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15 Fixes for Broken Grades Workshop

A Repair Kit for Grading - In-Person Workshop

In-Person Workshop!




May 8-9, 2023

School Teacher


8:00 AM - 3:30 PM Eastern

Empty Classroom


Holiday Inn - Orlando Airport

5750 T.G. Lee BLVD, Orlando, FL 32822



(Includes includes lunch, book package and ALL materials)

RepairKit Book Cover_Front.jpg

Communicating student achievement requires CALM grades - grades that are consistent, accurate, learning-focused and meaningful. To meet those four conditions, educators need to ask several questions: 

  1. To what extent am I confident the students in my school or district receive grades that are consistent, accurate, learning-focused and meaningful?

  2. To what extent am I confident that the grades I determine for my students accurately reflect my school/district’s published learning goals and performance standards?

  3. To what extent am I confident that what I do in grading is aligned with, and contributes to, my school/district’s mission, values and goals?


If your answers to these questions are any less than extremely confident, this two day workshop is needed for you and your colleagues. Based on Ken O’Connor's revised edition of “A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades,” attendees will be guided through all 15 Fixes and provided with revised examples and iterations to ensure educators are able to move to the highest level when answering these questions. Since the last edition of this book was published eleven years ago, Ken has provided new educator Vignettes and as well as policy/procedural examples to ensure you have a clear plan and path to success by the conclusion of this workshop. 


As a result of attending this two day workshop, educators will: 

  1. Understand what it means to have CALM Grading practices within their districts, schools and classrooms.

  2. Analyze and create plans for fixes that distort achievement in today’s schools

  3. Examine and explore templates that fix low quality and poorly organized evidence of achievement.

  4. Discuss and identify fixes that address inappropriate grade determination.

  5. Identify ways through an analysis of grades that make learning the focus.

  6. Walk away with an action plan to use in your district, school, or classroom to ensure your grades meet the criteria for CALM as discussed in “A Repair Kit for Grading.”



Ken O'Connor

Ken O’Connor (also known as “The Grade Doctor” is the author of The Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades (now on it's 3rd edition) He has been a staff development presenter and facilitator on assessment, grading and reporting in 45 states and 9 Canadian provinces and 21 countries outside North America. He has presented at NESA Conferences in Bahrain, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Athens, Muscat and Istanbul, and at ECIS in Amsterdam. He was a member of the ASCD Faculty and the ASCD Understanding by Design cadre. 


His twenty-three year teaching career included experience as a geography teacher and department head at L'Amoreaux C.I. and Maplewood High School in Scarborough, Ontario (1976-90) and teaching at four other schools in Toronto and Melbourne, Australia (Grade 7-12) starting in 1967.

Ken was a Curriculum Coordinator responsible for Student Assessment and Evaluation and Geography for the Scarborough Board of Education (and then the Toronto District School Board) from March 1990 to June 1999. He also worked (half time) as a consultant on Secondary Assessment at the Ontario Ministry of Education from November 1998 to December 1999.


Becky Peppler

Becky Peppler is the Director of the FIRST Education Center for Assessment and Grading (a division of FIRST Educational Resources). She has 15 years of professional experience in public education, working in the Winneconne Community School District in northeast Wisconsin. Becky has spent time as a 6-12 Instructional Coach with a focus on supporting teachers in the classroom on a daily basis. Prior to her role as an instructional coach, Becky taught Chemistry and Forensic Science and was the 6-12 Science Curriculum Chair. She is a member of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST), where she was awarded the Excellence in Science Education Award for the state of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Science Education Leadership Association (WSELA). Becky has helped the Winneconne Community School District transition to Target Based Grading at the middle and high school levels. She has a passion for designing meaningful assessments practices, making reassessment work, target based learning implementation, building social and emotional skills and ensuring that all students continue to learn at high levels. Becky currently consults to school districts all over the United States in these areas.


