Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting Minutes–January 14, 2014
GALILEO ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Leadership Team/Department Heads Meeting
Galileo Grading Policy Conversation Day 4
–Surface concerns, issues and strengths around teachers’ grading policies
–Challenge or confirm belief systems around grading policies
–Create a safe environment to share potentially difficult issues
1. Minute Paper
2. Review Norms—raising hand s, step-up/step back, assume positive intentions.
3. Framing for the day: What are your next steps with your departments and as a school?
4. Lincoln Policy
5. Work time – individual – partner – group
6. Next steps?
Lisa distributed a document that was from last semester—Mark Distribution by Ethnicity.
Doug asked for a similar document by gender.
Eric and Myra came for the 4th meeting on the Grading Topic.
Eric reviewed the norms, including assume positive intentions.
Myra talked about the Framing for the Day. Myra and Eric will share what Lincoln’s Policy is and then everyone will work in groups.
Eric distributed the Lincoln Grading Policy and asked members to review it and talk with one another about it. This is a living document.
Eric asked for feedback from the group.
–Alicia mentioned the issue of the two students who got the same grade—one came all the time but didn’t do all the work and the other student who didn’t come every day but did the work. They both got grades of C. The C says something about each student.
–Marc said they wanted to make sure the students gained some mastery and the grade reflects that.
–Eric mentioned discussions at other schools.
–Stan said we are doing fine on expectations. What does consistent grading policy? How do you calibrate grades? Stan also mentioned the vocabulary in the Lincoln document. He also mentioned the School Loop Guidelines.
–Eric explained how the Lincoln faculty discuss common assessments and look at student work and compare grading standards.
–Stan challenged the word calibrated and its definition.
–Mat added with calibrated grades there must be a baseline and asked who will set the baseline?
–Doug added that if there are enough people discussing, the members can calibrate to each other and do not really need a baseline.
–David asked how long this has been implemented at Lincoln. Eric said this was the first school year it was implemented. He expressed curiosity about the gains Lincoln will make this year.
–Joseph like the idea of teachers getting together to look at work samples and compare grading policies. He also liked the words “care givers” in the document. Joseph also agreed with Stan about the definition of the words.
–Joseph also mentioned the disagreement between teaches and the union about the use of School Loop.
Eric called for a discussion about what kinds of activities you would like to try out in your departments. How will this affect grading policies. He referred to the back of the agenda with a piece from our last WASC review. These are items we were told to work on.
WASC—“Identification of essential skills and knowledge in all courses and the development of common assessments, grading standards, criteria, rubrics and student exemplars so that teachers can made grading practices more consistent and more accurately communicate proficiency levels to students.” Lisa added that this is something WASC recommended we work on.
What are the next steps with your departments?
–Share syllabus and discuss individual grading policies
–Create common rubric
–Discuss and develop no D policy
–Plan common assignments or assessments
–Discuss late work/revision and develop policy
–Discuss the purpose of grades and who is the intended audience
Things to Think About:
–How much are assessments worth? What types of assignments are teachers using?
–How much are assignments worth?
–Are grades based on meeting the standards of effort?
The members of the group discussed the issues with each other.
Eric called for feedback from the group.
–David mentioned the grade break down and the differences in teachers in the same courses. It is not just a disparity, but also teachers can teach the same course in different ways. Students know this. This affects the Master Schedule.
–Michelle said looking at a particular grade level, the grades can be high, and then looking at the EAP scores, they do not always match in the 11th and 12th grades where we are trying to assess if the students are college ready.
–Mat said he thought this would be a tough buy in as teachers appreciate educational freedom and flexibility. He felt there would be obstacles. His department has begun an assessment activity.
–David does not want to get away from academic freedom, but there must be common curriculum.
–Doug felt the way David does. Then he talked about it from a student’s prospective and the differences in easier teachers and higher grades. There should be fairness for the students. He referred to the data by ethnicity. He look at the balance between ethnic groups and it seems more balanced in the seniors. It is not balanced when the students are freshmen. He mentioned the differences in being prepared when they enter high school. He felt his department would understand the need for implementing this.
–Joseph said this will vary from department to department. The departments vary in size and the amount of classes/courses in each department.
–Kathleen said they have a consistent portfolio in her department that spells out the assignments and the amount of each type of assignment.
Eric and Myra will be here at Galileo to help support everyone. Myra told everyone she was ready to provide information. They both thanked the group for having them.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15pm.