The Value of Grades

Spring
2008
Resolution Number: 
14.02
Contact: 
Category: 
Grading
Status: 
Completed

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has developed the paper "Promoting Thoughtful Faculty Conversations about Grade Distributions" that calls on faculty and local academic senates to examine local grade distribution data and hold in-depth professional conversations about its implications for student success and public perceptions of grading;

Whereas, Public confidence in grades, their relevance, integrity, and import has been challenged significantly, and the use of grades has suffered a loss of validation in the past two decades, while the U.S. Department of Education has developed official reports concluding that grading is an inadequate measure of student achievement and should be replaced by external third party testing; and

Whereas, Perkins funding mechanisms for career technical education are actively promoting the replacement of traditional student assessment through a combination of grading and relevant licensure or certification testing with third party "off the shelf" testing as the "gold standard" to assess student achievement;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges create a follow-up paper to "Promoting Thoughtful Faculty Conversations about Grade Distributions" that analyzes the role of grades as a credible, valid, and reliable measure of student achievement and success; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges share effective practices in grading, in the light of external pressures from federal and accreditation bodies; work to promote a positive public perception regarding the integrity of grades; and oppose the replacement of traditional grades with third-party, off-the-shelf testing. MSC Disposition: Local Senate

Summary: 
Create a follow-up paper to "Promoting Thoughtful Faculty Conversations about Grade Distributions" that analyzes the role of grades as a credible, valid, and reliable measure of student achievement and success; and share effective practices in grading, in the light of external pressures from federal and accreditation bodies; work to promote a positive public perception regarding the integrity of grades; and oppose the replacement of traditional grades with third-party, off-the-shelf testing.
Recommendation: 
The 08-09 Committee deemed this complete. The 09-10 Committee will review what was done and determine a course of action.
Status Report: 

The 08-09 Committee deemed this complete. The 09-10 Committee conducted an additional literature review and concurs.