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2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 644 words || 
1. Gupta, Saloni. "Grading discrimination based on gender and prior grades in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 25, 2018 <Not Available>. 2019-11-17 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Indian society is developing as an equal-opportunity society with the objective to have no discrimination based on gender, caste, region, socio-economic conditions, religion or any other factor in any process or service. Historically, gender disparity has been a major issue in India’s pursuit for achieving the goal of universal elementary education. It was only since 1990s that girls enrolment improved rapidly in the country. This was owing to a few conducive education policies that enabled increased access to public schooling and provided other opportunities such as alternative schools, bridge schools and residential camps [1].
Although girls enrolment is steadily on the rise but it is difficult to empirically test what expectations teachers hold from them [2]. Girls by social construct of the society are not perceived as being as high performing as boys. Many societal characteristics are associated with their poor academic performance - education serving no purpose in their lives except for a better marriage proposal, low parental investments in their academic and career success, issues of security and perceptions about their abilities to learn. In classroom, some of these elements of discrimination against them may not be readily identifiable despite increasing percentage of girls [4]. It is important to emphasize here the phenomenon called Pygmalion effect that explains how teachers expectations influences student outcomes for better or worse [5]. If teachers have lower expectations from girls because of their gender then they might perform lower than they could. One way to measure differences in teachers expectations is to analyse the grades that are assigned to girls in comparison to boys. In this study, we want to understand whether teachers are assigning grades to students more ascribed to their gender than on their quality of work. Additionally, we will also examine what role prior grades play in accentuating this discrimination as prior grade reinforces what teachers’ believe about students. In other words, we examine whether girls with prior lower grades are less likely to escape their low-achievers label with time. The overall goal of this research paper is to explore grading discrimination as it may occur on the basis of interaction of prior grades and gender.
To accomplish this objective, we will conduct a randomized experiment in India. We will ask around 750 teachers to grade a series of essays written by primary school students. These essays will be randomly assigned varying student identities in a 2x2 crosscut design in the same order to every teacher. Systematic differences in scores, if any, will be an attribute of discrimination on the basis of prior grades and/or gender. In an ongoing study with China, it was found that low-achieving girls are discriminated against the most. This is an alarming result. Doing a similar experiment in India will help to explore these results more.
Grading should be a fair process. Grades carry important information about achievement to students, teachers, parents, administrators and they later become an important factor to choose majors, get accepted in certain types of schools or get financial aid [3]. If anything else other than student’s quality of work is a factor in grading mechanism, it is a serious issue and worthy of great concern.
[1] Madhumita Bandyopadhyay and Ramya Subrahmanian. Consortium for Research on Educational Access , Transitions and Equity Gender Equity in Education : A Review of Trends and Factors. Number 18. 2008.
[2] Rema N. Hanna and Leigh L. Linden. Discrimination in grading. Amer- ican Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(4):146–168, 2012.
[3] Caroline Minter. Hoxby and National Bureau of Economic Research. Col- lege choices : the economics of where to go, when to go, and how to pay for it. University of Chicago Press, 2004.
[4] Devah Pager and Hana Shepherd. The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets. Annual Review of Sociology, 34(1):181–209, 2008.
[5] Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. Pygmalion in the Class- room. American Educational Research Journal, 5(4):708–711, 1968.

2012 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 3211 words || 
2. Warren, John. and Saliba, Jim. "Public School Grade Retention Rates in the United States: Estimates by State, Grade, Year, and Race/Ethnicity" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Colorado Convention Center and Hyatt Regency, Denver, CO, Aug 16, 2012 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-11-17 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Being made to repeat a grade in school is one of the strongest predictors of subsequent educational, social, and developmental outcomes. What is more, unlike almost all other strong predictors of outcomes like high school dropout or mental health, grade retention is the result of intentional policies that are under the immediate control of school personnel. Despite all of this, we know exceptionally little about the rate at which American students are made to repeat grades (especially at the state level). In this paper, we describe a new technique for estimating the national and state-level rates at which American public elementary school students are made to repeat grades. We will produce estimates by grade of enrollment; by state and race/ethnicity; and for multiple academic years. Our state estimates are extremely highly correlated (r=0.92) with credible rates published by the handful of states with strong longitudinal student tracking systems.

