It’s Time We Hold Accountability Accountable

Teaching will never be measurable in the sense of “accounting”. It is an art as much as a science and the more we attempt to quantify it, the less likely we are to allow teachers to practice the art of it.

Teachers Going Gradeless

The maxim “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” (oftenmisattributed to Peter Drucker) sums up the continued belief in the necessity and power of accountability. A lack of accountability is seen as a sure path to lawlessness, indolence, and corruption. We don’t trust people who are unwilling, unprepared, or otherwise unable to render an account.

As a high school language arts teacher who is increasingly “going gradeless” in his teaching practice, I find that I am often left with few “measures” of student learning and growth. In its place, we have a lot of feedback — mostly verbal — and not the kind that fits easily (or at all, really) within the neat grids of a traditional gradebook. Although I still give the occasional quiz (always with the option to retake), this approach has largely disrupted the traditional economy of completing assignments in exchange for points. Since I…

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About danthescienceman

Educator and coach for 32 years. I love to run. I love the river and I love traveling to other countries as a visitor rather than a tourist. My vocation is service to young people. I do this through my teaching, coaching, mentoring and modeling how to truly live the life I have created. Mantra: Gifts are best honored when they are shared in the service of others.
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