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Assessment - and who sets the standard? What is Excellent?


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 01 2005 - 17:22:45 PST

Dear Art Educators,

I have been talking with an educator on the college

Here are some things that she had to say. She spent a
lot of time writing them just for me - so I asked her
permission to share.

From ITB:

"Degrees of success, as far as I can determine, are
not the same from site to site. "Excels" in one school
is not the same as "excels" in another. For
example, I recently gave a workshop in ...where high
school work was sub-par yet students had received
scores of 'A'. This work, quite frankly,
was below what would be passing in many second-grade

"Some of the more cutting edge schools I have worked
with ... are assigning four grades (A, B, C, F). Just
showing up for class does not justify a D. Either the
kids do the work or they don't. Guess which schools
have more kids producing work?"

"To test this reasoning, I have set up a scale that
eliminates the D. I have seen a marked improvement in
low achievers. They know that they must do at least
average work to pass. No more sitting in class and
staring at the walls. They have to be prepared and
they have to participate to pass with a C. I have
attached my course syllabus with the rubric on page 2
for you to see."

"Principals are telling me that including discipline
in the content grade is verboten. That should be a
separate line item altogether. In my estimation
it is almost impossible to separate the two. Most kids
can't make thoughtful art if they are misbehaving. In
general kids who fail art are kids who have poor
conduct grades, too."
We have talked about how behavior affects the end
grade...and those around them. Behavior (or
particpation) has to enter in somewhere.

I also asked her for some good solid examples of
Standards Based Assessment for you to see. She sent me
her course outline. I have only included the
assessment criteria for you to see - The Objective -
then the rubric to assess progress.

Just scroll over to read when you get to the
table....the table didn't translate to html right.
Her file looks better. I will try to fix it.


Judy Decker

Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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