- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board has approved some changes to the district’s grading policies, but in a more modified form than originally proposed.

It will now be recommended - not mandated - that a student’s final nine weeks grade is based 60 percent on summative assessments and 40 percent on formative assessment.

Another key change approved Wednesday includes high school end-of-course tests will count for 20 percent of a student’s final grade. Currently, the exams count for 15 percent of the grade. An original recommendation was for the weight of the tests to be 30 percent, but there was some opposition to such a large increase.

The Advertiser reports (http://bit.ly/1L83Y3m) the changes are part of the pupil progression plan, an annual district policy that guides grading practices.

“I think this allows teachers to transition and work towards this recommended breakdown for grading systems,” said board member Erick Knezek. Superintendent Donald Aguillard agreed that a transition period would work best.

Summative assessments include unit tests, essays, research projects or other work that takes place after learning. Formative assessments include quizzes, rough drafts of papers and lab reports, interim checks of projects, in-class practice work and lab reports. It can also include homework. The idea is to provide feedback to students and teachers during the learning process.

Another key change is that high school end-of-course tests will count for 20 percent of a student’s final grade. Currently, the exams count for 15 percent of the grade. An original recommendation was for the weight of the tests to be 30 percent, but there was some opposition to such a large increase.

The changes are part of the pupil progression plan, an annual district policy that guides grading practices. Under this year’s plan, bonus points and extra credit assignments will be limited to those that demonstrate a student’s knowledge of the content. In addition, participation grades must be tied to a rubric, and be based on skills or performances that can be compared to a standard. Exceptions may occur in some courses, such as physical education and performing arts.

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Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com

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