Parents understand what a “C” means. Do they understand a “2″ or “3″ on a report card?

Teach1 asked that we discuss standard-based report cards. So, I asked her to write an entry to get us started as this topic is new to me. My system does some of the things that Teach1 describes.

I am not sure how many parents look too long or hard at the 1-4 measures now being used in standards assessments, probably because the nomenclature is unfamiliar to them and is not as easily digested as traditional grading.

Parents understand a “C.” I am not sure they can deconstruct a “2″ or “3″ as quickly, based on the descriptions that accompany the standard assessments.

I have not found the increase in grade reports coming home to be all that helpful.

What I always value most on grading reports are the personal notes that the teacher writes. But I realize the depth and breadth of those notes depends on the teacher. My son’s teacher writes five to seven lines that are very personal to his situation. My daughter’s teacher last year used a single-line generic summation along the lines of  “Your child is doing fine.”

Here is Teach1’s entry. Please take a look: (And thanks Teach1; I encourage anyone else with a topic they’d like to share to send me an entry – mdowney@ajc.com,  Maureen)

I have always enjoyed the insights and wealth of information your readers have had to share on the Get Schooled discussion board.  So, I am turning to the readers for information and opinions. Here is the history at out elementary school.

We have been standard driven for some time. Last year, we rolled out a standard-based report card as well. The report is given every six weeks. There are mid-term reports sent home as well. So there is at least 12 formal communications home with parents in addition to a minimum of one beginning-of-the year conference. Most teachers will meet an additional 2-3 times with students how may have areas of concern.

This report card has the majority of the standards listed on it and a grade is given from 1 to 4 — 1 means minimal ability, 2 means inconsistently, 3 means consistently and independently, and 4 means exceeds grade level for each standard.  As the year goes on, we are gathering information for each standard and retesting for growth.

This last six weeks we graded every student on 46 standards.  This took most of the week testing and evaluating, especially in the early grades where you need to listen to each student read independently and count words per minute or test sight word recognition. The final six weeks will be 57 standards.

One concern is that with our grading system there is a huge area encompassed by the grade of a 2.  So, while we are providing
frequent grades, the grades often remain on the 2 level for some time. Our county has asked for input, not on the report card itself, but on how many times we should be reporting to parents.

I am talking about elementary schools with standards-based report cards – Does anyone have opinions or research on the frequency of reporting and how it affects grades?  Better yet, how would you as a parent feel about changing the number of times you receive a report card?

Would there be a preference for 6 week or 9 week grading periods?  We do not have the online grading capabilities that the middle and high school use at this time.

59 comments Add your comment

V for Vendetta

April 19th, 2010
11:44 am

I worry more about what these types of things MEAN to a parent–not whether or not they understand. Now, I completely understand the logic that a clear meaning will equal a clear understanding for most. My point is simply that a parent should first care enough to try and understand the grading process before claiming they do not understand it.

All of my progress reports are based on good ‘ole weighted averages, and I still have people email or call with inane questions regarding their children’s grades. Even when I break it down with some (incredibly) basic examples, I continue to get questioned. It’s annoying.

That having been said, I can understand parents’ concern when they make the attempt, and it still doesn’t make sense. We have too much of that going on as well. I think this 1s and 2s business is silly. When I was in elem. school it was S, N, U. We all knew what those stood for!

catlady

April 19th, 2010
12:20 pm

So does this clarify that a kid is 2-3 years behind? Would they get 1s on their current grade standard? Our parents think that because their kid gets an A, that they are doing great, never mind that they are years behind in reading or math, or that they have to have every accomodation known to man to have even a little “success”! I’d like to see us make that abundantly clear.

catlady

April 19th, 2010
12:21 pm

I’d think with our “we’re number 1″ slogans, thinking your child has a one might make you think, on casual glance, that your kid is doing great!

