For Parents: Standards-Referenced Grading
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
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Standards-referenced grading means that teachers will share information about your student’s learning by using a “proficiency scale” to describe progress towards learning standards and student skills. Our “proficiency scale” will include the following terms: extends, meets, approaching, and does not meet. Each subject will have multiple standards that measure your student's learning on specific skills and learning targets.
Our goal is to accurately measure student mastery of learning standards. This aligns with best practice in education and increases and improves communication about student learning.
There are two fundamental reasons why traditional grading practices ought to be re-assessed. First, the Common Core has helped make learning targets more rigorous, consistent, and transparent. Today, grading experts (Guskey, 2014; Marzano, 2000; O’Connor, 2009; Reeves, 2008) agree teachers should update their grading practices to better align with the realities of how and what students are learning in schools. Grades must be more reflective of learning.
Second, Every Student Succeeds (formerly No Child Left Behind) has changed the way school leaders and teachers operate because traditional grading practices may no longer be an effective way of measuring student progress (Vatterott, 2015).
Excerpt Source: http://mctownsley.net/standards-based-grading
Date Retrieved: March 12, 2018
Report cards will include much more specific information about what students are learning in each content area. The “proficiency scale” terms (extends, meets, approaching, and does not meet) will replace our currently used letter grades and codes.
Yes, other elementary districts in Niles Township are currently implementing this system while others are working on plans to implement this system.
Teacher teams work together to determine what a student does to earn a particular proficiency scale rating. Ratings on learning standards will not include student skills (peer cooperation, citizenship, etc.) and are based solely on academic performance. The rubrics teachers and teams use detail the components required to earn each level of proficiency. This helps students, parents, and teachers understand the specific requirements for each assignment/learning task.
Standards are assessed using a variety of strategies, from classroom observation to written tests to projects and activities. All assessments are directly aligned to a common rubric.
No. The more specific standards will help parents understand the content being learned in class. Comments will include information specific to your student’s performance in a given grading period.
Each of our schools have a Student Support Team comprised of school psychologists and social workers. These professionals are skilled in supporting students who feel stress or anxiety. Teachers may work with members of the team to support students. Parents may contact the school office to speak with members of the team as well.
No, grades will no longer be determined by averaging a set of scores. When averaging scores, student performance that may be lower at the start of a unit of study is “counted against” the overall score. In standards-referenced grading, the most recent pattern of growth is used to determine student level of mastery.
The district proficiency scale does not match up to traditional grades. They represent two completely different systems.