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Get Set, Go

Get Set, Go

Creating a Successful Grading and Reporting System

By: Thomas R. Guskey

A companion to the best-selling On Your Mark, this practical guide details how to successfully lead lasting grading reform. Implement best practices in grading that address the needs of every student in your school or district in six essential steps.

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Format: Paperback


An action plan for leading lasting grading reform in changing classrooms

Make school a better experience for students by ensuring grading and reporting practices are honest, accurate, meaningful, and fair. A companion to the best-selling and award-winning On Your Mark, this practical guide details how to successfully lead lasting grading reform. Dr. Thomas R. Guskey simplifies the transition by guiding educators through six essential steps—from developing a coalition devoted to change to creating a systematic plan.

  • Become familiar with the process of implementing a rigorous new system of reporting that aligns with the goals of standards-based grading.
  • Acquire numerous tools and strategies that will assist in the process of implementing a new grading system.
  • Study the six steps that are essential to any successful attempt to reform grading, as well as how to succeed in each.
  • Learn how to form a change action plan that covers the entire system of implementation and improves the student experience.

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Additional Information

Product Code: BKF929

ISBN: 9781949539455

Published By: Solution Tree

Page Count: 288

“Whenever the topic of grading comes up, nearly everyone—teachers, parents, students, and educational consultants—will have an opinion about what should be graded, how grades should be calculated, and what the grades mean. Some grading practices are rooted in habit (“This is how I have always graded”); some are dictated by technology (“Our grading software requires us to include six grades that are averaged”); and some are informed by district or school policies (“No zeroes allowed”). The result can be a confusing and often contentious cacophony of positions regarding grading policies and practices.

Dr. Tom Guskey is a recognized scholar who has studied the extensive research base associated with all aspects of grading and reporting. However, he is not just a renowned researcher—Guskey’s long-standing work with schools and districts has equipped him to offer the eminently practical guidance needed to overhaul outdated and misaligned grading and reporting principles and practices. The sage advice he offers in Get Set, Go will make it much more likely that resulting grading reforms are research-based, understood by all stakeholders, and likely to endure. Simply put, if you want the most comprehensive and authoritative treatment of this topic, then you need this book!”

Jay McTighe, educational author and consultant

“As an education consultant and reformer-at-heart, I loved On Your Mark, but as a classroom teacher, I wondered how exactly to put his innovative grading ideas into practice. Enter Get Set, Go, a step-by-step road map for educators looking to reform their grading and reporting policies and practices. In the tradition of great reformers, Guskey does not sugarcoat the problems or offer platitudes to appease all kinds of educators. Instead, he gets right to the heart of the assessment conundrum: how our common grading practices misrepresent students’ abilities and how we can fix them. I read this book in one sitting thanks to Guskey’s crisp writing, pragmatic solutions, and real-world examples. I found myself nodding along on nearly every page. Get Set, Go is a must-read for any educator who knows the system isn't fair and wants solutions for how to change it. This one has a permanent place on my bookshelf.”

Alexis Wiggins, author of The Best Class You Never Taught: How Spider Web Discussion Can Turn Students into Learning Leaders (ASCD, 2017)

Get Set, Go is essential reading for any education leader or leadership team contemplating a review of grading and reporting policies and practices. In this well-written book, Guskey offers solid research (rather than opinion) and presents validated evidence (rather than anecdotes), which serve as a firm foundation for this important and challenging work. He also provides helpful, user-friendly guidelines for a disciplined, thoughtful, and coherent way forward. This book not only belongs on the shelf but also in every practitioner’s hands.”

David Chojnacki, executive director emeritus, NESA Council of Overseas Schools

Get Set, Go is an essential read for educators taking on the challenge of transforming their grading and reporting systems. Author Tom Guskey delivers the bridge from the theoretical to the practical based on a solid foundation of research. He candidly points out pitfalls and articulates next steps, providing the how to implementing the grading reforms we have envisioned. Delivered through a passionate and committed voice, the text leaves readers feeling inspired and prepared to lead change for the benefit of students, parents, and educators.”

Katherine T. Smith, high school administrator, educational consultant, and author

“What if grading reform myths were debunked and, in their place, a clear, organic, and approachable process was offered to tackle grading and reporting reforms? In his latest magnum opus, Get Set, Go, Tom Guskey does just that by laying out a refreshing approach to developing, bringing clarity to, and implementing an inclusive, comprehensive, and evidence-based grading reform process. This is the quintessential book for the Coalition for Change that will serve as a school’s guiding force in thoroughly examining grading biases while forging ahead with implementing effective grading and reporting reforms that are both formative and informative.”

Michael L. Smith, director, American School of Valencia, Spain

Get Set, Go delivers the practical, comprehensive, and evidence-backed action steps educators need to make impactful and lasting changes to their grading and reporting practices. Guskey helps us understand why we need to make grading improvements and how to successfully accomplish them. We learn that it takes understanding key stakeholders’ perspectives, clarity of purpose, assessment and instructional alignment, and a shift in how we report nonacademic factors to get grading right. Get Set, Go is the ultimate grading resource and will have readers returning to it time and again.”

Laura Link, assistant professor, educational leadership & policy, College of Public Service

“While Dr. Guskey and others have made the case for grading reform elsewhere, and 'how-to' recommendations abound, Get Set, Go skillfully weaves the research evidence into eminently practical advice for doing the work. I have been studying and participating in the conversation on effective grading practices for almost twenty years, and the very first chapter of this book yields multiple concrete actions for our district’s grading and assessment taskforce. Get Set, Go has leapt onto my personal list of essential reads for educators committed to making grading practices work for student learning.”

Andrew Maxey, director of special programs, Tuscaloosa City Schools

Get Set, Go: Creating Successful Grading and Reporting Systems is one of those rare books that artfully bridges the divide between research and practice. In the introduction, Dr. Tom Guskey shares his hopes that this follow-up to On Your Mark will be 'the most helpful book you can read on grading and reporting reform,' and it does not disappoint. Quelling any notion of a perfect grading system, Guskey builds a balanced case for research-based better practices that are good for students and contribute to their learning. I often work with courageous school leaders who are determined to transform grading systems. From now on, I’ll start those conversations with Get Set, Go.”

Lu S. Young, executive director of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership

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