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What does an “A” Represent?

Do students know?  Do parents know?  Do your fellow teachers know what your “A” represents.  Is theirs the same?

In Miles Elementary School in Kentucky, they are replacing letter grades with standards, which are set by the teachers and students. Each grade level has certain standards that the students are required to meet, which then lead into the standards required for the next grade.

For example, second-grade students will be required in the first quarter of the year to be able to identify two and three-digit numbers that are odd or even. By the last quarter of the year, they’ll be required to solve three-digit addition problems, which will lead them into the first quarter of their third-grade year, where they’ll learn to apply and describe place value up to thousands.

To measure progress towards meeting these standards, students will fall into one of five categories; Not Assessed, No Progress, Making Progress, Meeting Standards and Above Standards. The teachers will use rubrics they designed during professional development days to measure the students’ progress, with the harder standards requiring more specific assessments by the teachers.

Students can set more effective goals for improvement if they know where they are starting from, as well as where they have existing strengths and deficits. Letter grades are so general. Parents can now have a measure of their child’s progress or lack of progressIt will also allow pupils to take responsibility for learning and will allow teachers to know where to focus teaching. Students will know more and teachers will be more focused.

What are your thoughts?  Email me at franklin@schargel.com

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