks for posting my comment. Just a bit of context--the standards-based grading in question was presented as something new being tried in a MN school: grading students on whether they met standards, and letting them re-take assessments until an acceptable level of competence was achieved.

Heard that one before. And now we know what the life cycle of an idea seems to be--about 15 years.

It's spelled "Flanagan"--thanks. Makes it easier for the Googlereader to pick it up.