Understanding the Grading
How Do You Know How Your Child Is Doing?
If you’re confused by what the levels mean, you’re not alone. Keep in mind that a 3 or “goal” isn’t the same as a B. It means your child has met state standards, and that’s good.
Also, even top students can earn a 2 or “proficient” grade, which can be a shock for some families. But it’s more important to know if your child is struggling with a concept than to see a slew of top grades because of stellar work habits. On the upside, early low scores aren’t averaged into the final grade—so once your child masters the concept, her final grade shows that. Please make sure to continue communicating with your child’s teachers before any problems go too far. The report card should never come as a surprise.
Level 4, or the top level, may be the trickiest to understand. If your child earned A’s on traditional report cards, she may have received them for meeting the teacher’s requirements, not necessarily for excelling at or going beyond grade level according to state standard. In the new system, 4’s may be harder to come by (and 3’s should be celebrated).
As the grading system becomes familiar, you’ll get more comfortable. The important thing is that your child is learning and making progress. Celebrate learning, and the grades will follow.
Adapted from: Standards-Based Grading: What Parents Need To Know by Joanna Nesbit