Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rigor, Grading, and Tests

If you've read Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word, you know I believe in a "not yet" or "incomplete" grading policy.  In other words, for key assessments, students should be required to demonstrate mastery.  I used this policy with my graduate students, and one of those students, Robin Madden, has transferred that to her students.  As she says, When most of her class scores below 85 percent on a test, Madden re-teaches the lesson before giving the test again. When just a few students fall under 85, they get extra practice and tutoring before they re-take the test. "I'm seeing the light bulbs come on for these kids," Madden said. "I see value in my work now that I haven't seen."

This epitomizes rigor.  She has high expectations, and pairs that with increased support so that each student is required to demonstrate learning! 

Here's the full article


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I learned from the best!

  2. This policy needs to be adopted much more widely. We need to transition from grading as a way of judging students to assessment as a way of guiding instruction. I graded for mastery as a Spanish teacher eons ago and many were shocked by an "A, B, F" system in which all were given the chance to reach 80% mastery of key concepts (only 10), no matter how many tries it took.


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