Traditional report cards usually assign one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a standards-based report card, each of these subject areas is divided into a list of skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each standard.
The achievement marks indicate a child’s progress toward meeting specific grade-level standards. Students' proficiency is reported separately from their efforts to participate and be attentive, resourceful, cooperative, etc.
With the new standards-based reporting system, students are evaluated more objectively according to consistent grade-level standards. The letter grades used in traditional report cards are a more subjective reflection of individual teachers’ expectations for student effort and achievement.
INTERPRETING THE STANDARDS
HOW CAN A PARENT USE THE NEW REPORTING SYSTEM TO HELP THEIR CHILD?
Standards-based report cards provide detailed information about how a child is doing in each subject. Parents will be able to see whether students need extra assistance in certain areas or when they need to be challenged even more. By using these clearly defined standards, teachers and parents can work together to ensure that students succeed.
During parent-teacher conferences, ask to see samples of your child’s work. Talk to his or her teacher about whether the work samples are satisfactory, or how your child could have done a better job on the assignments. Ask how you can help your child improve or excel in various subjects and what resources are available to use outside the classroom to encourage his or her progress.
The National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) also has created a “Parents’ Guide to Student Success” for each grade level that offers specific tips for how to support your child’s learning at home.
Professional Books that Guide the Initiative
Transforming Classroom Grading by Robert Marzano
How to Grade for Learning by Ken O'Connor
Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading by Robert Marzano
Fair Isn't Always Equal by Rick Wormeli
Developing Standards-Based Report Cards by Thomas Guskey
Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work by Robert Marzano
Research on Standards-Based Grading
"Seven Reasons for Standards-Based Grading" from ASCD
Getting Serious about School Reform from Marzano Research Lab
Developing Grading and Reporting Systems for Student Learning
"The Power of Feedback" (John Hattie Meta-Analysis)
Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work by Marzano
"Working Inside the Black Box" by Black, et al