What's in a Grade?

Report card grades are meaningless.  New Jersey doesn't put any value in them, and you shouldn't either.  If report cards were consistent, schools would have a legitimate argument against state testing.

Unfortunately an A from one school means something completely different than an A from another school.  An A from one teacher in the same school means something completely different than an A from another teacher in that same school. It's ridiculous.

The following scenario is repeated every year.  Parents see inflated grades and assume their child is doing well until a statewide assessment reveals their honor roll student is not proficient.  Grade inflation has many causes;  perhaps a teacher innocently chooses to reward positive behavior or effort without results, or perhaps a teacher wants to silence the parent that knows their child deserves an A (because of previous grade inflation).  If we get rid of grading (not evaluation) we can focus on the learning.

Report cards should be standards based.  This basically means that instead of letter grades there should be a list of skills and whether or not they've been mastered.  These skills should be standardized statewide so report cards would become authentic indicators of achievement.

If report cards had real value, results of the NJ ASK wouldn't be a surprise.  In fact the NJ ASK wouldn't be needed.

No more NJ ASK!  Now that deserves an A.

List of schools using a form of standards based grading:
Middletown Public Schools
to be continued...

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