Tea Party Patriot

April 19th, 2010
12:23 pm

My children’s private school, K-12, uses “good ‘ole weighted averages” and thats fine for us parents. I really feel sorry for all the public school teachers having to dumb down their tests and grades. Thats really what all this is about isn’t it?

decaturparent

April 19th, 2010
12:31 pm

Our system is rolling out these report cards. I do not know a single parent who likes them. It is impossible to really decipher what sort of student your child is with these report cards. I also have not heard a single teacher speak positively about them. I have heard several who can’t stand them though – they’d never admit it to the admins though.

I also don’t like that standards based report cards do not include an assessment of work habits as part of a letter grade. Kids in standards based systems have little or no consequences for turning in work late or failing to study for a test in a timely manner. These sorts of failures have very ugly consequences in college and the real world. IMO, one of the most important jobs of a school is to teach good work habits. In fact, I would venture to say that in many cases (not all cases, though) learning work habits are more important than learning content.

I also do not need to see grades every six weeks – nine weeks with a call or email if there is a problem is plenty. My guess is that they do this b/c some parents do not take the time to look over their kids’ school work/tests periodically.

How about letting the teachers teach instead of filling out several dozens of number grades for 25 or so students every six weeks? If there are 50 standards to assess and 25 students, that’s 1250 assessment points every six weeks. Multiply that out for the year and you get 75,000 assessment point per elementary teacher per year. I think that they have better things to do than to fill out 75,000 little boxes every year, don’t you?

decaturparent

April 19th, 2010
12:33 pm

Wow, that was full of typos. Sorry… must get more caffeine.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: Parents understand what a “C” means. Do they get a “2″ or “3″ on a standards-based report card? http://bit.ly/d3Cgpd [...]

Hey, It's Enrico Pallazzo

April 19th, 2010
12:50 pm

Does this mean that the teacher spends one out of every six weeks testing and evaluating the students instead of teaching? I do understand the need for testing and evaluating, but spending 1/6th of the school year doing so (not to mention all the other standardized tests) is a poor use of classroom time.

takeacloserlook

April 19th, 2010
1:15 pm

The standard based report card is based on the “theory” that parents and teachers will be provided a more accurate look at a student’s academic development. In theory that may be true but not in the true application. In my experience for the last two years, a “3″ (mastering the standard) is not given until a student completes an assessment with 100% correct. I can not think of any place in the world where 100% is required to master a skill. (i.e. In the real world, you do not need a 100% to get a driver’s license, get a law/medical license or get your teaching certificate). However, a “2″ (progressing toward the standard) is given for scores from 51% to 99%. The “2″ gives parents no indication if the student is truly struggling or developing. For most of the year, students receive a majority of “2″s with no indication if the “2″ is getting any higher and closer to the magical “3.” At least with number grades, you could see growth or a stalemate. Although teachers do not feel the standard based grading is helping, most do not feel they have the room to voice concerns and disagreements due to budget cuts and the potential for displacement.

Dan

April 19th, 2010
1:32 pm

Why in the world is anything other than a numeric grade used? There is nothing to be communicated or discerned from a 2 or 3 or C or B that cannot be communicated using a %correct 90-100% is an A 80-89 B and so on. This also makes grades more comparable when swithching schools (obviously the subjectiveness of the teachers will always be a variable) All other grading methods are utter nonsense and self serving by their mere existence

Dan

April 19th, 2010
1:35 pm

Oh and obviously the numerics should be accompanied by written assessments of effort work habits etc.

LSH

April 19th, 2010
1:45 pm

I am mostly concerned about the 12 formal communications with parents. Why on earth does the teacher need to complete 12 formal evaluations on each student? Every minute the teacher is spending writing up endless reports and grades is another minute they are not devoted to teaching or lesson planning or spending additional time with students. “Sorry kid, I don’t have time to meet with you or help you on that concept, I have to write up yet another formal evaluation on you to send home to your parents.” Now these “evaluations” will need to be photocopied (time, money and energy), passed out and collected again (time, money and energy) and then teachers will be responsible for contacting parents who don’t sign and return them (more time, money and energy) None of this benefits the kids or improves teaching or learning.

