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I am a 7th year art teacher, our district recently started giving
standards based grades for K-2. I did not receive any training as
to how to set up or change my assessments for this new grading
system. Previously, I graded all grades, K-8 based on one general
rubric that covered the technique, workmanship, effort, and theme.
Now I can not use that rubric and instead my administrators have
insisted that I make a rubric for each standard based on what I
expect from them during each quarter of the school year... so
essentially one rubric per quarter per standard. The issue is, I
have 192 standards to cover over those grade levels, and that
seems overwhelming and frankly, unnecessary since most of those
standards are not assessed in isolation. Also, we have combined
our state standards into "assessment standards" which will show up
as an average of all the grades from each of the standards in that
group, so no one standard will ever be shown to stand alone or be
given its own specific grade in the end anyway.
Onto the next part of my question... based on this system we are
using a 1-4 scale, 1 being that the student is not able to
perform/meet that standard and 4 is that they exceed expectations,
so a "3" would indicate that they have met the standard at an
average level. This really befuddles me as an art teacher when I
have specific learning goals, such as in kindergarten: "Produce a
line." How could one produce a line to earn a 4? My superintendent
says that I need to put a measurable amount, such as produce 3
lines, produce 5 lines... so if the student produces 10 lines,
they would be considered above average. I do not agree with that
and do not feel that a student can make lines in an above average
way (and this is just an example, which can be applied to many
visual arts standards). I am just so confused and overwhelmed that
I'm beginning to consider a different career although my passion
is teaching art! I'd appreciate any input. Thanks!

Art Teacher


I think you should make rubrics for each of the "assessment standards" with
exemplars for each quarter that show the expected quality as they grow/progress
through the year. You can probably find helpful material on the internet so you don't
have to work from scratch. The word "average" has no place in a standards-based
system and the word "exceeds" should be avoided. Maybe thinking of the levels as
4=Wow!, 3= Got It, 2= Nearly there and 1= Not Yet would help. Please don't give up.
Another way that you could get help is to join the Facebook "Standards-Based
Learning and Grading" group and then post questions which will quickly get answers
from other art teachers.