Undertake Transition to Standard-based Report Cards to Bury Grades

Report card grades are problematic. There is no standard for an A. Teachers weight quizzes, tests, projects, and homework differently. Some drop lowest scores or offer extra credit. Grades do not tell you what a student is able to do. Too often grades are rewards for effort, behavior, or inflated to minimize parental complaints. After all, if a parent sees an A they assume their child is doing well.

Even when teachers attempt to use grades fairly, they still suffer from their inherent flaws. Grades may shift the focus from the journey to the destination, they reward students that learn something first, they are often inflated, and they carry no weight with the state. It is not uncommon for a student on the principal’s list to be identified as partially proficient on annual standardized tests.

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 there was a reliable standards-based report card, the push for standardized testing would be reduced.

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