Tony

April 19th, 2010
1:55 pm

In reality, parents and teachers don’t know what a “C” means, either. Letter grades, number grades, or any other grading scheme will never mean the same thing to two different people.

The main purpose of Standards Based report cards is to let the parent know how the child is doing in relation to the standard rather than in comparison to other students. Sometimes, the educationese gets too cumbersome and we should lighten up on the verbage. We should be able to clearly communicate that a child is performing at grade level (or not) without using too many code words. Clarity is vital.

Tea Party Patriot

April 19th, 2010
2:00 pm

The REAL reason for the onesies and twosies is to be ambiguous as possible so a “certain” segment of our society won’t feel discriminated against.

Classroom Teacher

April 19th, 2010
2:04 pm

“In reality, parents and teachers don’t know what a “C” means, either.”

Doesn’t it mean a 70 to 79 numerical grade and average performance?

“Sometimes, the educationese gets too cumbersome and we should lighten up on the verbage.”

Exactly! So please give us a break with your sweeping statements about what people don’t understand. Btw its spelled verbiage.

A Different Opinion

April 19th, 2010
2:24 pm

So, you spend all this time reporting on students achievements, abilities, learning capabilities, etc. that takes time from their classroom time or do you do this after school hours? Tell me, what’s the report card for…..is it to tell the student that he/she is bright, intelligent, needs improvement, etc. or is it for the parents telling them the same thing…..how is this report supposed to help the child? My concern here is we’ve become too concerned about the schools documentation of the child to bolster that schools standing rather than what we’re supposed to be doing….and that is teaching the child.

And tell me, what’s the difference between a, b, c, d and 1, 2, 3, 4 or vice-versa? It just sounds like another “Change” that we can do without.

You know, all you smart folks out there need to stop thinking so much….. :)

Ashley Nicole

April 19th, 2010
2:38 pm

E- EXCELLENT, G-GOOD. S-SATISFACTORY U-UNSATISFACTORY I-INCOMPLETE THIS WORK FOR ME IN GRADE SCHOOL. MAKE IT SIMPLE AND SELF EXPLANATORY, THAT WAY EVERY ONE WHO CARES WILL ADJUST.

HS Teacher, Too

April 19th, 2010
2:46 pm

Classroom Teacher,

I don’t want to speak for Tony, but I interpreted his statement to mean that people don’t know what a C *tells them*. In other words, for some teachers, a C means “average work,” and for others, it’s a lot worse.

HS Teacher, Too

April 19th, 2010
2:51 pm

oops … hit return before I meant to.

What I meant to add to my last post is that we still have the nebulous definition of “Average,” and don’t necessarily have concrete information about what skills the child has or has not mastered. Note that I don’t know if a 1-4 scale solves that issue!

Tea Party Patriot

April 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

“I don’t want to speak for Tony, but I interpreted his statement to mean that people don’t know what a C *tells them*. In other words, for some teachers, a C means “average work,” and for others, it’s a lot worse.”

You mean college educated folks can’t interpret what a “C” means? Thank God for private schools!

no mas

April 19th, 2010
3:25 pm

Percentage grade makes sense to me for 3rd/4th grade on up – and E, G, S and U are appropriate for younger kids. As a parent, that would tell me what I want to know – is my kid keeping on an even keel or is she having problems. I want the teacher to write me or call me if there is a problem, but “She’s doing fine” is enough if there isn’t.

The whole assessing thing bothers me tremendously – it takes away class time, and I would like to trust that the teacher (if he/she has some experience teaching) would have a good feel as to whether a child is doing OK. Listening to each child read and counting words for a formal assessment may be appropriate for two or three times (beginning, middle and end of school year), but I would rather count on the teachers “gut feel”.

