Grading & Evaluation
|Listed among the King’s Way Classical Academy core values is the statement that “We believe that students do their best when challenged and rewarded for achievement”. Assigning a grade to student work is one means among many of rewarding student achievement.
Meaningful ceremonies that acknowledge other aspects of performance are another important mode of evaluation. These can be formal graduation ceremonies or more informal milestones within the classroom. Strive for ways to recognize excellence beyond the formal grading system. For example, “most improved”, “best comeback”, “Miss Congeniality”, “Servant of the Year”, etc.
When evaluating student work, consideration is given to a creative response that may deviate from the “book answer”. We try to build in credit for original thought, but follow up with probing questions if the student seems to be departing from biblical truth. For example, “How would that line up with the biblical idea of…..”
Step one in the formal grading process is assigning a numerical value to student achievement. This is quite straight forward in the case of an objective examination, or it may involve subjective evaluation of a written response. In the latter, an instructor will usually be looking for how well the student integrates certain key instructional points.
Step two involves converting the numerical score into a letter grade, according to the following scale:
Evaluation & Accreditation
At King’s Way, each student is accredited by an independent Review Board, similar to the review committee in a graduate program. The individual course of study and student character is documented and approved — or accredited — by Parent, Pastor, and Professional (cf. http://www.biblicalconcourse.com). The conclusions of the review committee may be notarized at the discretion of the committee.
This philosophy of educational accountability is being pioneered by Dr. James Bartlett’s “Biblical Concourse of Home Universities”. Dr. Bartlett taught Mechanical Engineering at University of North Dakota for nearly 20 years and served on the Accreditation Committee that traveled to other schools in the region.
After studying the accreditation system Biblically and historically he concluded that over time accreditation does the exact opposite of its intended purpose. Rather than ensure quality, the quest for academic respectability actually destroys quality over time. The Ivy League schools are a case in point, having begun as pastoral training programs, they devolved incrementally over many years to become bastions of unbelief.
It is vital that educational accountability be returned to the local level, where aberrations in doctrine and practice are more easily detected and corrected. Moreover, the individualized approach makes more sense than the “cookie-cutter” accreditation of an entire institution.
The latter approach stifles creativity, excludes innovation in education, and forces students into a mold. Long-term it encourages devolution of doctrine toward a lowest-common-denominator. This apparently because the university has become divorced from the authority of parent and church via the “doctrine” of “academic freedom.”
This is seen in the apostate condition of most American universities today. See the essay on “The Snare of College Accreditation” elsewhere in this section. King’s Way awards a diploma for successful completion of the program and accreditation of the student in terms of both academics and demonstrated Christian character.