AOE LIVE: Episode 13: “Taming the Grading Game” with Sarah Dougherty



Sarah Dougherty, Visual Arts Curriculum Coordinator and Turnaround Arts Program Coordinator for the Des Moines Public Schools, dropped in for a chat. She was able to share her expertise on all things grading and assessment, and how we can work toward “Taming the Grading Game.” The guys also talked to her about the Turnaround Arts Initiative, Arts Integration, and why we should never grade behaviors.










Here are a few of the articles discussed and a few other gems from the Art of Ed:

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Check out for details on our next upcoming show!


Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Casey L. Walker

    I listened to this on my way to work today, and now my head is swimming! In my old grading system (which I am looking to change ASAP), a student’s grade was comprised 40% (or more) on their productivity, participation, safety, and clean-up. Sarah mentions picking four things to assess throughout a school year. I would love to see some examples of the types of things those might be.

    • Andrew McCormick

      Here’s a link to the Des Moines Schools’ portal on all things Fine Arts and grading. This might help out. I also think creating your own that tie in with the new NCAS’s would be really cool!