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Making the Grade Grading Practices for Students with Disabilities By Cathy Sartain Industries

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Presentation on theme: "Making the Grade Grading Practices for Students with Disabilities By Cathy Sartain Industries"— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the Grade Grading Practices for Students with Disabilities By Cathy Sartain Industries

2 Why Worry About Grading? LRE Standards based curriculum and state assessment District grading policies Litigation

3 What Makes Grading Hard?  lack of regulatory guidance  “faulty” thinking

4 Doesn’t Federal Law Tell Us Everything We Need To Know?  IDEA: is silent with respect to grading issues  Section 504: prohibits discrimination in grading procedures

5 What is Some of the Faulty Thinking?  I can’t fail a special education student  I give all my Life Skills students an 85 The report card grade does not really mean anything

6  The grade on the report card can’t be less than the IEP mastery level  I teach a lot in my classroom, but I can only grade the things that are on the IEP  I don’t do the grades for my sped students in my classroom, the sped teacher does

7 I really want to do things correctly… what guidance is there so I don’t make mistakes?

8 May I use a different grading system?  Only if the IEP team adopts an alternate system based on specific disability related needs Don’t take it upon yourself to make changes outside of an IEP Team meeting!

9 My student is receiving accommodations in my classroom, do I modify the grade?  Do not reduce a grade merely because the student receives accommodations, or is in special education

10 Since my classroom is inclusive, I arbitrarily weight my sped students’ grades, this is OK, right?  Of course not!!!! But, what if we take out the word arbitrary?

11 It Depends!  A district may use a weighting system in which [each] course is analyzed separately and assigned a degree of difficulty based on methods of instruction and material covered(North East ISD, TX. 1995)

12 Most of my students are in general education, can I identify as a goal, that they will make a passing grade?  Definitely not! The mastery criteria is tied only to the skill specified in the goal

13 Are good grades on my sped students’ report cards proof that the district is providing FAPE? Persuasive, but not definitive

14 If I send out IEP Progress Reports, must I also send out Report Cards?  IDEA requires that the IEP describes how progress toward annual goal will be measured, and  When the periodic reports on progress will be provided to the parents

15 So, we must look to Section 504 for guidance! Section 504 tells us that:  We can’t discriminate  We must document in IEP if ARDC determines alternate grading method  Grading must be meaningful and useful

16 Can the grade be based solely on effort? State law (TEC ):  requires a teacher to assign a grade that reflects the student’s mastery of an assignment, AND  may not require a teacher to assign a minimum grade without regard to the student’s quality of work (not on effort alone)  May allow reasonable opportunity to make up or redo assignments and tests failed

17 If the IEP Team recommends a grading accommodation, will that affect the graduation option?  No, graduation options are determined by rigor of content and grading is about mastery of content

18 Is it OK to identify if a sped student is working on a modified curriculum on his report card?  Report cards are intended as a communication to parents and asterisks or other symbols or codes may be used to indicate a modification or exception to the generally applicable grading scale.

19 Well then, can we identify if a student is taking sped classes on their transcript?  We can not use a notation for the purpose of identifying a course for students with disabilities  A transcript is generally expected to be shared with others than just the parent

20 In other words:  Grading practices need to be fair and equitable  Practices can’t be discriminatory or exclusionary  Grades need to be meaningful and useful

21 What does that look like?  Consistent framework for making decisions on determining grades for report card  Decisions are documented in IEP  Grades are true reflection of student’s progress

22 What should we base our decisions on?  District policies  Impact of disability on grading policies and procedures  Place of instruction  Curriculum expectations

23 What are my grading options?  District policies  District policies with accommodations  Alternate grading system

24 How is this documented in the ARD paperwork?  Depends on the district’s IEP paperwork  Most often is addressed in the accommodations portion of the paperwork  May also be addressed in the deliberations (minutes)

25 But this sounds like it could look differently for each student? You got it! Must be:  Specific to the student  Specific to the content area  Specific to the impact of the student’s disability on the grading policies and procedures  Discussed, decided and documented in the IEP meeting

26 What tools can help make this happen?  Guidance for IEP Team decision making and documentation  Guidance for IEP Team selection of grading accommodation  Guidance for IEP Team development of alternate grading systems  Training, training, and training!

27 Sample ARD Decision-Making Guide For Determining Grades If the instruction is:Then the grading may be: Curriculum Expectations Accoms/ Mods Instruct. Setting State Assessment Grading OptionsARD Documentation TEKSwith or without General and/or Special STAAR STAAR L STAAR A STAAR Alt 1.District policies 2.DP with accommodations TEKS Modified Content mods with Or w/o accoms General and/or Special STAAR A STAAR Alt 1.District policies 2.DP with accoms 3.Alternate grading TEKS Alternate Content Mods (academic & functional) General and/or Special STAAR Alt2.DP with accoms 3.Alternate grading DistrictSpecific This is a guidance document. The ARD Committee makes all IEP Decisions based on individual student need.

28 Sample Guidance on Selection of Grading Accommodations Rational for Accommodation Type of accommodation ARD Documentation Deficits in long-term retrieval Deficits in acquiring basic knowledge Deficits in attention and concentration Deficits in ability to complete tasks Assessments Will take benchmark but will not count as grade Additional points will be given for corrections on test items Drop lowest test grade Assignments Minimum of ___ daily grades Grades determined from work completed in class No grade penalty for classroom notebook check

29 Sample Grading Rubric for Student on Alternate Curriculum in General Education for Social Skills Development Criterion4321 Transitions Appropriately moves between activities with no assistance Appropriately moves between activities with limited assistance Inconsistently moves between activities with assistance Refuses to move between activities with assistance Participation Stays in work area, on task and participates in all activities Mostly stays in work area, on task and participates in all activities Seldom stays in work area, on task and participates in all activities Refuses to stay in work area, on task and participate in all activities Communication Verbalizes in appropriate manner to express needs and thoughts With guidance, verbalizes in appropriate manner to express needs and thoughts Rarely verbalizes in appropriate manner to express needs and thoughts Inappropriately verbalizes to express needs and thoughts Total Comments: Raw Score: ________X/12 Converted Score: ________%


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