Write Outside the Boxes: The Single Point Rubric in the Secondary ELA Classroom
The conversation around writing assessment in educational settings has been developed by research, practices, and legislation over the last 100 years. This article focuses on secondary writing assessment, where instructors are typically limited by local and statewide requirements. The debate on the use of rubrics (such as the traditional analytic and holistic) and the use of narrative/feedback assessment has shaped secondary writing instruction and assessment, but it has largely been shaped by stakeholders outside of the classroom. This article presents the Single Point Rubric (SPR) as a possible tool to work against the problematic applications of analytic and holistic rubrics without the commitment of time, focus, and energy that narrative feedback assessment demands. Rooted in decades old concepts of grid-grading, the SPR combines the formulaic and time-saving components of rubrics with the differentiated and individualized components of narrative response and grading via detailed feedback. Though the SPR is not an answer to the problems involved with writing assessment, it provides a tool that has largely been neglected for teachers who desire to individualize writing assessment while remaining concise and efficient.