2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 644 words || 
3. Hebert, Brittany. "Assessing the Causes and Outcomes of Grade Repetition in Primary Grades in Rwanda: Evidence from a National Assessment" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, Mar 05, 2017 <Not Available>. 2019-11-17 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: CIES 2017 Paper Presentation Proposal

Title: Assessing the Causes and Outcomes of Grade Repetition in Primary Grades in Rwanda: Evidence from a National Assessment

Repetition and drop-out are serious issues that threaten progress of many developing countries towards middle-income status and achievement of national education development goals. With the push for Universal Primary and Basic Education, primary school enrollment in sub-Saharan countries has significantly increased over the past ten years. However, accompanying these enrollment rates is a troubling repetition and drop-out rate. Research has shown that grade repetition is a strong predicator of drop-out in that grade repeaters are also more likely to become dropouts. In Rwanda, over recent years, primary school dropout and repetition have been on the rise. According to the Rwandan Ministry of Education, the official repetition and drop-out rate was roughly 18% and 14% respectively in primary school. As in other countries, Rwandan students from more disadvantaged households and students with disabilities are more at risk to repeat a grade or dropout.

Identifying the actionable causes and outcomes of grade repetition and dropout is critical to crafting effective solutions and strategies to prevent students from repeating grades and dropping out of school. In Rwanda, EDC has conducted three national assessments and three regional assessments of the reading and math skills of primary school students as part of the USAID-funded Language, Literacy and Learning (L3) program. As part of our national assessments, EDC conducted a three-year longitudinal repeater study to examine key issues surrounding grade repetition and drop-out in Rwanda. In a nationally representative sample, primary students were tracked longitudinally over three years to examine key questions in repetition and drop-out in the context of Rwanda, including:

• Who are grade repeaters?
• What are the causes, factors and conditions at the individual, family and school-level that influence grade repetition and drop-out?
• To what extent does grade repetition positively impact learner achievement in reading and math?
• Do learners who are retained “catch up” to their peers?
• What are the long-term outcomes of grade repetition?

The paper presentation will present the findings of EDC’s three-year national study on grade repetition patterns and causes in Rwanda, the outcomes of grade retention on learner achievement and discuss strategies that could help mitigate these trends.

Findings. Study results of longitudinally tracked primary learners found that repeaters were largely found to be in grade 1 and to be, on average, older than their non-repeating peers. The proportion of boys and girls was similar to that of non-repeaters. Teachers reported that the majority of repeaters were not orphans and did not have learning barriers. However, these learners were reported to miss school or be late for school more often than their non-repeating peers.

To better understand the reasons why learners are held back a year, the study team asked teachers familiar with repeating learners. The most common reason teachers cited that learners were retained in the current grade was low academic performance and poor attendance. Roughly one fifth of repeaters were at risk of dropping out.

Reading and math assessment results of repeaters were analyzed to determine how effective grade repetition was in improving learner achievement. The study found that the majority of repeaters were found to have made substantial gains in reading and math over the course of repeating a grade for one academic year. Grade 1 repeaters in the sample actually caught up to their non-repeating peers, while Grade 2 and Grade 3 repeaters closed more than half of the gap between them and non-repeaters. These findings are moderated by existing research that shows that initial achievement gains that occur during the year the student is retained will decline within 2-3 years of retention, such that retained children either do not perform better or perform more poorly than similar groups of promoted children. Based on these findings, the study provided recommendations and strategies that could help mitigate these trends in grade repetition and drop-out.