Seems like a big time sink – for all the reasons mentioned above – to produce some very ambiguous reports (”However, a “2″ (progressing toward the standard) is given for scores from 51% to 99%. The “2″ gives parents no indication if the student is truly struggling or developing.” – from takeacloserlook)

Joe

April 19th, 2010
3:26 pm

Low American educational standards is the difference!

Many other countries strongly encourage academic achievement of their children, especially in math, science, and foreign languages. American culture focuses first on participation in extracurricular activities (sports) and growing “happy” citizens.

75% of US seniors in HS wants to go College for practicing sports. They grow up with the dream of becoming Michael Jordan, Jones, Bonds, etc; but the real life is a hard word, and a hard process. You have a 0.00565% chance of becoming a professional athlete.

95-99% of seniors graduated in India, China, Russia, Chile, France, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Germany go to College for studying!

It explains many things….

“C” (70-79)…”Real grade” 55-70
“B” (80-89)…”Real grade” 71-80
“A” (90-100)…”Real grade” 80-100

wondering

April 19th, 2010
3:45 pm

Just wondering…if Johnny turns in no homework all grading period but makes 100 on every test…what is his grade? does he fail your class? He met the standard for academic performance, but has terrible work habits. If, as a parent, I receive a grade report that has “good old averaged grades,” I believe that Johnny doesn’t know his content. If however, I receive a standards-based grade report that is used correctly, I will know that he has a 3 (meeting standards) in the content area but has a 1 or “NI” in work habits. Then I would know much more about what my child needs.

Standards-based report cards, if implemented correctly, would help teachers, parents, and even the students themselves, know more about academic progress than any numerical average could ever tell.

And based on the comments made, many informed folks need to study the difference between assessment and grading. A good teacher will assess students daily – and this does not mean giving tests every day – it means assessing where students are and if they are understanding what is being taught.

You Asked

April 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

Parents read grade cards?

Wow. You learn something new every day.

Bill from Cobb

April 19th, 2010
4:39 pm

They will continue to find ways to dumb it down. The classes have to be brought down so the minorties can pass

Philosopher

April 19th, 2010
4:47 pm

What a pile of horse manure!! Just grade the kid and quit letting parents manipulate. We know what the blasted grades mean and all this stupid posturing is a waste of everybody’s time. The kid is either doing well or he/she is not doing well and what the heck happened to a simple parent teacher conference when there is discussion needed about the kid? STOP THE INSANITY!!

Philosopher

April 19th, 2010
4:50 pm

If we don’t understand A B C and F by now, then let’s just all give up…but DO NOT START GIVING STUPID ONES AND TWOS JUST SO KIDS AND PARENTS DON’T HAVE TO FACE UP TO REALITY.

Philosopher

April 19th, 2010
4:54 pm

This really, really tee’s me off. Muddying up the reference points will not make Johnny smarter or a better student.

mrs.Lilburn

April 19th, 2010
5:00 pm

@Bill from Cobb-”They will continue to find ways to dumb it down. The classes have to be brought down so the minorties can pass”

It is spelled “minorities”, and it’s obvious they didn’t “dumb it down” enough for you considering you cannot spell or even post a somewhat intelligent thought.

Ole Guy

April 19th, 2010
5:15 pm

Here goes the ole school saga again. Ever since the invention of the little red schoolhouse, kids have, to my knowledge, earned letter grades of “A” thru “F”, signifying their levels of achievement (or lack thereof) in areas of expectation. Now, for the first time in the history of little red schoolhouses, and in keeping with 21st century propensity to complicate the hell outa the most-simplest things, we are seeing yet another means of shielding kids from the most-horrifying fact of life…”LITTLE JOHNNY, YOU”RE FAILING”!

It would be most-interesting, indeed, to learn just exactly WHY the powers that be have adopted such idiotic methodology in communicating kids’ progress in the joke which passes for that which, once upon a time, was known as public education. It doesn’t take much interpolation to equate the oft-reported numeral “2″ into a “D”…not very impressive, given the huge input of public monies, not to mention “leadership”, both at the DOE and legislative levels.

