Cover: Off the Mark: How Grades, Ratings, and Rankings Undermine Learning (but Don’t Have To), from Harvard University PressCover: Off the Mark in HARDCOVER

Off the Mark

How Grades, Ratings, and Rankings Undermine Learning (but Don’t Have To)

Product Details


$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674248410

Publication Date: 08/08/2023

Academic Trade

296 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

3 tables


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A detailed and thoughtful critique of contemporary ‘assessment technologies’—grades, tests, and transcripts—and some suggestions for reform.—Glenn C. Altschuler and David Wippman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If you want to understand how tests, grades, and records of student performance end up eroding classroom learning, Off the Mark is the book to get. A remarkably useful guide for teachers, administrators, parents, and wannabe reformers, it explains not only how tests, grades, and transcripts have chipped away at classroom learning in the past, but also what some schools have done now to curb their effects.—Larry Cuban, author of Confessions of a School Reformer

Visitors from another planet would find themselves bewildered by the crazy-quilt set of assessments currently used in our educational system. The good news: No need to reinvent from scratch. Original and useful, Off the Mark provides food for thought and plans for action.—Howard Gardner, coauthor of The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be

In Off the Mark, Schneider and Hutt offer timely and tangible considerations for re-examining the information we rely on to support and measure success for students and schools. Whether you’re a teacher grappling with the question of how to provide effective feedback on learning progress to students and families or a family or community member troubled by the lack of dimension and perspective in our broken school rankings, this book is key to navigating a better way toward equitable, robust, asset-based assessment that will inform and support student success.—Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association

Off the Mark is a timely account of the uses and misuses of standardized tests, grades, and transcripts. The authors offer several pragmatic ideas about how these deeply embedded measures can be revised to lessen their power.—Diane Ravitch, author of Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools

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