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Guangzhou School Hosts EARCOS Standards-Based Grading Summit

By Jill Watson
Guangzhou School Hosts EARCOS  Standards-Based Grading Summit

Participants in the EARCOS-led summit (photo: AISG).
On 19-20 October, the American International School of Guangzhou (AISG), China hosted a standards-based assessment summit, led by two East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) principals.
Erin Robinson, Secondary Principal at Nishimachi International School in Tokyo, and Heather Naro, Elementary School Principal at Eastern Seaboard International School in Thailand both have extensive expertise and experience working with schools to implement standards-based assessment and reporting practices.
The standards-based assessment summit provided an opportunity for teams of administrators, teacher leaders, and teachers from all levels and subject areas to work together to develop and improve their standards-based assessment practices.
By putting theory into action, participants deepened their understanding of standards-based assessment and how to improve their school’s practices in relation to the essential principles that underpin standards-based grading and reporting. In addition to learning new strategies, time was also provided for school teams to work together on their own goals, as well as time to share practices between schools.
The workshop began by introducing the concepts of motivation, based on the work of Daniel Pink, and mindset, based on the work of Carole Dweck. These ideas laid the foundation for digging into the principles and fundamentals of standards-based grading and reporting.
The second day was focused on action planning and collaboration between and among schools via several carefully structured break-out groups. Throughout the weekend, mixed and school-based teams worked together to advance their knowledge of standards-based grading and reporting, and the practices that support it.
Feedback from all participants was overwhelmingly positive. Standards-based grading is a growing practice in the EARCOS region, especially in the middle school and high school divisions, as evidenced by the number of schools and participants who came to the workshop. More than half of those participating were from high school divisions, where standards-based grading is a relatively new practice.
Even though most schools are at different places in their implementation and understanding of standards-based assessment, we all came away feeling more confident and prepared to take on the challenges of improving student learning by implementing effective standards-based assessment and reporting practices.

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