So while this numerical grading system shields the little Johnnys and Suzies from having to face the harsh, self-esteem destroying reality of abject failure, it also serves as yet another tool by which those powers that be might complicate the devil outa the most traditional means of communicating the kids’ progress, thus shielding themselves, as well, from the reality that they, to, have failed.

Seems like, in the end, everyone’s fooling everyone, while no one wins; everyone loses. GROW UP, GEORGIA!

I_Teach

April 19th, 2010
5:19 pm

A few clarifications:

Mastery is NOT considered 100%. “Mastery” typically means 90% or better. This is the usual definition. At 90% mastery, a student is ready to move on to the next topic.

Well, in theory; in Georgia’s schools, the “Pacing Chart” rules the day. The teacher is expected to follow the all-important pacing chart and be where the county has decided they should be….this of course does not take into consideration the varying ability levels and differences in classes. “One size fits all.” Works well with t-shirts…but NOT in a classroom/school.

The reason for the “Standards Based Report Card?” Everything teachers do in our rooms now is standards based; take a look around. Teachers now post the target standard…on the board, bulletin board, lesson plans. Students are expected to know which standard they are working towards.

Mastery of standards works on a continuum-that is, mastery takes a while…so you will see a lot of 1s and 2s, and hopefully by the second half of the year, 3s and 4s. Therein lies the rub: we have parents who are freaking out because Precious and Darling are getting 1s and 2s…and teachers are forever trying to explain that is because the topic is new and is being introduced…as are numerous corresponding standards.

Homework, at least in our elementary schools, can no longer harm or help a student. Credit under “work habits” is given-but not a numeric grade. Too many kids have “help” to do the homework (we all love the story where Mama demanded a new homework sheet after Precious lost it, claming “I know it was done! I did it!”); too many kids have NO parental support. So, homework counts towards “work habits,” and not towards increasing (or decreasing) a letter grade.

“A,” “B” and “C” etc are no more clearer than the 1, 2, 3, 4. E, G, N, U? Hideous grading system, as is the S, N, U! (talk about nebulous). At least with the numeric system (1-4), a parent can tell where their child is along the continum.

As for the amount of ‘assessing?” In my building/district it is CONTINUAL. I have no idea when my colleagues have the opportunity to teach what they are assessing (I teach in a “special area;” I am no longer a regular ed. teacher…thankfully!~).

Running records, Fontas and Pinell, county Benchmark tests, CRCT, PBAs, etc. If people realized the amount of testing kids were subject to, they’d be really angry……as angry and frustrated as the teachers are!

Chris

April 19th, 2010
5:32 pm

You all are looking at this from an elementary school perspective – imagine the headache at a high school. Instead of teaching 20 kids and having to do this insane amount of paperwork, high school teachers teach upwards of 150 students and a lot of districts are making them do the same reports as the elementary schools. They want “consistency”. I teach 130 students – I am having to fill out one of these “personalized” reports for every standard (25 standards, 116 elements) for every student – ugh….. Howsabout some parents show up at parent conferences (we do them all day AND an evening session for working parents) so I can tell you how your kid is doing.

HS Teacher, Too

April 19th, 2010
5:34 pm

Tea Party,

Yes, I *do* mean that college-educated people can’t necessarily tell what a C means. When you’re a parent and a C means different things to different teachers, it may, indeed, be difficult to know what a C means. My point is that a letter grade can be nebulous, and I believe that the idea behind alternative grading systems is to eliminate some of that variation. That being said, I don’t believe that the 1-4 system achieves that.

But putting your kid in private school doesn’t change the phenomenon, whether you call it a C or rate it 2-3.

Tea Party Patriot

April 19th, 2010
5:42 pm

@ HS Teacher, Too

Got any research to back up your “anecdotal” statement? I didn’t think so. Look, stay out of the teachers lounge, quit waisting tax payers money surfing the web, and try to EDUCATE your students. You will probably find that more fulfilling then being a pompous know it all on this left wing blog.

catlady

April 19th, 2010
5:58 pm

THE REASON FOR THE CHANGE IS TO JUSTIFY JOBS! FOLLOW THE MONEY! Duh.

