In an effort to go towards an entirely web-based educational management system (Or for those folks, like me, who do not speak school board jargon… viewing your kids grades online) my county has instituted a new report card and grading system. My children’s daily work will be marked with a numerical score from one to four. This four point scale is built around a learning target which is identified as Level 3. Here is how it will translate on their report cards:I'm glad that Sharon blogged about this, giving me the opportunity to reblog it.
4 = Exceeds Standard or an A
3 = Meets Standard or a B
2 = Progressing Toward Standards or C
1 = Below Standard or D maybe F… not sure here as it is not really clarified in any of the literature.
Before I begin: Disclaimers: I am not an educator, these changes were implemented by professional educators, and ultimately it should be your principal who is best able to explain things to you as a parent. As a parent who has spent a lot of time looking at this, I'm just offering the following to be helpful to my fellow parents.
So, #1: the new online grade book (Clarity) is not the source of this change. From Sharon Ackerman, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction:
Clarity is a curriculum management system that is a repository for lesson plans and tested resources for teachers to share. It includes an automated teacher grade book similar to the one in use by secondary school teachers for the last several years. Clarity is technological tool which stores the ratings from formative and summative assessments, but Clarity is not the reason for the focus on assessment and grading. Clarity will allow us to open the "Parent Portal" next year so that parents may see assignments, formative assessment numbers, and letter grades.The new assessment systems are being implemented at the same time as Clarity, and Clarity will help track those assessments, but it's the assessment driving the technology, not the other way around. That's important.
Okay, now to the 4s and the As. The new 1-4 scale measures how the student is coming along toward the goal while they're still learning. Kids aren't supposed to be at a 3 or 4 level when a subject is first introduced. If they were, the teacher could skip that subject altogether. The "2" isn't a "C" as in "you didn't do so well, but you got by." It just means "not there yet, but we'll keep going." Assessing what the kids already know while they're about to begin, or what they've learned so far while they're still learning, is called (in "school board jargon") a "formative assessment."
These help the teacher to know whether to spend more time on a given topic before moving on. In Ms. Ackerman's words, " "Formative assessment is ongoing and guides the teacher's instructional plans. Teachers have always devised codes or systems for monitoring student progress on a daily or weekly basis. These teacher notes assisted the teacher in pacing lessons and planning content." In my words, this isn't so new because it's one reason that teachers have always given quizzes and collected homework during a unit that leads up to a test.
So, while the 1-4 scale means "how are you coming along?" the traditional "A,B,C,D,F" scale is still used for tests and quizzes and reports and the like. It means "We're done, how well did you do?"
From Mrs. Ackerman: "Summative assessment is the more familiar "test" after the teacher feels that students have mastered the content. Report card grades are drawn primarily from the summative assessments (tests, projects, etc.) which will be rated with a traditional letter grade."
Simplifying more: "1-4" means "we're still working on this." "A-F" means "we're done."
In other words, a student at the "3" level (meets standard) should be able to achieve an "A" on a test.
Finally, I'll include some text from from the LCPS web page:
Formative assessments are assessment for learning. These are learning targets that are assessed by the teacher and rated on a 4 point scale. This growth is communicated to parents and students alike through frequent feedback. Formative assessment may include frequent classroom checks, class work, short quizzes, etc.The scale for formative assessments is as follows:4=Exceeds the requirements, 3=Meets the requirement, 2=Showing progress, 1=-No evidence yetSummative assessments are assessments of learning and demonstrate mastery of the material. These are learning targets that are assessed on LCPS grading scale and are also communicated to both parents and students. This includes tests, projects, performances, etc. As teachers begin the year, they will work with students to further explore opportunities to show mastery to include reteaching/retesting opportunities.
I hope that explanation helps.
You can read more in the LCPS Report Card Manuals.