Middle School Report Cards Future?

I just received an e-mail from a parent stating the Middle School report cards are converting to the elementary format of 1 – 4 and they are dropping the A – F grading system. She spoke to Lisa Wachtel, Head of Teaching and Learning to confirm that this is the direction the district is headed.
DO any of you have any info on this? They claim it is on the website but other than the Standards Base System info, which is pretty general I can not locate this info. This greatly concerns me if it is true.
Related: Can We Talk 3: 3rd Quarter Report Cards.

2 thoughts on “Middle School Report Cards Future?”

  1. I poked around for some time in MMSD website and all I could find was a side comment in an unrelated document that the middle school grade reporting system is being revised and another elsewhere referring to the middle schools’ movement towards standards based grade reporting. Also a reference in high school redesign document to the intent to move high school grading in this direction.
    So I read everything I could find about standards based grading and then wrote to Lisa Wachtel to ask about this. She responded quickly and at length.
    Middle school report cards will change in the next school year, 2008-2009.
    This has been under discussion for several years and it has taken some time to develop the lists of standards and proficiency levels for all the courses.
    MMSD will be posting a series of articles on the whole topic on standards based curriculum/instruction/assessment. So far there is only one article, and nothing yet on report cards, but eventually there will be more. Link:
    There are 5 professional development opportunities for middle school staff this year to learn about standards based curriculum/instruction/assessment, the first of which was 1/14.
    There will be opportunities for parent input. Several focus groups and a general info session from Feb. through April (no dates given.) Also a survey for middle school families.
    The final format of the report card has not yet been determined.
    Yes, high schools also plan to eventually change report cards, but that is some time off.
    She wrote more than this, but that is the gist.
    One can find out a lot about standards based grading browsing on the web. The current form of our elementary report cards is one form. It is also possible to add a ‘summary’ letter grade in each subject, and even to do it with a letter grade only, although that would be rare, I think. When letter grades are used as well, they are calculated differently than some of the traditional methods. Curve-grading would never be used, because grading is to standards, not comparing students to each other. Simple percentages of total points as markers are not encouraged, but rather more complicated and thoughtful approaches to determining letter grades. ed.gov shows several sample report card formats. There is a lot more to write on this topic, but this is a start.

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