Conferences and Workshops
Ask the Grade Doctor
Contact Me

Ask The Grade Doctor

Full Question Detail

Return to All Questions


Dear Ken,

My daughter is a third grader and took a science test during the first week of April. She told me that she earned a 60%, which is a D. I am a high school teacher and a proponent of standards-based grading and have "How to Grade for Learning". I emailed her teacher two days ago, after reviewing my daughter's grades on the school's website. I explained my point of view, which is delicate for me as a teacher-parent, and asked her teacher if she could retake the test. My rationale was that I want my daughter to master the content AND to improve her mark, which accounts for 60% of her overall grade in Science. Her teacher's response was not a "yes" or "no", but that the test was five weeks ago and that she asked my daughter if she studied for the test and my daughter said "no." I told the teacher in my email that we studied together for that test. To top it all off, the questions that my daugher missed were matching, so if you miss one, you actually miss two. The teacher's advice was to start studying for the next test, which is one week from tomorrow and that they will go over the answers to the Chapter Review that the students did in class last week. She added that they will be playing review games for the rest of the week. I am fuming!! My daughter is an "A" student (for whatever that is really worth) and it appears that at best, she'll earn a "C" in Science. How else do you suggest that I communicate the importance of my request to help persuade the teacher to see the importance of allowing students to retake a test for mastery? Have I missed something here? By the way, this is a private school. I am seriously considering escalating my concern to the principal. Maybe I should send a proposal for them to hire me as a consultant to share your research. God help me in my own classroom to practice what I preach. HELP!!!

Marcia Davis


My apologies for the delay in replying to your question. I suggest that you ask the
Principal to arrange for the faculty to se these two YouTube videos and discuss their
practices and beliefs relative to Rick Wormeli's suggestions.

Rick Wormeli: Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs, Part One

Rick Wormeli: Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs, Part Two