The Common Core State Standards demand higher expectations from both teachers and students. In order to meet these demands and help all of our students attain these higher standards, Taylor International Academy has adopted standards-based grading for our report card system.
The purpose of this reporting system is to provide parents, teachers, and students with more accurate information about students’ progress toward meeting the specific content standards for the various subjects taught at each grade level. By monitoring the concrete skills and knowledge listed on the report card we will know whether all students are being exposed to the same curriculum and learning what they should in each grade.
How Are Standards-based Report Cards Different From Traditional Report Cards?
Traditional report cards usually assign one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a standards-based report card, each of these subject areas is divided into a list of skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each standard.
The achievement numbers indicate a child’s progress towards meeting specific grade-level standards. Students’ proficiency is reported separately from their efforts to participate and be attentive, resourceful, cooperative, etc. With the new standards-based reporting system, students are evaluated more objectively according to consistent grade-level standards. The letter grades used in traditional report cards are a more subjective reflection of individual teachers’ expectations for student effort and achievement.
How does a standards-based report card measure a student’s progress?
Instead of seeing A, B, C, D, and F, you will see scores of 1, 2, 3 or 4.
- 1 = Far below grade level proficiency
- 2 = Approaching grade level proficiency
- 3 = On grade level, proficient
- 4 = Exceeds grade level proficiency
Keep in mind that our goal is for every student is to be at Level 3 by the end of the school year. Any blank cells on the report card indicate a standard that have not been taught during that quarter. Teachers and parents can tell whether a student is making progress by looking at how the numbers go up over the course of the year. Teachers will be working on specific standards in literacy and math each marking period, so some of the standards on the report card will not be addressed until later in the school year. Standards-based grading helps everyone make sure that students are meeting the benchmarks needed to be successful in the following grade level, and ultimately, high school, college and career.
While students’ proficiency on the subject level standards do not reflect their efforts to participate, it is still important to assess students on these skills. Therefore, students receive these scores listed under effort & citizenship which reflect if they are listening and following directions, staying on task, completing assignments and homework on time, demonstrating positive character traits, and following school and classroom rules. The grading scale for those skills is the following:
- U = Unsatisfactory
- N = Needs improvement
- S = Satisfactory
- E = Exceptional