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 – firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.