Schnurmacher on CJAD – rubrics anyone?

Unbelievable.  Tommy today has concluded, among other things, that a major problem with teaching today is that teachers use rubrics.  And this, based on a teacher’s phone call to him on this morning’s show.

What is a rubric?  “It’s a correction guide”.    ??????????

Ok – so – want to know what the real problem is in this particular teacher’s performance?

She doesn’t know what a rubric is!

A rubric is not a correction guide.  A rubric, well, a well-done rubric is a clear definition of what the task is – including definitions and sometimes minor examples of how the finished task should be presented, along with what expectations (or failings) are tied to the graded outcome of the task.

So – it tells you what is expected, and what type of effort you need to put in to achieve the highest possible grade.

Rubrics are GOOD things.

Now – her issue with having time to grade tasks because she has to grade according to a well defined schedule – well – God forbid that a teacher have to actually follow a guideline that makes sense and grade accordingly instead of just picking a number out of the air.  Grading via rubrics is an organized approach is a good thing.

My own personal experience with my two high school age children has been that we have some teachers, in fact, perhaps even most teachers grading in really smart ways using rubrics.  Teachers actually taking a powerpoint presentation handed in on a USB key and adding a slide, with intelligent commentary, examples of alternatives (including alternative images) and offering a fully understandable grade relative to the original rubric.  We have had teachers post a grade and comment on an actual website that one son created for a project, again, realting to rubrics and giving feedback that actually teaches.

Is he alone in having the time to do so?  The caller to Schnurmacher barely has time to circle spelling mistakes?

She needs to firstly understand what a rubric is and then organize herself to be able to do her job – c’est tout.


Tommy – on powerpoint presentations – this is teaching to what we needed to learn 10 years ago.  This is not teaching to the world that they will be living in.

21st Century Learning – Power Point is a pencil.  It’s not a skill.




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