Lately I've become intrigued by the Standards-Based Grading (SBG) stuff that's going around. While many school districts are going toward grade reports that list standards and how well a student is doing in those standards, I think a true SBG believer really does do things differently.
There's the notion that kids should know what it is they're supposed to learn and be allowed to master it on their own time (within limits), which sounds great but isn't really what we do for kids. How often to students get a roadmap of the learning that they're expected to do? Or do they just know their scores for Quiz 1, Homework 3, and Test 5? What if we told them that their scores are to tell them where they need to work a little more, and then let them prove their mastery? Right now, if a kid doesn't do well on Quiz 1, that grade gets figured into the final grade even if they later master the material on that quiz. The grade in this case is not indicative of mastery level but of scores on assessments. A kid could finally "get it" at the end of a quarter but the grade wouldn't indicate that. This bugs me.
A good place to start if you have no clue what I'm talking about is Shawn Cornally's blog. Let me know what you think.