Redos and Retakes Done Right

The latest edition of Educational Leadership features many articles on Grading Practices.  We are working on obtaining a copy for each member of the grading committee.  In the interim, I wanted to share one of the lead articles from Rick Wormeli.  Wormeli is the author of the book Fair isn’t Always Equal (I highly recommended reading this book if you get a chance) and Redos and Retakes Done Right in the November 2011 Educational Leadership.

The article is available by clicking here: Wormeli, R. (2011) Redos and Retakes Done Right.  After you’ve had a chance to read it, please comment and share your thoughts!


About Dr. Corey Vorthmann

Supervisor of Secondary Education
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2 Responses to Redos and Retakes Done Right

  1. Theresa Jozwiak says:

    Mr, Vorthman, I am a school psychologist at Abraham Lincoln and have been looking at the work of Rick Stiggins, Tom Guskey, and others around grading for several years. This article is in a similar vein. I am delighted Council Bluffs is looking at this. One of the things I have noticed over the years is a practice like this needs to start in elementary school. Oftentimes, students who struggle have learned to accept the low grades and have given up trying very hard. To start this type of practice in middle school, teachers will have to really convey that they care about the students and want them to succeed. The appearance of “punishment” linked to the re-do has to disappear and that is often hard to convey to kids. That said, I think this is the right move and will support it however I can. Theresa Jozwiak, School Psychologist

  2. Bob says:

    I think this article does a very good job of framing the discussion about how best to grade students. It could be used in PD at some time to refresh teachers as to why we now have a grading policy and the rationale for its 6 guidelines.

    There are 2 big nuggets for me in this article. First is that the time it takes to learn is not the constant, but rather the learning expected is the constant. For example, it may take most students in my class 2 weeks to reach proficiency at Right Triangles in Geometry. Some may get there quicker, others may take longer. All teachers understand this, but under past practice I would give the test some would pass, some would excel and others would fail. But with a retake policy I can reteach and reassess and so everyone achieves the expected proficiency for that objective. Big shift for many teachers because we did not go through school with this philosophy.

    Second, Wormeli gives us another example of how including all attempts in the gradebook has little connection with how the real world works. He explains how we should look at a student’s best work when grading an assessment or objective. This is a concept not presently fully implemented in our district, but we are moving in this direction as more curriculum goes through the revision process. Personally, I would love to be able to grade using a standards based grading policy and can’t wait for us to move here.

    The 14 practical tips are a great help in thinking about how you might manage redos and retakes, once we have internalized the philosophy. For me, sometimes I do not let a student take the assessment if it is obvious they are not ready. I usually ask a student to correct mistakes on their assessments as a reteaching activity and then retest over just the concepts they missed. It really is not that much of an administrative hassle for me.

    Great article, simple, powerful, and thought provoking.

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