In my Standards-Based Grading post this weekend, Anon Y. Mous asked that I explain the rationale behind each of the core guidelines involved in the S.B.G. system. I think it’s a good suggestion and decided to start with the second core guideline since the first item is an umbrella guideline for the rest. Please comment with any corrections as I am still learning this new system. :)
If a student’s grade is solely based on academic achievement towards a learning target/standard, then late work (which is a student behavior) should not factor into a student’s academic grade. Deducting points from an assignment skews the meaning and purpose of the grade, which is to show a student’s progress towards or level of mastery of a standard in a standards-based system.
I happen to agree with this particular aspect of standards-based grading. In all honesty, I don’t really understand why late work isn’t accepted. Some students just need extra time. Maybe the inconvenience to the teacher is a reason, not one I think is justifiable, but one probably used.
I’ve heard people say that accepting late work enables students to miss deadlines, and I would respectfully disagree. I’ve almost always allowed late work and have never been buried by it; the kids just respect the due dates I set. Besides, my job is to teach the skills and content of my discipline. Nowhere in the course or state standards have I found anything related to discipline or meeting deadlines.