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Rethinkingreport cards- AcademicSkills I GreatSchools

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reportcards Rethinking
report cards to statestandards Here's Linking is thenewest report cardtrend. why aredoing it andwhatyoucanexpect if yourschool schools makes thechange.
WhatshouldI do if my child'sschoolis switchingto a report standards-based card?
Ask lotsof questions! lf there is anything aboutthe report cardthatyou don't or that is understand askyourchild's confusing, to explain. lf youare teacher not sureif yourchildis doing well,asktheteacher to the system. For explain if yourchildis not example, proficient in someskills, ask if you should histeacher be abouthis concerned progress. ls he on trackto be proficient bythe endofthe year? Be sureyou find outwhether yourchildis completing and4eveloping assignments goodworkhabits. That may be clearlyindicated on report card. the Because the markson a academic reportcard standards-based usually do not reflecta chitd's effort,attitude or workhabits, for parents it is important to be suretheyhavea complete picture of theirchild's Somechildren may learning.

By GreatSchools Staff giveyoua dollar Didyourgrandparents for eachA onyourreport yourhighschoolyears youwould card? Didyouspend hoping squeak bywithC'sin important Didyoueverseethe classes? F on a paper, dreaded testor yourreport card? Fora growing school students, those number of today's elementary grades daysaregone. Theymaynotseeletter on theirreport cards untilmiddle lawpushes school As the NoChildLefiBehind or later. schools to center andeducators across thecountry theirteaching on report content andlearning arebeginning standards, cards to look Tennessee different, to Marlborough, too.FromNashville, Massachusetts andHonolulu, Hawaii, schools standardsarepairing report based cards withtheirstandards-based teaching, andparents aregetting moreinformation abouttheirstudentsachievement.


What are state standards?

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statehasadoptedits ownlist of

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be ableto showmastery of in the lower the standards grades withoutgoodwork habits,butthatwill get more as theyprogress difficult through the grades.lf thereis with aftitude, effort a problem parents need or study skills, to be ableto intervene as earlyas possible.

These listsarethestatecontent andlearning standards. Hereare

. InArizona, fifth-graders areexpected to be ableto compare wholenumbers, fractions anddecimals. Forexample, ffthgraders should that0.6is larger be ableto determine than112. . In California, first-graders should be ableto readcommon, giveandof. irregular words likethe,have, said,come, . ln Nebraska, havean understanding should twelfth-graders of the structure of theatom, and beableto describe different typesof nuclear reactions.

Takeadvantage of the extra Standards-based information. reportcardsgiveyou more Teachers are responsible for teaching the skillsfor theirstudents' information detailed about gradelevel,althoughstandards not say how teachersshould do howyourchildis doingin teach.Education Worldhas linksto the standards for eachstate. You can use eachsubject. to helpyour thisinformation Choose a skillyou're child, What is a standards-based report card? concemed aboutandaskthe

hel! teacher ryJou can tr '

yourchildwithit at home. Youcanalsoasktheteacher whathe candg to helpyour childat schooll rx. (-{-rX/,inn.,/'l
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A standards-based report skills students cardliststhe mostimportant should learnin eachsubject at a particg4qade level. Forexample, in writing, a second-grade report car(might]At theseskills: Writes in complete sentences question periods, letters, Usescapital marks andquotation marks correctly . Uses process (prewriting, thewriting firstdraft,revision, and finaldraft) . Writes a friendly letter witha greeting, bodyandconclusion . Knows the purpose anduseof a dictionary, thesaurus andatlas
a a

Letyourchild's teacher and principal you knowwhat think of the new reportcard. reportcardsare Because to communicate designed with parents, theyneedto be and easyto understand helpful to parents. lf you have or concerns anysuggestions report aboutyourschool's card.sharethemwiththe andprincipal. Your teacher mayhelpimprove comments

grades, Instead of letter students rgggle rnq1[s lhatshovihowwell theyhavemastered Themarks might show whether theskills. the proficient, student or below is advanced, basic basic for each standard or theymight representing whether students be numbers get meet, exceed usually or approach eachstandard. Students for geparate marks for effort andworkhabits, which areimportant parents to keeptabson evenif thesecharacteristics aren't included assessment academic skills. of thestudent's

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How are standards-based report cards different from traditionalreport cards?

