Deer Creek Mackinaw Standards Based Grading

This site is a work in progress. It will be updated through out the year/the districts process of moving to standards based grading. Therefore, please be patient until all work is able to be shared here. 

Standards Based Philosophy

Bike Riding: A Learned Skill

Bike riding is a skill many people acquire.  Some achieve this skill through a parent helping them balance, others by falling in the grass or on the street time after time.  Eventually, riding a bike was a learned skill ingrained in them through practice; however, if the bike rider were given a grade for riding, what would their grade have been?  At the start, the rider fell frequently.  Just when they thought they could do anything on a bike, along comes a curve or a rock in the road and down the rider goes.  The question is: how do we determine the success of the bike rider?  Let's say that over the first year of learning to ride a bike, there were six samples taken.  Three of those six sample rides ended with bumps and bruises; thus, the student would assess at 50%.  However, this bike riding skill stuck with the rider until they were eighty years old.  This was a skill that could be recalled and had longevity - in fact, during those sixty years of riding, ten were spent mountain bike riding.  Should that rider still be labeled with a 50% for bike riding?  After all, the rider retained the bike riding skill and could use that same skill in multiple settings.  Why don't we use this analogy in our classrooms?  Why do we still average grades together?  This is why standards based grading and assessment is so important to the future of education!  Students need to be involved in a learning environment where they can make mistakes and work together to achieve mastery.  The end result doesn't matter HOW the student achieved but rather that the student actually DID achieve.  Some students will take longer than other to achieve their individual learning goals, but as educators, our MUST be for them to reach grade level standards for the course.  The reason for Standards Based Grading and Assessment is this: we want our students to view learning as a process, a sequence that we use to achieve a skill.  We want our students to be able to fail in order to show resilience - taking whatever path they need to take in order to learn a specific skill.  We want students to know they are an individual and their education will be established by their own path.  We want students to learn in such a way that they can retain knowledge building their own framework to become productive individuals within our society.  Averaging student grades does not get them there, but standards based grading and assessment does.