Causes Of Low Student Achievement Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Teaching Type: Essay Paper: #20310551 Related Topics: Achievements, Gifted Students, Test, Measure For Measure
Excerpt from Essay :

Causes of Low Student Achievement

Does the grading system accurately measure how well a student is learning?

This question itself implies that the grading system used by many teachers cannot be fully accurate in assessing what a given student has learned. Psychology Professor James D. Allen (the School of Psychology at the College of Saint Rose in New York State) explains that while the grading system is supposed to "accurately" reflect a student's academic achievement, it is very likely that in most cases grades do not truly reflect progress in academics, i.e., learning (Allen, 2005, p. 218).

Moreover, Allen says that teachers are required to give grades that supposedly summarize the knowledge a student has obtained, and this is called a "summative evaluation" (219). The teacher should also provide "formative" assessments by directly giving the student feedback and training them to become "self-regulated learners" (219). The grade is supposed to become an "accurate public record" of a student's academic achievement, Allen continues, but it doesn't necessarily follow that a grade is a valid guide to another teacher as to what that student has learned. Hence, the answer to this question is, no, grades don't truly reflect learning.

TWO: What alternative methods of measuring learning that would be meaningful?

There is no doubt that as far as schools' value and teachers' value to communities, there must be an assessment of learning to justify the...


But there are other ways besides grades to assess learning, according to The George Lucas Educational Foundation. For example, the skills that students need today -- learning to solve problems; recall; analysis; comparison; inference, and evaluation -- can't be measured by "…our current high-stakes tests," which end up as grades (Edutopia). Moreover, learning teamwork and collaboration cannot be measure by grades. Students should be required to make presentations based on what they have learned; students should be required to create meaningful projects that reflect their ability to apply what they have learned to solid, bricks-and-mortar-type creations. If a student is in an architectural program, he or she should be assessed based on his or her design of a building. Some teachers sets learning outcome goals at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year assesses how each student progressed in mastering, say, ten skills. That assessment is worth far more than a mere grade because it also indicates what areas need additional attention.

THREE: What are the curriculum implications of standards-based report cards?

Standards-based report cards is used by some school districts to inform and give a more "…accurate feedback to parents regarding their child's progress" than just a letter grade, according to the Wesley Lakes Elementary School (WLES). Using this system students are to achieve Level 1 (emerging knowledge); Level 2 (progressing towards achievement); Level 3 ("Meets" the standard that is expected); and Level 4 ("Exceeds" consistently and independently the standard that has been set) (WLES). What are the curriculum implications? In this system the curriculum should be very well articulated to all students and aligned tightly to the standards-based assessment strategy. Standards-based curriculum shouldn't be any different than other curricula that students are asked to learn; it's all in how the…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Allen, J.D. (2005). Grades as Valid Measures of Academic Achievement of Classroom

Learning. The Clearing House, 78(5), 218-228.

Edutopia. (2008). How Should We Measure Student Learning? The Many Forms of Assessment.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from

Cite this Document:

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