18 years as a teacher

April 19th, 2010
6:46 pm

9 week grading periods are much better for the teacher. In my county that’s what we use. We also send home progress reports in the middle of each grading period. So parents receive something containing grades 8 times a year. That’s plenty. In a six week grading period you must constantly assess and can’t possibly have enough time to teach.

I I detest the standards-based grades. We have them too, but only in K, 1, and 2. The first and second grade students cannot “exceed” in my county. They can only “MS” (for Meets Standard). I have a child who likely exceeds many standards. He is learning that it doesn’t make any difference if he exceeds – all it takes is to meet the minimum standard.

benny

April 19th, 2010
6:57 pm

Hahahahahaha – another sure cure for education that will fix everything. What about just teaching the curriculum? We are talking about kids who have lost their love of learning because of all this nonsense. School used to be fun and now it is not fun. Don’t throw all that our kids are going down the drain because our education is junk. Compare all equitably and you will find that European tests only college bound. Check Asia and it is the same. Even in the states – Mighty Minnesota only tests a very small % of their students and we test all. Why do we insist that every kid is going to college? If we want to compare only test the top 5% and send the lower 50% to tech/vocational school at the 7th grade level. Not politically correct? All these cutesy fixes are not helping improve anything especially kids that are not interested in college but just want to fix tractors (or whatever).

M G

April 19th, 2010
6:59 pm

Our standards based report card has a 14 page rubric that accompanies it to explain to parents what each ranking means. As a teacher, I have to keep referring back to the rubric as I complete the report cards. I also send a letter to each parent with a single letter grade for the student in each area. Every parent I’ve spoken to ignores the standard based report card, they find it confusing – who wants to spend an hour trying to decode a report card?

catlady – I suspect you are 1000% correct.

Hmmm...

April 19th, 2010
7:01 pm

What does a C mean? Does it mean that Johnny did all of the work but was mediocre? Or Johnny did half of the work and some was good but some he got zeroes on? Or does it mean that Johnny aced every test but did no classwork or homework? Or does it mean that Johnny knew nothing in the beginning but was able to eventually learn enough for a C by the time report cards came out?

Herein lies the problem; a C doesn’t mean the same thing to every person–whether you are a parent, teacher, student, admin, whatever.

rosie

April 19th, 2010
7:16 pm

Educrap! What teacher has time to complete this mess. Not to mention what parent comprehending it. This is just another way of making sure little Susie doesn’t get her feelings when her grades are not good. We all know what A, B, C, D, and F means, but the world doesn’t understand standard based report cards. Once these report cards hurt someone’s feelings we will change it again. My questions: How will you determine Honor Roll? How will college base admissions on GPA if it doesn’t exist? How will students compete for Val and Sal without numerical grades? Our federal and state government wants to place all accountability on teachers. Students don’t have to come to school, turn in assignments on time or at all, don’t have to behave. Parents don’t have to bring students to school, pick them up, feed them, discipline them or acknowledge their child’s progress in school. They are sucking the life out of anyone in the teaching profession.

E. Cobb Parent

April 19th, 2010
7:50 pm

I agree with Catlady, follow the money and you will see the reason behind Standars Based Report Cards and Standards Based Grading. The argument that Cobb County made was that the new 1-2-3 measured students against the standard and not each other, well the A, B, C, D was an average of how the student did over all in a particular subject, not a measurement of how the student compared to other students (no bell curve used in ES). The question no one has answered is if a student receives a 2 on a standard that is only covered once during the year, who is responsible for ensuring the child learns the material so that they master the standard? Most parents don’t realize the subject will not be addressed again in school. This was an expensive change with no added benefit. If school systems want to measure to the standard, fine, then do so with a percentage. That tells me something. The other beef I have with standards based grading, if you show mastery the first time or the 10th time the student receives the same “grade”. This is an attempt to hold down the bright kids. Since the standards are perceived as the ceiling not the floor, other opportunities are not provided for the student that shows early mastery. They are told to read or help other students.