Dr. Garth Larson

Garth Larson, Ed.D is the Co-Founder and CEO of FIRST Educational Resources. Garth has previously worked as the Director of Learning for the Winneconne Community School District in northeast Wisconsin, was an elementary principal in two separate buildings and started his career in education as a high school speech and English teacher. In 2011, Garth formed Wisconsin Educational Resources (now FIRST) with a focus on improving student achievement across the United States. Since 2011, over 2000 school districts throughout the globe have become partnership districts with his company. Garth currently consults with school districts around the world and provides customized professional development around a variety of topics, mainly Professional Learning Communities 2.0, Learning-Centered Grading Practices, Leadership and School Improvement. Garth is also the author of Collaborative Systems of Support: Learning for ALL with co-authors Tom Hierck and Chris Weber, Target-Based Grading in Collaborative Teams: 13 Steps to Moving Beyond Standards with co-author Tom Hierck, Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System and PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools with co-author Cale Birk.

Workshop Agenda

Day #1 Agenda


8:00 AM - 8:30 PM Welcome and Introductions and Warm Up Activity

  • Welcome from Ken O’Connor Virtually (5 minutes)

  • Warm Up Activity- Getting to Know Each Other 


8:45 AM - 9:30 AM Setting the Stage for Change and Why

  • 5 minute introduction video from Ken, followed by deeper dive with the facilitator around

  • Calm Grading and our Beliefs Around Grading Reform


9:30 AM - 12:00 PM Fixes for Practices that Distort Achievement (Fixes 1-5)


5 minute introduction video from Ken, followed by deeper dive with the in-person facilitator 

Fix 1:  Include Only Achievement, Don’t Include Student Behaviors in Grades

Fix 2:  Support Learners so they meet timelines, don’t reduce marks on late assessment

Fix 3:  Use only evidence of achievement, don’t provide extra credit or use of bonus points

Fix 4:  Apply behavioral consequences and reassess when academic dishonesty occurs, don’t reduce grades

Fix 5:  Report absences separately, don’t consider attendance in grade determination


12:00 PM - 12:45 PM Lunch (Included)


12:45 - 1:00 PM Team Building Activity


1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Fixes for Low Quality or Poorly Organized Evidence (Fixes 6-8)


5 minute introduction video from Ken, followed by deeper dive with the in-person facilitator 

Fix 6:  Use individual achievement evidence; don’t include group scores in grades

Fix 7:  Organize and report evidence by standards/learning goals or targets; don’t organize by assessment methods or report single subject grade

Fix 8: Provide clear descriptions of proficiency levels; don’t assign grades using inappropriate or unclear performance standards


3:00 PM - 3:30 PM Closing Day 1 Activity Reflection

Day # 2 Agenda

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM Warm Up Activity


8:45 AM - 10:15 AM Fixes for Low Quality or Poorly Organized Evidence (Fixes 9-10)

Fix 9: Compare each student’s performance to preset standards or goals; don’t assign grades based on student comparisons

Fix 10: Use Evidence from high quality assessments; don’t use evidence from low quality assessments


10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Fixes for Inappropriate Grade Determination (Fixes 11-12)

5 minute introduction video from Ken, followed by deeper dive with the in-person facilitator 

Fix 11:  Consider several measures of central tendency and use professional judgment; don’t rely on the mean.

Fix 12: Use Incomplete or Insufficient Evidence and provide support when evidence is missing; don’t include zeros in grade determination


12:00 PM - 12:45 PM Lunch


12:45 - 1:00 PM Team Building Activity


1:00 - 2:30 PM Fixes to Make Learning the Focus (Fixes 13-15)

5 minute introduction video from Ken, followed by deeper dive with the in-person facilitator 

Fix 13: Use evidence primarily from evaluative assessments to determine grades, don’t use evidence from formative assessments

Fix 14: Emphasize more recent achievement, don’t just summarize evidence accumulated over time. 

Fix 15: Involve students, don’t leave students out of the grading process.


2:30 PM - 2:45 PM Break


2:45 PM - 3:30 PM Action Planning and Workshop Conclusion

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