ERIC Number: ED442840
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Teachers' Classroom Assessment and Grading Practices: Phase I and II.
McMillan, James H.; Workman, Daryl
Teacher assessment and grading practices were studied in a two-phase investigation in the seven school districts that make up the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium in Virginia. The first report summarizes the findings from Phase 1 of the study, which focused on teacher responses to closed-end, written survey questions. In Phase 1, 921 elementary, 597 middle, and 850 high school teachers were surveyed. They were asked about their grading and classroom assessment practices for a "typical" first semester class. Elementary school teachers indicated that academic factors clearly are most important in determining grades, but that related factors, such as improvement, effort, ability level, and class participation also make a significant contribution. The variety of responses shows large differences in how teachers emphasize different factors. Approximately 20% of grades given were "A"s. Results for secondary school teachers show little variation between grade levels or subject matter. As with elementary school teachers, academic performance was the most important grading factor, but effort, homework, and extra credit also entered into grading. Phase 2 of the study focuses on interviews with 28 teachers. The analysis of interview data indicates that there is tension between two sources of influence on teacher decision-making concerning assessment and grading practices. One source is teacher beliefs and values and another is external pressures and constraints. These pressures include parent demands and informing parents of student progress, school division policies, skills needed by students once they graduate, practical constraints and state-mandated high-stakes multiple-choice testing. The state test seems to have become a significant influence on teacher decision making. An appendix to Phase I contains the teacher surveys. (Contains 20 tables and 60 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, Richmond, VA.
Identifiers - Location: Virginia