What We Know about Grading: What Works, what Doesn't, and What's Next

Front Cover
Thomas R. Guskey, Susan M. Brookhart
ASCD, 2019 - Education - 236 pages

Grading is one of the most hotly debated topics in education, and grading practices themselves are largely based on tradition, instinct, or personal history or philosophy. But to be effective, grading policies and practices must be based on trustworthy research evidence.

Enter this book: a review of 100-plus years of grading research that presents the broadest and most comprehensive summary of research on grading and reporting available to date, with clear takeaways for learning and teaching. Edited by Thomas R. Guskey and Susan M. Brookhart, this indispensable guide features thoughtful, thorough dives into the research from a distinguished team of scholars, geared to a broad range of stakeholders, including teachers, school leaders, policymakers, and researchers. Each chapter addresses a different area of grading research and describes how the major findings in that area might be leveraged to improve grading policy and practice. Ultimately, Guskey and Brookhart identify four themes emerging from the research that can guide these efforts:

- Start with clear learning goals,
- Focus on the feedback function of grades,
- Limit the number of grade categories, and
- Provide multiple grades that reflect product, process, and progress criteria.

By distilling the vast body of research evidence into meaningful, actionable findings and strategies, this book is the jump-start all stakeholders need to build a better understanding of what works--and where to go from here.

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About the author (2019)

Dr. Thomas R. Guskey is professor emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he began his career in education as a middle school teacher and school administrator in Chicago Public Schools. He later became the first director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. Dr. Guskey served on the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future and the task force to develop National Standards for Staff Development, has been named a fellow in the American Educational Research Association (AERA)--the association's highest honor--and was awarded AERA's prestigious Relating Research to Practice Award. He was also named the 2010 Jason Millman Scholar by the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE). He is author or editor of 24 award-winning books and more than 250 book chapters and articles.

Dr. Susan M. Brookhart is professor emerita in the School of Education at Duquesne University and an independent educational consultant and author based in Helena, Montana. She is author or coauthor of 18 books and more than 70 articles and book chapters on classroom assessment, teacher professional development, and evaluation. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and on several national advisory panels. She has been named the 2014 Jason Millman Scholar by the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE) and is the recipient of the 2015 Samuel J. Messick Memorial Lecture Award from ETS/TOEFL. Dr. Brookhart received her PhD in Educational Research and Evaluation from The Ohio State University, after teaching in both elementary and middle schools.

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