Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cheat, but you won't be getting a zero...

So, for the last few months, we've been exploring our beliefs on learning and how we assess and how we 'grade' our students. We've done a book study, we've sent folks to conferences, and we are fortunate enough to be having Rick Wormeli come and speak to our district in October in a two-day event.

A topic that people are very passionate about and a topic that always comes up is 'cheating.' 

The traditional approach would have any student who cheats receive a zero on the assignment and possibly some kind of additional behavioral punishment.

As a district we are moving toward ensuring that a grade actually represents what a student knows and is able to do and not their ability to make moral and ethical decisions. To stand behind this belief, we had to do more than just talk about it... we had to put pen to paper when it comes to our district policies.

Now make no mistake, we aren't saying that cheating and these types of behaviors are acceptable, but we do believe that the behavior needs to be separate from the academic side of things if we want a grade to truly represent and reflect what a student knows.

We will still focus on helping students to make moral and ethical decisions, but that progress and monitoring won't be included in a student's academic discussion.

So, since folks are always looking for examples, below are our actual board of education policies as they've been recently updated to align with our beliefs on learning.