VALUE Research Hub

What's Wrong - and What's Right - with Rubrics


Popham, W. J. (1997). What’s Wrong - and What’s Right - with Rubrics. Educational Leadership, 55(2), 72–75.


R ubrics are all the rage these days. It's difficult to attend an educational conference without running into relentless support for the educational payoffs of rubrics. Indeed, the term itself seems to evoke all sorts of positive images. Rubrics, if we believe their backers, are incontestably good things. But for many educators, rubrics inspire a series of questions. What are rubrics, and where did they come from? What is an educationally appropriate role for rubrics? Why do so many current rubrics fail to live up to their promise as guides for both teachers and students? What should we do to make rubrics better?