Grading for Equity Virtual Institute

June 21, 2021 – June 24, 2021  |  9:00 AM PST


Thank you for registering for the Grading for Equity Virtual Institute. We have already hit our original target of attendees and have needed to place you on our waitlist. We are reviewing options to increase our capacity to meet so many educators’ interest to engage in the work of grading more equitably. Stay tuned; we will send you additional information directly when we have updates.
Joe and the Crescendo Education Group Team

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About the Institute

When a teacher assigns a final grade, it is a high-stakes reporting of a student’s performance and has major implications for our students—course placement, extra-curricular eligibility, scholarships and financial aid, college admission, etc. Our grades are the most formalized expression of our professional judgment and expertise, yet unfortunately, and ironically, we receive almost no education or training in how to grade.


Do we grade in ways that support 21st century principles or do we unwittingly reinforce century-old beliefs about academic and intellectual capacity (fixed mindset) and myths related to extrinsic rewards? How do many of our common grading practices unintentionally reward students with more resources and penalize those with fewer supports, thereby perpetuating achievement and opportunity gaps? How can teachers dedicated to equity and using culturally-sustaining and liberatory instructional practices for their classroom ensure that their grading practices align with, rather than undermine, their beliefs? Recognizing that our schools are facing unprecedented challenges this fall, how can we grade in ways that support the range of instructional models as well as reduce students’ (and our own) stress?


Join us for the Grading for Equity Virtual Institute on June 21 — 23 for teachers or June 21 – 24 for leaders from 9:00am – 12:00pm PST + 2:00pm – 3:00pm PST each day for an interactive and expertly guided examination of the theory, skills, mindsets, and practices necessary to improve grading to be more accurate, bias-resistant, and motivational for all students. We will explore how more equitable grading and assessment can be a lever for creating stronger teacher-student relationships and more caring, engaging classrooms, and improve achievement for all students, particularly those historically underserved.


Led by the author of Grading for Equity, Joe Feldman, and his colleagues, Dr. Shantha Smith and Mark Boswell, the Grading for Equity Virtual Institute (designed primarily, but not exclusively, for middle school and high school teachers as well as school and district administrators) will synthesize education research and practical classroom-based experiences to address:

  • Why is improving grading so critical to ensuring both academic excellence and equity in classrooms?
  • What is the genesis of our current grading practices, and what were ideas and beliefs on which they were based?
  • How do current grading practices thwart effective teaching and learning, convey misleading and inaccurate motivation, demotivate students, amplify stress and undermine our equity work, perpetuating the very disparities we seek to interrupt?
  • What grading practices are more accurate, bias-resistant, and build students’ intrinsic motivation to learn?
  • What are common challenges and effective approaches to successfully integrate these practices into our classrooms, schools, and districts?


Participants of this Institute will:

  • Understand the history of our current approaches to grading, and recognize the ways in which our continued use of those practices undermines equity and restricts how we want our students to experience learning and how we want to teach.
  • Learn equitable grading practices that are more accurate, bias-resistant, and motivational, and envision the challenges and opportunities of implementing the practices into our classrooms and contexts.
  • Reflect on previous experiences and beliefs with grading, and find connections and disconnections between those experiences and more equitable grading practices.
  • Begin to plan for implementation of more equitable grading practices in our classrooms, schools, and districts.


Additional Support for Leaders

School and district leaders have the opportunity to register for an additional, fourth day of the Institute focused on a single goal: to build capacity to support and lead teachers and colleagues in equitable grading work that ultimately results in equitable grading systems in every school and classroom.



This remote event will blend online and offline experiences so that participants have time and space to learn, reflect, pause, and engage meaningfully with the content and colleagues. The three-hour session each day will include online synchronous breakout groups and short presentations as well as offline readings, exercises, and videos. After an extended break, a one-hour session is for assigned groups to work together to understand and apply content, and to prepare for the next day’s learning.



This Grading for Equity Institute translates into a two-unit course (or approximately 15 hours of professional development), although it is up to each school or district to make that ultimate determination. Each participant will be provided a Certificate of Completion.



Registration is now closed

Early Bird (Register by 5/17):

Teachers: $775

Leaders: $1000


Registrations after 5/17:

Teachers: $850

Leaders: $1075


Groups of 4 or more will receive $50 off each ticket

The option of choosing to pay via purchase order or credit card will be available upon registration. All purchase order submissions are due by June 14 and will be considered a binding agreement to pay within 30 days of receipt of invoice. Submit PO here.

Grading for Equity Institute participants will receive an Institute supplement package that will arrive prior to the event as long as registration has been completed before June 14. Any registrations after this date will have access to materials in PDF version inside the event platform but will receive their event package post event.


Monday, June 21

Morning Session

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

I.      Welcome and Introductions

II.    Why Grading? Why Grading for Equity?

III.   History of Grading and its Impact on Teaching and Learning

IV.   Equitable Grading: The Three Pillars

V.    Equitable Grading Practices: Accuracy Pillar

VI.   Close

Afternoon Session

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

I.     Connect/Work with Home Group

Tuesday, June 22

Morning Session

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

I.     Day 2 Welcome

II.    Equitable Grading Practices: Bias-Resistant Pillar – Implicit Bias

III.   Equitable Grading Practices: Bias-Resistant Pillar – Institutional Bias

IV.   Equitable Grading Practices: Motivation Pillar

V.     Close

Afternoon Session

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

I.     Connect/Work with Home Group

Wednesday, June 23

Morning Session

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

I.     Day 3 Welcome

II.    Possibilities and Challenges for Equitable Grading

III.   Imagining Possibilities for Equitable Grading in your Classroom and School

VI.   Planning for the Future (Fall 2021 and Beyond)

V.     Close

Afternoon Session

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

I.     Grading for Equity Question and Answer Forum

Thursday, June 24  (Leadership Track Extended Learning)

Morning Session

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

I.     Day 4 Welcome

II.   Where We Are and What We’ve Learned

III.  Do’s and Don’ts of Leading this Work

IV.  Equitable Grading in Action

V.    Planning to Lead and Support Equitable Grading

VI.   Close

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