School Administrator: February 2018
Performance-Based Grading Takes Off
Mastery-Minded Grading in Secondary Schools
BY MATT TOWNSLEY
In Solon, Iowa, teachers’ gradebooks describe students’ current levels of learning without the customary array of A’s and C’s or numerical grades. The small district is at the forefront of a new assessment movement in some local schools known as standards-based grading.
Getting a Fair Shot?
BY THOMAS M. BUCKMILLER AND RANDAL E. PETERS
The authors share findings from their study of admissions officials at universities on how they size up standards-based grading practices in secondary schools — something that is worrying parents of college-bound students.
Making the Call Inside Admissions Offices
BY PAUL RIEDE
Colleges and universities are beginning to understand the use of standards-based grades in applicants’ transcripts, but admissions deans admit they will need more preparation to make informed decisions to admit or deny.
Uncompromisingly Learner-Centered Schooling
BY BARRY E. SOMMER
California’s Lindsay Unified School District has spent a decade developing a performance-based system that its adherents believe will transform education by producing graduates with lifelong learning skills for all students.
Next Generation Accountability
BY DOUGLAS B. REEVES AND REBECCA B. DUFOUR
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act offers a good chance for school district leaders to establish constructive evaluation of students, moving past ill-fitting test-based accountability.
Our spotlighting of new assessment models among school districts in Iowa and central California.
STATE OF THE SUPERINTENDENCY
Experience and Age
Findings about personal characteristics from Gallup’s 2017 census of superintendents nationwide.
BEST OF THE BLOGS
Four brief excerpts from thoughtful superintendent blogs.
A district employee learns about parents’ plans to use faked doctors’ forms for their children’s required vaccinations for school admission. Does the employee have a duty to report what he has heard?
Modeling Respectful Tweeting to Students
BY SUSAN ENFIELD
When an onslaught of angry tweets became expletives, the superintendent had an opening for a teachable moment with students.
Deftness and Tact Before a Board Election
BY MICHAEL T. ADAMSON
Playing even-handedly with all candidates is the only way to keep your relationships collegial.
Why Are We Scaring Off the Referees?
BY MARK UYL
School leaders have much say on establishing a respectful school culture — something that can make your scholastic sports events more welcoming to game officials and keep them coming back.
Leaders Listen to Learn
BY DANIEL D. CURRY
The year he dealt with angry citizens turned this veteran superintendent into an adherent of mindful listening. It now plays to his advantage.
Reading & Resources
- Book Reviews
- Why I Wrote This Book...
- Bits & Pieces
Mastering Time or Mastering Standards
BY GAIL PLETNICK
Not everything in life fits perfectly into the schedules or time frames we create.
The Resetting of Academic Standards
BY DANIEL A. DOMENECH
Learning time and degree of mastery should be considered along with purpose.
James Minichello on Communications
His job is to explain policy, promote public schooling and showcase AASA’s work.
Members on the move in their careers, plus a Sidelight shines on a Washington superintendent who’s on call as a volunteer firefighter.
PROFILE: Cederick L. Ellis Sr.
BY PAUL RIEDE
Moving from the tech field to support younger students in Mississippi.