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Developing a Report Card Using Standards Based Assessment

Dr. Gerry Swan discussing rigor in assessment
This week, I have been participating in a workshop with our administrators on developing a Standards Based Report Card for Minnesota. Dr Lee Ann Jung, Dr. Gerry Swan, & Dr. Thomas Guskey are leading us through three days of training using a model they developed in Kentucky.

Here are the shared notes our group put together on all of the sessions thus far.

Here are some of key take-aways thus far:

1. The Kentucky Model

  • 1st State to adopt Common Core
  • No parents on development
  • Gave parents the option of both, they picked Standards Based
  • 3 the first year, 10 the second, now 17 using it (177 total)
  • Now, Department of Ed is funding and could be state wide in 2-3 years

2. This is the FOUNDATION-3 Types of Grading Criteria
Grading and Reporting should ALWAYS be done in reference to LEARNING CRITERIA, never “on the curve.” Grade on what they learned, not in how they did in relation to others.
Why would I help a fellow classmate to learn something if their success could impact my own? The class valedictorian set to the highest GPA-The word comes from the Latin to “Say Farewell.” It has nothing to do with performance, it has everything to do with competition. Higher Ed-Cum Laude, Magna, Suma is much fairer, criterion based. Don’t limit rigor. Every school that has done this has seen achievement go up! Helping others does not hurt their outcome for success!

  • Product Criteria-Culminating demonstration of learning
  • Process Criteria-How they got there, homework, participation, organization, punctuality
  • Progress Criteria-How far they've come, value-added, individualized criteria

We are one of the few countries who use one grade for everything. Most countries separate these 3. They don’t weight. They keep them separate. 

3. Start with "What is the Purpose of the Report Card." 
Jung-"Decide WHAT to Measure in the beginning, instead of How to measure in the end."

4. Developing the Purpose Statement

A. View and Reflect on example purpose statements
B. Develop your own purpose statement from NESA
Doha-Different for elementary, middle and high
Our Minnesota document

5. Dr. Gerry Swan on Next steps
Swan began by saying that grade, attendance and behavior reporting is a good idea, but that sometimes things can get lost in translation...
Star Local News... Standard Space Report Card
Resources found here. Workshop

6. Starting today with Academic Indicators
We can still use letter grades, but they need to be redefined. The C today, “average,” is still from grading on the curve. C does NOT mean Average. We hope that ALL students get to “Exceeds”

A suggested Criteria
4-Has outstanding command of material
3-Is working at the target level of mastery
2-Has basic understanding
1-Struggled with this area
We then revisited the purpose of the report card and how best to indicate the process and progress along with the product.
Jung noted that we could have a legend for the overall grade as well as a legend for standards that both indicate academic achievement.

7. Curriculum Standards are different from Reporting Standards
8. Why do we have to do this...Put a grade on a paper or test?
A robust assessment addresses many areas. They could be strong in some, weak in others. He shared an example of a district doing portfolios with project based learning with rubrics based on strands, but still feel the need for an overall grade.

In order to get more out of the process and address the core issue, you sometimes need to force yourself to do LESS!
He then broke into a discussion on whether we really need to “average” the different learning targets into an overall grade. Break the mold! Why would we try to combine these completely disparate items? For example: Speaking, Listening, Writing in Language Arts. We don’t need to “self impose” unnatural things.

They have been able to get their system set up in Infinite Campus.
The Standard Reporting is a completely separate Mark Report that is pulled from the teachers’ grade book. The teacher is able to over-ride the values, and on the actual report card, if a student has a blank for a standard, that standard/strand is not included in the report.

It was exciting to be a part of this opportunity. We were able to create our "Edina Purpose Statement" draft and steps for what we wanted to see in Achievement Indicators. It will be interesting to see the direction this takes.


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