On many receive traditional report students onegrade for cards, reading, onefor math, onefor science andso on.Ona $tandards . 1011512013

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intoa listof basedreportcard,eachof thesesubject areasis divided for learning. areresponsible skills andknowledge thatstudents receive mark for eachstandard. Students a separate Themarks reportcardaredifferent from on a standards-based grades. grades letter areoftencalculated by traditional Letter methis particular teacher's combining howwellthe student howhe performed on assignments andtests, andhow expectations, put grades he in. Letter do nottell much effort theteacher believes parents havemastered or whether theyare whichskills theirchildren be working level. Because onefourth-grade teacher at grade might facts, whileanother is teaching reviewing basic multiplication getting multiplication numbers, an A in eachof of two-or three-digit Theparent theseclasses things. of a child wouldmeanverydifferent whathe in these classes wouldnotknowif thechild werelearning should be to meetthestatestandards. provide should more consistency Standards-based report cards ^11 report between cards, because all $ud#lJ teachers thantraditional skills.Parents can seEir''cqtinni fl]\ areevaluated on the samegrade-appropriate Ll\Jvtrvri't*l exactly theirchildren havelearned. which skills andknowledge V J According special assistant to thesuperintendent to Hoover Liddell, in theSanFrancisco School District in California. the marks Unified on a standards-based report cardshowonlyhowwellthechildhas effort, mastered thegrade-level standards, anddo notinclude marked attitude or workhabits, which areusually separately.

Why are some districts switching to standardsbasedreport cards?

in theBeverly Hills Mead, on special Diane a teacher assignment Unified in Catifomia students arethe School District , believes These winners report cards areused. biggest whenstandards-based givestudents report information abouthowthey?re cards specific pinpoint doing and where theyneed to improve. Thisapproach cancarryoverto classroom assignments, too,as the report asse$s student learning thewayteachers cardinfluences year. years of using throughout the a standards-based In thefirsttwo report worked together to desc{beI cardin Beverly Hills,teachers clearly what student worf n Teachers withstudents, oftenposting sharetheseexpectations getan assignment they ontheclassroom wall.Nowwhenstudents proficient knowexactly or advanced. whattheyhaveto do to be . rcn520l3 http//www.greatschools.orglprint-viedstudents/academic-skills/350-rethinking-report-ca..

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That?s a bigchange fromthewayassignments used to be given and graded. "lf yougeta 90%,it doesn?t about where tellyoumuch to go fromthere," saidMead. Liddell, wholeads report cardpilotproject in San a standard$-based Francisco, saidthatthe newreport cardis partof an effort to close groups the gapin achievement among different of students. Because concrete skillsand knowledge are listedon the report card,it is one wayto helpmonitor whether allstudents arebeing exposed to the samecurriculum theskills theyshould andlearning learnin each grade. Thenewreport cards alsomake thestandards veryclearto parents, noted Liddell. knowexactly "Parents should whattheirstudents should be ableto do."ThenewSanFrancisco report cardis based directly on theCalifornia notevery standards, although standard is listed on thereport card.Parents willreceive a complete listof the California standards withthe report along card.

How will standards-based report cards affect my child?

principal Al Friedenberg, of Grant Elementary in Santa Monica, jokesthatkidswill get richif theyget $5 for eachgood California, grade on a standards-based report card,because receive stu(ents

Joking aside, oneof the biggest adjustments for students and parents is thatmany standards-based report cards focuson end-ofgoals. period, grading the-year Thismeans thatin thefirstor second getting instead of A'sfortrying hardanddoing wellon tests, a highachieving student haveseveral might marks indicating thatsheiq q nor not yetproficient in some Although skills. thisis ---normal since '--;-; students willnotmeet in thefirstquarter, allofthe !!gaf Lr

