As I write to you, I am in New York attending the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE). AAIE is a professional development center for more than 500 international school heads, which works to advance and advocate for global education.
The work of conference keynote speaker Douglas Reeves is at the foundation of Graded’s grading and assessment reform practices. Dr. Reeves has worked with education, business, nonprofits, and government organizations throughout the world. The author of more than 30 books and 80 articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness, he has twice been named to the Harvard University’s Gutman Library Distinguished Authors Series and was named the Brock International Prize Laureate for his contributions to education. Dr. Reeves received both the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Parent's Choice Award for his writing for children and parents.
As you are aware, Graded School is in the process of reforming its grading and assessment practices. Since my arrival in São Paulo in July 2015, no change has caused so much conversation and questioning.
One of the reasons for this is that, as parents, we were “graded” under a traditional model. This model has not changed since the beginning of the industrial age, at which time it was formulated under the pretense that the “average” of students’ work over time would be the best way to reflect their achievements. However, over the past 10-20 years, what we have learned about adolescent brain development has turned much of that on its head. Graded is on the leading edge of a worldwide movement to reevaluate how to assess student learning.
This reevaluation is occurring in a majority of well-developed international schools, as well as hundreds of US independent and public schools. Over the next several months, I will be sharing a series of articles that highlight the ongoing changes to our assessment program and the related research on which it is founded.
For now, I invite you to read Douglas Reeves’ exciting article, Busting Myths About Grading. I hope it causes you to reflect upon your child's experience and Graded. If it inspires questions, please reach out to me or any member of the administration. We look forward to talking to you.
In the spirit of continuous learning,