School Systems Home


Ken O'Connor - Grading for learning in the 21st Century

Ken O'Connor, a.k.a. The Grade Doctor, is an independent consultant who specializes in issues related to the communication of student achievement, especially grading and reporting. Through books and articles, presentations and working with small groups, Ken helps individuals, schools and school districts to improve communication about student achievement.

In 1995, Ken developed eight guidelines for grading, which he has continued to refine. In 2007, these same ideas were organized into "15 Fixes for Broken Grades." Ken has also designed eleven guidelines for standards-based reporting. Ken is now acknowledged as one of a small group of leading experts on how to grade and report effectively. Pearson is proud to have implemented Ken's philosophies into the development of PowerTeacher.

Sound Grading Practices: Ken O'Connor and PowerTeacher

Here are several of Ken O'Connor's sound grading practices and how they are incorporated into PowerTeacher.

Fix 1: Don't include student behavior in grades

Fix 2: Don't reduce grades for "work" submitted late

Fix 3: Don't include student behavior in grades

Fix 4: Don't punish academic dishonesty with reduced grades

Fix 5: Don't consider attendance in grade determination

Fix 6: Don't include group scores in grades

Fix 9: Don't assign grades by comparing students to each other

Fix 11: Don't rely simply on the mean

Fix 13: Don't use formative assessments or practice in grades

Fix 14: Don't summarize evidence accumulated over time

Ken O'Connor on PowerTeacher

*video may take several minutes to load

Ken O'Connor's 15 Fixes - Grading for Learning

Fix 1: Separating Achievement from Behavior

Fix 2: How to Handle Late Work

Fix 3: How to Avoid Inflated Grades

Fix 4: How to Handle Academic Dishonesty

Fix 5: Separating Attendance from Achievement

Fix 6: How to Handle Group Work

Fix 7: Using Standards as the Basis for Assessment

Fix 8: How to Measure Proficiency

Fix 9: Using Criterion Referencing

Fix 10: Quality Assessment

Fix 11: How Grades are Determined

Fix 12: Avoiding the Zero

Fix 13: Formative and Summative Assessment

Fix 14: Learning Over Time

Fix 15: Student Involvement and Understanding of Assessment and Grading

"PowerTeacher supports all of the fundamental tenets of 'Grading for Learning,' and does so in a way that is accurate, transparent, and easily understood by all stakeholders. PowerTeacher has a clean, thoughtful design that appropriately supports the use of evidence from both formative and summative assessment in ways that can be quickly mastered by not just a handful of enthusiastic individuals, but virtually all teachers within the school or district."

- Ken O'Connor

More on Ken O'Connor's Grading Philosophy:

How to Grade for Learning

A Repair Kit for Grading

Yes, I'm Interested

Contact Me

Online Demos

View Now

Pearson is educating 100 million people worldwide.