2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 424 words || 
4. Curry, Patrick. "Negotiating language complexities and government policies for Grade 1 and Grade 2 Khmer language lessons in Cambodia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, <Not Available>. 2019-11-17 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In line with international development best practices in literacy instruction, Room to Read’s model for literacy instruction emphasizes the 5 components of reading and writing recommended by the National Reading Panel (2000). Central to the approach is an appropriately paced, productive sequencing of teaching letters, accompanied by progressively more complex decodable texts for children to practice their newly acquired skills. However, local practices in literacy instruction and the language structure of Khmer presented challenges to this standard approach in Cambodia.

The Khmer orthography, for one, is extremely complex, with 26 vowels and 33 consonants, with a total of 900 nuanced combinations that must be memorized in order to read (UNESCO, 2015). The complex system of syllable formation is compounded by the existence of diacritics, which alter the pronunciation of vowels and consonants (Koda & Zehler, 2008). Such language features were not taken into account in the National Reading Panel’s meta-analysis of reading research.

An additional layer of contextual complexity is added by the education system itself. The government curriculum’s pacing of reading content is extremely ambitious, with the majority of phonics skills being taught to students in Grade 1. In addition, the government curriculum does not follow a productive sequence of content that would allow for the creation of decodable texts early on. For example, vowels are introduced all together before consonants are introduced. This significantly limits students’ exposure to early decoding practice.

In cooperation with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS), Room to Read has developed a literacy approach that blends international best practices with local practices around literacy instruction. Supplementary materials were developed to seamlessly integrate with and complement the national MoEYS Grade 1 and Grade 2 textbooks and provide children with additional practice to develop key literacy skills. Key to Room to Read’s success in Cambodia has been engaging with the government as partners to develop an instructional approach jointly—one that advocates for key evidence-based approaches to support reading while at the same time incorporating local practices. Recognizing that this approach would be new for teachers, Room to Read instituted ongoing professional development and coaching for teachers that encouraged teacher reflection and sharing.

This presentation will provide detailed background around the challenges and lessons learned from Room to Read’s experience in contextualizing Grade 1 and Grade 2 Khmer reading instruction. It will provide background on the Khmer language and Cambodian curriculum, and will also describe the compromises that were made in order to ensure high quality, contextualized reading instruction.

2006 - American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Words: 253 words || 
5. Dutta, Arjun., Rosenow, Robert., STEIN, SUSAN., DILLMAN, VANESSA., KOOMER, AJOY. and KNIEP, WILLARD. "“To grade or not to grade?”" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, California, USA, Jul 05, 2006 <Not Available>. 2019-11-17 <>
Publication Type: School Poster
Abstract: “To grade or not to grade?” has beleaguered healthcare educators since the seventies. Medical, dental, and law literature have espoused a “pass/fail” (P/F) system in lieu of grades. Students preferred P/F while faculty argued both ways. Both medical and dental literature bore positive correlation between P/F -academic performance, boards, and residencies.

Although, there is a dearth of evidence regarding the merits of P/F in pharmacy education, more schools are using it for experiential and other electives. The PU, SOP has made a conscious decision to eschew traditional grading in favor of P/F for all didactic and experiential courses in their three-year curriculum. The following describes their evaluation process:

Progression of students towards achievement of programmatic outcomes will be measured via formative and summative assessments. Additionally, a cumulative year-end assessment for the two didactic years and the third clinical year will be conducted.

PU will use “P/F” for recording student achievement. The standard for individual student achievement is 90%. Assessments will also include a group assessment which will contribute 5% points towards an individual’s overall score. If a student does not achieve 90%, then he/she will attend a mandatory review session on a scheduled extended-learning day followed by a written reassessment to achieve 90% competency. Students failing to achieve 90% on the extended-learning day will attend summer extended-learning where they will be required to achieve 90% in order to continue in the program.

The faculty will reassess the P/F system at the end of the first year and report significant correlations.

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