Have you ever been a part of a conversation like this one that has taken place in my house more than once:
14-year-old: “Mom, do we have any tissues I can bring to school?”
Me: “Why, are you getting a cold?”
14-year-old: “No, if I bring a box of tissues today I will get 10 points added to my test so I can get two wrong and still get a hundred.”
Cue that emoji with the really big eyes, exhibiting shock and horror. Don’t get me wrong…I believe in contributing to the community as a whole by sharing boxes of tissues and bottles of hand soap but that is not what makes this conversation so alarming. My own children are not the only ones who have alerted me to this type of assessment scoring…Students often ask to borrow a pencil so they don’t lose points on a quiz or run in to our classroom, breathless and begging to print out an essay so they aren’t docked a letter grade for turning it in late. The question remains: How does this type of scoring system tell us about a student’s progress toward learning standards??