@Rosie

April 19th, 2010
8:28 pm

Thank you! You put in prospective how little is expected of the parents and students in comparison to the teacher. The state of Georgia and society in general has realized that they cannot make the parents do their job, so it is easier to force the teachers to everything the parents will not do for their children. We are also expected to have all the accountability with least pay (compare us to admin/county office/even the custodians!) and the least amount of power!

JacketFan

April 19th, 2010
8:34 pm

I say we do away with grades at every level. Make it Pass/Fail and don’t pass students until they grasp the concepts/skills being taught in the class. I’m so sick of students worrying about grades, grades, grades. How about “you” worry about understanding the material? Grasping the concepts? Mastering the skills? These are the things students and parents need to be concerned about. Grades distract from what is important. No to mention, with our dumbed-down curriculum and grade inflation, grades really mean nothing anymore.

JacketFan

April 19th, 2010
8:36 pm

Gwinnett Parent

April 19th, 2010
8:47 pm

This sound a lot like the “everyone gets a trophy” theory. What’s wrong with letter grades and a percentage key on the bottom? It would be nice if the teacher could note which areas need improvement and suggestions if possible. How do other schools interpret this 1,2,3,4 number system for transferring students?

MS MAN

April 19th, 2010
8:49 pm

Interesting about how colleges would figure out how to use a standards based report to compare kids? Interesting thing is that colleges have been dealing with different grading systems from all over the country and lots of different districts and states. That is a poor defense of the standards based report card. It is also a bit silly to say, in essence, it wasn’t the way I had it and therefore it doesn’t work. That’s the hard part about being an educator, everyone “out there” assumes that they know how to run schools and classrooms because they experienced it and know what worked for them. Try to look beyond yourself and your own experience. Try to learn a little about what it truly is before you take the word of the bloggers. Try to allow a thought that wasn’t Neal Boortz’ or Shawn Hannity’s into your head before you summarily dismiss it. If you have looked it over, seen evidence on both sides, and still determine it won’t work, more power to you…until then, keep searching.

Educator2

April 19th, 2010
9:01 pm

@JacketFan, the large number of standards given in a year along with the pacing guides do not allow for mastery. The pacing guides indicate which standards the teachers have to cover by a predetermined date. These dates are given by the county office. The pacing guides must be followed regardless of the students instructional needs, many students need more time on these standards but the CRCT test date requires the completion of the entire curriculum by early April. I agree that mastery is essential but too many standards, too little time and too much time wasted on other testing throughout the year makes it impossible for some students. BTW, I have to give progress reports every 4 weeks!

rosie

April 19th, 2010
9:06 pm

MS Man,

Thanks for this opportunity to respond to your post. If I hadn’t tried it I would not have respond. Been there, done it and don’t think it helps students one bit. I also believe the standards based grading system teaches kids absolutely ZERO about real world expectations. Last time I checked (yesterday), colleges still require students to have certain GPAs as an entrance requirement. Maybe you are speaking to someone else because I don’t regularly listen to Neal Boortz or Sean Hannity. As far as the evidence you mention, I have one thing to say BRING IT ON! During my time as an educator I have learned the researchers (voodoo doctors) can make anything lean their way if there are enough funds attached to results.

Hey, It's Enrico Pallazzo

April 19th, 2010
9:15 pm

We are getting so caught up in the process that we are forgetting to teach the children. As stated earlier, not all students need to, want to, or have the drive to go to college. We would have much more success if we accepted this fact. All of this window dressing of how best to evaluate, test, and grade the students just gets in the way of acknowledging the fact that students have different abilities and goals.

JacketFan

April 19th, 2010
9:40 pm

Educator2 – doing away with grades includes doing away with standardized tests – also ridiculous distractions.