New Grading Policy Wins Award

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LERN Denton ISD AwardFor its new grading policy that reinforces students’ efforts to learn instead of penalizing them for needing extra time, the Denton Independent School District of Denton, Texas, received an International Award in education from the Learning Resources Network (LERN), a national education association and the largest lifelong learning association in the world.

“The Denton school district policy, which addresses the need to grade students on learning and knowledge rather than on behavior, is a pioneering policy for the 21st century,” notes William A. Draves, President of LERN.

The award was presented at the LERN Annual Conference in New Orleans as the first Pioneer Education Award at the International Awards luncheon, attended by hundreds of educators from Canada and the United States.  Denton ISD Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson accepted the award on behalf of the staff, teachers and students of the school district.

Upon learning of the award, Dr. David Hicks, Denton ISD’s area superintendent for academic programs stated, “We are proud that LERN has chosen to recognize our teachers for designing and applying an assessment policy that encourages students to give increased effort in the learning process but does not arbitrarily penalize students who need more time for learning. As a result of our new assessment practices, we are finding that students, in fact, are doing their work because they know it improves their learning and they will not be penalized for errors while they learn complex content.”

Independently, a Board of Directors resolution in 2008 made LERN the first national education association to support grading based solely on learning and knowledge, rather than on behavior.

Paula Hogard, Chair of the Board at the time, and now with Farmingham State University in Farmingham, MA, announced the award.  Djuna Forrester of Grayson College in Texas, who made LERN aware of the new policy, presented the award to Dr. Wilson.

“With a critical skilled worker shortage and the need for millions more of our smartest students to attend and complete college, we expect this 21st-century grading policy to be adopted by other educational institutions and eventually be the standard for this century,” Draves noted.

 Photo: Djuna Forrester, left, presents the flame of learning trophy to Dr. David Hicks, center, and Dr. Jamie Wilson, Superintendent of Schools.  Forrester is a member of the LERN Board of Directors and first made the new Denton ISD grading policy known to LERN.

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