Assessment- Feedback Welcome

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In French secondary schools we assess students using grades that range from 0 – for extremely poor work or nothing at all- to 20 – for a paper which we deem to be the best a student that age can produce.

In primary school the system is different. In the past teachers used a 10-point grading scale but now they use a system of code – usually colors – to indicate how well the pupil has performed.

There are talks however in middle schools to introduce a system that would be closer to the one used at primary level. Of course they wouldn’t use a color scheme but standardized phrases to indicate whether the new point has been aquired or not or if the student seems to be acquiring it.

My feelings is that such a system is far more limited than the present grading system, especially as the student gets older and the things that are assessed more complex.

I wonder what you readers think either as former students or as parents. How were you assessed and how did this make you feel? How are your children assessed now and does that satisfy you?

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9 thoughts on “Assessment- Feedback Welcome

  1. For more daughter who struggles with reading, I value the discussion I have with her teachers much more than any coding. I suppose they need this to assess as a whole how students are doing.

  2. At primary level, I agree that discussions with teachers is the best. However this isn’t so easy when the kids get older and have numerous teachers. I wonder what parents feel is adequate when they want to know how well their kids achieve.

  3. In English schools students are graded with A to C, with and – signs to indicate variations between, so a B is higher than a B, is higher than a B-. I think this is quite good as it is consistent with how exams are graded as well. When I was little, we got gold, silver it bronze stars stuck on our work, but that was just my school – there wasn’t a state- wide system.

    I think the French proposal does sound a bit limiting.

    • In my comment, the ‘plus’ or ‘addition’ signs are missing, so it doesn’t make sense now! … a B plus is higher than a B, is higher than a B minus…’ hope that clears up the confusion!

  4. Here in Israel, in the younger grades, teachers use words (“Excellent”, “Very Good”, “Good”, etc.) instead of numbers. By about 4th grade, the kids are graded numerically, on a scale of 1-10. And in high school, the grades are on a scale of 1-100.

  5. For junior high and high school grading, the system is basically the same in the U.S. as it is in England. Usually, A+=96-100, A-=90-95, and so on down the scale. C-= the normal lowest passing grade. F=fail.

  6. As a former student, teacher, and parent, I think finding a system that conveys clarity is important. however, in all of these cases, besides a percentage or letter grade, I think a teacher’s written comments are also important. They can help convey a student’s strengths and weaknesses, or explain a surprisingly high or low grade in a way that a number or letter cannot. I liked meeting my students’ parents and hearing from them, too, about their children. It made understanding and evaluating their children’s performance much easier to know their families better.

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