I’ve written previously about our Rolling Grades model in the CRTC. In essence, a student’s grade on competencies is completely based on his/her most recent performance on a major summative assessment. Quarter reports are no longer 10 weeks windows of time, but reflect a student’s performance from the first day of school. The students in the CRTC are in support of this model based on the data we have.
Almost all CRTC programs run for two years. Enrollment each year is competitive and not all students can (or choose to) return. In any case, we asked our junior class student leaders (over 40 of them) if we should "roll" grades from their first year (culminating in Q4) into the start of the second year (Q5-Q8) in the same manner we roll grade from Q2 to Q3. For example, if 10 competencies were active in Q4, then those 10 would be part of the Q5 grade from day one of the second year.
The CRTC has a group of student leaders called LADs (Leadership Advisors to the Director). We bring our thoughts, dilemmas, and plans to this group for some honest (often brutal) feedback. Last Wednesday the group debated this issue in a robust manner and there was significant disagreement. Ideas did change because of the discussion. A theme throughout is whether a student who did not do well on a competency, during its prescribed time, should have the opportunity to be assessed on it again. Students debated the difference between competencies that seemed to be “one and done” versus others that continue seemingly forever. For example, Health Science students framed their competencies in distinct windows, while Construction Tech students saw their competencies as constants.
Below is an email to me from Nate Cushman, a LAD from our Auto Tech program. He was doing some processing at the end of the meeting and wanted to give me his thoughts:
I have been pondering on the idea of rolling the grades over from the previous year. I believe that your grades should roll over from your first year. I have a good scenario for why I believe this. I do upholstery every day after school. I started towards the end of last summer. When I started, I had no experience with reupholstering furniture, so I started as a stripper. When a piece came into the shop I would strip it. As I became faster at stripping, I paid attention to what I was stripping. I started to learn how the pieces were put together. I learned how to fix a loose frame and touch up any imperfections in the wood. My boss then started teaching me how to recover. And after 7 months, I have gone up two dollars in pay and can strip a piece of furniture and recover it in an efficient amount of time. Also, I continue to gain experience and knowledge every day I am in the shop. Now after 7 months, if I were to take a month off from work and then return, I would be expected to still have the knowledge I learned over the first 7 months. My point being that even though it's a new year in school, we as students and future employees are responsible for retaining the knowledge we learned the previous year, as our employers would expect. Thank you for your time. I hope my theory can help in your decision making.
Students below have made our CRTC Directors list for Quarter 2. The criteria is
to have a 92 or higher in both your soft and hard skills. Congratulations to
all the hard work these students have put in!