As those of you who have been in the district for some time are aware, our Kindergarten through sixth grade has been doing standards based grading for a few years. The following criteria is used to measure student learning:
4: Above grade level in that skill or performance area
3: At grade level in that skill or performance area
2: Working toward grade level in that skill or performance area
1: Significantly below grade level in that skill or performance area
By aligning our report cards to the state standards, we are able to give parents more specific information about strengths and weaknesses with this type of report card. A student that may have received an A in the past might move forward thinking everything is fine, while in one specific area they have struggled. A standard’s based report card breaks down their level in these specific areas to assist our efforts in helping every student get to the next level.
Letter grading in the past could have signified a number of varying things for our students. Students receiving failing grades could have mastered the skills, but had poor homework turn in rates. Other students who were well below level could have received a “B” because they tried hard and were good in class. Interestingly, in schools across the state that use letter grades, students that are passing standardized tests are failing classes. The A, B, C, D, F grading system fails when it comes to matching up with state standards.