New MS Report Cards Successful
After the first completed school year with a new standards-based report card for core content areas at middle school, the committee is recommending the model be expanded to all content areas.
In order to provide more feedback to parents about student learning, the standards-based report card was implemented in the fall of 2011 for math, English/language arts (ELA), social studies and science. Rather than assigning one grade per content area, the new system communicates student performance on specific learning topics within each content area. Additionally, learning behaviors such as classroom participation, group collaboration, and homework are assessed. Standards-based report cards show student learning progress throughout an entire year, rather than averaging grades at the end of each quarter.
A survey for parents, teachers and administrators found half of parents agreed the new report card was easy to understand, but the majority of parents agreed the method was more informative than a traditional report card. Parents also appreciated separate ratings for learning behaviors and learning topics, as it gave them a better idea of their child’s strengths and weaknesses and an overall view of their child’s whole performance.
As standards-based reporting moves into all content areas, recommendations include continuing communication with parents, revising learning topics to align with Common Core Standards, and studying the impact of removing the quarter grading task and computing a GPA at the end of the school year.
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