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Hi Ken,
in our work as a school division working towards transforming how we assess and evaluate, we continue to use your work extensively. We have seen such incredible growth and are excited for the future in our classrooms. one of the things that is lingering on the sidelines for us, but remains a bit of a forefront for students, and maybe more so for parents, is the honour roll. We have tried to find out the origin of this practice and cannot seem to find much - we believe it really isn't a universal practice and not entirely much of a long-standing practice either but would love to be able to reference some of the history. WOuld you provide us with your thoughts on honour roll, where you believe it originated and when, and possible steps in 'tearing off the bandaid'? Please and thank-you!

Lori Jeschke


Very interesting questions that Tom Guskey could probably answer better than me. I don't
know where the honour roll originated and I wish that it hadn't. I see no value in it because
it just overemphasizes the idea that school is about accumulating points not learning. To
"tear off the band-aid" I think you need to show parents how and why your school is about
learning. Short of eliminating grades, one of the best ways to do that is to do true
standards-based grading and reporting with grades for standards with no single subject
grades. Guskey's article about class rank in the March 2014 Kappan may help.