Standards based grading

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Standards based grading
8
Wed, 03-24-2010 - 5:21pm
Our school is in the process of moving away from the traditional grading system (a,b,c,d,f) and going with a standards based grading system(e,m,p,iP)
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Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 03-24-2010 - 10:36pm

I used a form of it several years ago along with the stadard A-F scale. The parents loved it because they felt it communicated the skills that they needed to help their children with at home. Many also said that the ratings helped them see why they child was struggling in a specific subject in ways the letter grade didn't.


My granddaughter's kindergarten class us using a three point rating and the standards are

Sherry

 

Avatar for caraleas
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Registered: 10-06-1997
Wed, 03-24-2010 - 11:14pm

We have been on a standards based report card for several years now - at elementary and middle school: math, science, social studies and language arts.

We are still struggling with the idea that marks should represent where the student is - in relation to the standards, and not how much work he/she has turned in. We are not allowed to count homework as part of their grade. No zeros for missing work (50 or 60% instead). You must allow students to keep retaking assessments until they meet standard. Attendance/homework/turning in assignments does not matter, as long as the student can meet standard when they take an on-demand assessment.

All the BAME (beginning, approaching, meeting, exceeding) scores that teachers write on papers and enter in the grade book wind up being converted to standard A, B, C, C-, F scale (note, no D, and the C- goes down to 65%). Electives are still using a traditional scale reporting system. The progress reports list the standards that were addressed during that period, and the student's current level, these subscores calculate into an overall subject grade. This will be going up to the high school soon, and boy, will it be a rude awakening for those teachers. Ideally, we would all be on a report card that did not use the old letter grades at all, but there is no way to get colleges to change to accepting "Exceeds standards" instead of 3.85 GPA......

The technological aspect has been the most difficult thing - we were one of the first districts to try and get a company to build us a standards-based report card, and we are still refining the process. Getting every teacher on board has also been a tough challenge - it is VERY hard to get folks to change their attitudes toward grades, and equally tough to get parents to recognize the difference.

I still have a hard time with a lot of it, too. Being a music performance teacher, the performance based grading has not been hard - that is the way we have always graded skills. However, figuring out how to score rehearsal participation is another matter....does someone who can sight-sing well, but is absent 90% of the time deserve an "exceeds expectations" in choir? Ummmm... no.

I was at an elementary when we first started all this, and the toughest thing for our staff was trying to figure out how to provide opportunities to 'exceed standard'. If standard for 3rd graders is that everyone will be able to do blah, blah, blah standard with 100% accuracy, then what is exceeds standard? Doing blah, blah, blah at 5th grade level with 100% accuracy? 90% accuracy? 4th grade level? It is tricky, to say the least.

Music note sig MED

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 11:19am

Cara: You brought up something I probably should have mentioned. All of your standards are very performance based. They do not have numerical requirements. We also have specific identified core standards that are the top priorities and shouold be considered essential foundations for each grade. The exceptional ratings can come from performance above the core expectation, the

Sherry

 

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 3:17pm

Thank you both so much for your responses.

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Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 5:32pm

I'm not sure what your school is doing to relate performance mastery to

Sherry

 

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 10:40pm

as i mentioned this is the first year our shcool is trying to do this and the teachers are as untrained as the parents.

Avatar for caraleas
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-1997
Fri, 03-26-2010 - 9:21am

The idea of not counting homework as part of grades is still very controversial, for exactly that reason - why should the kid bother, if it not going to count? The reality is that research demonstrates that homework for homework's sake is not really worthwhile, and if it is not really going to reinforce the skills being learned in a direct and transparent way, it should NOT be assigned. Kids get burned out doing assignments that they recognize as busywork and just don't see the point. Some research also indicates that we should assign less homework, but when it is assigned that it be clearly meaningful for the student, so they understand why it is important - to advance their learning.

The other point of the 'no grades for homework' is that homework can be discriminatory against students of poverty. You can't assume that students will have supplies, a quiet place to work or parents to help them. I used to think that was a cop-out, but as the poverty level grows in my building and district I see more and more middle school kids (6th graders!) that are parenting themselves and their younger siblings while their parent works nights or simply leaves them on their own to go out and do whatever. Many of the kids are trying hard to do what is expected, but just do not have the resources or support. It just kills me.

Music note sig MED

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Fri, 03-26-2010 - 11:15am

Once again Cara has made some important points. It isn't about doing something for the sake of keeping busy, exposure to a skill or topic, or to get a number to support a grade.

Sherry