For the 2017-2018 School Year, Lincoln Charter School has begun the process of changing our grading process and report cards to standards-based grading. What this means is that your child will no longer be graded on a traditional A-F scale, they will be graded on their mastery of the PA Core Standards for Education on a 4,3,2,1 scale. As a result of this change, standard progress reports will NOT be coming home this year, just a sheet detailing what standards your child has been working on and their level of mastery of those standards. Please see the comparison below as to how the old report card and our new standards-based report card will differ.
OLD Traditional Report Card
Uses A, B, C, D, F
Teachers give a variety of assignments
Each assignment is given a grade by the teacher
Scores are averaged
Average determines the grade on Report Cards
Some portion of children will fail
Grades don’t necessarily reflect what skills and concepts a child knows
NEW Standards-Based Report Card
Indicates what students know and are able to do
Measures a student’s progress toward proficiency
Indicates if a student has reached mastery
Is authentic to the learning experiences of students based on complex tasks
Involves a demonstration of proficiency, not a guess on a multiple-choice test
Indicates what students know and are able to do
NEW Standards-Based Score
Specials New Standards-Based Score
Q: What is the goal of Standards-Based Grading (SBG)?
A: The primary goal of SBG is to better communicate what each student knows and is able to do according to district and state content standards and separately assess the influence of positive and consistent work habits on student learning.
Q: How does Standards-Based Grading work?
A: Traditional grading averages all of the work and other subjective factors that a student has done over a grading period. SBG removes extraneous factors and solely focuses on proficiency. Standards-Based Grading assesses a student’s overall work and their most recent work so it really tells us what a student has learned and what they now know rather than what they knew walking into the class.
Q: How does this differ from traditional letter grades?
A: SBG reports tell us what students have actually learned and know. SBG measures students’ knowledge of grade-level content over time by reporting the most recent, consistent level of performance. For example: In traditional grading, the student’s performance for the whole quarter would be averaged and early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with the proficient performance later in the course resulting in a lower grade. In SBG, a student who reaches proficiency would be reported proficient and the grade would reflect the current performance level. In addition, traditional grading often includes other subjective factors like attendance, effort, and attitude, which might influence the grade positively or negatively. In SBG, we will report proficiency and work habits separately in order to give a more accurate report of student progress.
Q: When will this go into effect?
A: Implementing SBG is an entire process that is already underway. We’re including teachers, principals, students, parents and staff throughout the process.
Q: How do I understand the report card my child brings home?
A: Proficiency scores are not and cannot be related to a traditional grade. When a parent sees proficiency scores on a report, they should consider that the goal of that report is to give them information regarding how their student can perform as measured against content standards. Parents can still contact teachers and principals directly when they have questions, they can look at the scales on the district website, or they can look at the legend on the report card.
Q: How are students with learning disabilities or English language learning needs affected by standards-based grading?
A: Students with an IEP, 504, or English Language Learning needs will continue to receive the accommodations they are eligible to receive and they will continue to receive appropriate support and/or interventions. Teachers will report how they are performing as measured against content standards when those standards are not aligned with the grade level they are assigned, parents will be notified that the student proficiency report is for a standard other than that of the assigned grade. All students benefit from having well-developed lesson plans, quality instruction, and assessment that informs instruction and provides meaningful, accurate feedback regarding their learning.
Our goal at Lincoln Charter School is to provide students with the skills necessary to be a 21st Century learner and by changing to standards-based grading/evaluation of our students, we feel like we are doing our part in growing tomorrow’s leader.