There is a much higher percentage of passing grades and meaningful grades: the kids know why they got them and the teachers know why they gave them.
This has pushed me and all of the teachers to be more equitable and transparent. Students at the same school should be able to have the same grading system, be able to understand that grading system, and know exactly how it supports learning.
I have a different outlook now on how I want to grade and how I want to use it. Last year it was almost punishment: “Oh, you didn’t do the work, now you have a bad grade.” Working with Joe has really changed my perspective. The professional development helped me realize that the main purpose of grading is to see how much the students know, to assess their learning instead of assessing their efforts; do they really understand the work, as opposed to did they do all of the assignments.
When I tried out new grading strategies, my students saw that it was not ever too late to succeed, and there were fewer failing grades. [But also] I had fewer A’s because procedural compliance and homework completion no longer inflated grades.
Joe is an OUTSTANDING facilitator! He definitely kept our group focused and on task, redirecting when necessary. Our learning activities were strategically designed and brilliantly executed from beginning to end. I loved seeing other principals in our cohort enlightened by our discussions, and I’m sure we’ll see a paradigm shift in our school leaders. . Thank you for granting us this experience and feeding the needs of principals. I can assure you that the knowledge I’ve gained has and will show up in my practice.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my partnership with Joe. He is the consummate professional. Joe is a wonderful thought partner, helped me clearly articulate and refine my professional goals and pushed me to a greater capacity in my leadership role.
I have been impressed with Joe and the way that he prepared for our sessions. He brings his many experiences to his facilitation, and more importantly, he works with us like we should be working with our teachers: listening to us and helping us learn for ourselves, and if we start to wander off our learning objectives, he gently brings us back, reminding and focusing us on our goals.
Joe Feldman is a leader of leaders! He partnered with our group in thought and action to have a positive and sustainable impact on the progress of our administrative team. Our leadership team took a huge step forward when Joe led the discussion! I would recommend Joe to any educational leadership team or institution looking to tackle the real issues in education including leadership, collaboration, and reflective practice.
We’ve been talking about supporting teachers in authentic collaboration for decades. That was the only experience I’ve had that was authentic collaboration.