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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Teachers outsource grading

Teacher have outsourced grading at two Michigan public schools that are “teacher-powered,” reports Education Week Teacher.

Sarah and Dan Giddings, spouses who teach at two different 

Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium schools, say paying an outsider to do the grading frees teachers to design curriculum and work more closely with students.

Dan is lead teacher at Washtenaw International High School (WIHI), an International Baccalaureate school that hires graduate students as aides and graders.

Sarah works at Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education (WAVE), an alternative high school. The teachers decided to set aside money to pay for graders.

WAVE has about 10 online graders who are all certified teachers in Michigan. They teach at other schools in the county, work part-time or are recently retired. . . .  Dan has the option to earn extra money by grading Sarah’s students, and Sarah can focus on one-on-one tutoring sessions, evening phone calls with students, or even home visits.

Outside graders can provide quality control, said Sarah. A teacher who doesn’t know the student personally is more likely to say, “I really don’t think this student has mastered this concept.'”

To improve their writing, students need lots of practice — and useful feedback. Outsourcing that to retired teachers or stay-at-home mothers with English degrees would make a lot of sense.

Teachers, what do you think?

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