Metea Art Department Tries New Grading System

Mishal Nizar

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Some classes in the art department have changed their grading system this year. For years, a movement to grade based off growth rather than standards has grown and spread across America. Metea now joins this movement by implementing growth based grading across a select number of art classes.

Kathryn Parenti, one of the art teachers that implemented the plan explains that “standards based grading, or standards based assessment, is based on standards. Those standards are linked to the National Core Art Standards for visual art.”

The National Core Art Standards guidelines focuses on four different criteria for visual art: creating, performing, responding, and connecting. The standards hopes to create beneficial dialogue between students, teachers, and parents around art and higher education surrounding it. “Standards based grading I think more accurately measures the learning and growth of a student, because it measures the ultimate growth as its deciding for the grade.”

In classes such as English, and the fine arts, there’s a lack of definitive answers for the work students do. Due to that level of openness a debate has raged over what the best way to grade these classes should be.  Regular grading for example would have a student be graded on pure quality compared to what set standards said. There’s been notable criticism to this sort of grading because it stifles creativity. Alternatively in the new standards based grading system, a work of art would be judged based off how much the person has improved over the course of the class. This would theoretically be a good assessment of what the student has learned without forcing them to advandon creative freedom.

Other departments at Metea Valley are considering implementing similar changes with some already going with more growth based grading than standard. While no sole department is completely using this grading standard at this time, several classes will already see the changes that come with growth based learning.