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\ilhA\t 'the t+ equivalent vv' L'r- A4lin A#r n6g r rannrr nard Ear ^ (to F |(fq Wfbf I YT of an A on a traditional For avamnra reportcard. example,i+ if a Qc.l

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wouldprobably receive report anA on a traditional card.lf those { ry mathtestsmeasured fifthgraders onlythe concepts are expected to

fifth-grader received math testduring A'sonevery thesemester, she^ -l

master, those A's would bethe equivalent or"proficient" ona


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reportcards- AcademicSkills I GreatSchools Rethinking

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is doing whathe should report card; thestudent be standards-based butnotnecessarily more. doing, Friedenberg notedthat thisflrcansteachers needto provide whatis expected opportunities to showtheycanexceed for students report cards canencourage andbetrulyadvanced. Standards-based chances to go teachers to make offerstudents suretheirlessons level." herdistrict usesto beyond Mead saidoneanalogy "grade parents is: "Youclimbupthe hilltobe explain thisdifference to proficient, butyouhaveto fly offto be exemplary." Standards-based of^,rq reportcardsprovide the addedbenefit 'v learninqgoa|sftom teachers tocuseO andparents on stuOent MiAV-""v' verybeginning Friedenberg hisstudentsE saidthisgives of theyear. / rather sooner thanlater. chance to gethelpwhereit?smostneeded,


Are there problemswith standards-based report cards?

As withanynewprogram, andparents alsoexpect students should glitches andchanges in thefirstfewyears. BothMead and some years withtheirstandardsFriedenberg noted thatthefirstcouple as theydealt based report cards challenging for teachers with were their technicaldifficulties timetheywereworking at the same to align Patience teaching withthe newreport cards. and andassessment go a longwaywhen understanding fromparents andstudents program. schools areworking out bugsin a new Friedenberg Monica-Malibu Unified School alsosaidthe Santa report District hassignificantly revised itsstandards-based cardeach year.He saidthefirstyearstudents 54 different received marks, proved parents "A which for most to comprehend. lotof toomany parents figure thattheycouldn't saidtherewereso manycategories said outwhatit meant, at theteacher comments," so theyjustlooked Friedenberg. Forthisyear,the report cardwasscaled downto include of keystandards. a smaller number

report cards Why don't we see standards-based in middleor highschool?

andhighschool Although states havestandards for middle classes, report to using a standards-based cardat therearemanychallenges is that oneof the bigrgest concerns theselevels. According to Liddell, grade-point to be students need averages andtranscripts traditional . l0ll5l20l3 htfp:i/

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competitive in applying to college.He also notedthat the large numberof subjectsstudents studyin highschoolwouldmake standards-based reportcardsunwieldy. Meadsuggested thinktheir that middle and highschoolteachers methodof averaging scoresto get lettergradesis fair and precisein contrast whetherthey are to looking at piecesof work and deciding proficient, advanced, basicor belowbasic.She believesmost middle and highschoolsneedto focuson developing standards-based instruction and assessments beforetheywill be readyto use standards-based reportcards. Despite schoolsare experimenting the challenges, a few pioneering with standards-based reportcards.For example, six middleschools in Portland, reportcardfive Oregonbeganusinga standards-based yearsago, according of Accountability for to CynthiaGilliam,Director

Public Portland While the report cards arebeing used Schools. pilot in i successfully the consistency at schools, across the standards between

to Gilliam. Jnpg**llgj$mg*"ge#gg*ffig9- accordins pfinsto use haspuionhold thestandards-based report at r"r+i-SUfS card
schools whileit fine-tunes common curricula andassessments \gAS thedistrict. saidthedistrict didnotplanto pushahead I across Gilliam withthe report of howgood carduntiltherewasa "clear calibration wasgoodenough standard]." [tomeeta particular School Report Cards, ln High Carol Boston suggested thata report grades cardthatcombines withinformation aboutprogress traditional for middle andhigh toward standards be a goodoption might schools. lf standards-based instruction continues to growin importance, theremaybe movement toward combination report cards high level. at the middle school or

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