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Parents, teachers voice concerns regarding standards-based grading

The divide grows wider. The trust levels are nearly non-existent. Congratulations... it's lose-lose for everyone. Impressive work, Dr. Doll. Impressive work, School Board. So glad that the Teachers stand up for something as a group... impressive.

Mr. Bradford, in all due respect, EVERYTHING has changed. Open your eyes; what an ignorant statement.

To the kids... well, what can you say but sorry.

November 30, 2011 at 6:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Grading issue

Different and new doesn't necessarily indicated "bad," you are correct. But a system that is not clearly defined by consistent marks of progress (which requires some form of numbers and math when you get right down to it), makes no sense. It lacks consistency, and above all, it communicates little if you do not associate numerical data with it.

What is mastery? How do you measure it? How does the next person measure it? How do the nine-fifteen teachers a student will see in one school year at the middle level do it consistently and in a way that is communicated clearly with parents? How does this provide a clear communication tool for our students as they get ready for high school?

How does a teacher clearly and consistently separate out standards on each assignment in the upper elementary and middle levels when the standards overlap and are so interwoven? Is a teacher to take five different marks for one "event" plus an overall mark to keep track of progress? This is what you should be expecting, but is that a reasonable expectation of our teachers? Sorry for the pun, but do the math on that one.

You say that you do not understand what an "A" means, yet nearly all of us understand it gives indication that your student/my student/all students got nine out of ten questions right on their paper/test/etc Then, as a parent, you go over that assignment with your student. Seems to make sense to me.

What does "S" mean to you? How does it motivate your child? How does "T" motivate the children that you say that this system is set up to support? I can't buy that it does.

November 24, 2011 at 7:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Grading issue

Factual information: This system, the USD 497 system, utilizes zero math to figure grades. I have never heard of any good measurement system that fails to utilize math. The Skyward system being used for 6th grade is incapable of calculating anything. How can you consider USD 497's SBG system and objective measure of progress when it doesn't use some form of math? Somebody please tell me how that makes sense beyond 2nd grade???

November 23, 2011 at 5:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Standards-based grading to face forum

I still want to see if there is any research that shows this system helps kids be prepared for high school and post-secondary. A system that separates work ethic and achievement doesn't seem to me to be the best idea. I just can't get my head around that.

I also think that asking teachers to try to maintain two different grading systems (that contradict each other) takes away from the time they have to teach the kids. I would rather my teachers focus on teaching rather than such a tremendous focus on assessing kids... the time it must take.... I trust the teachers to do a good job. The standards based grading system seems to be overkill, and not really appropriate at the middle level.

It is obvious that there is a growing lack of trust between all parties involved... what a mess, whatever happens.

October 11, 2011 at 7:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Halt to standards-based grades sought for Lawrence middle schools

The school district during the board meeting showed numerous schools using standards based grading, but did not specify which level it was being used. The district did not show any evidence that standards-based grading showed positive outcomes for graduation rates in these other districts, higher ACT/SAT scores, etc. Where is the research?

Finally, this system was utilized in the elementary schools... 25 students per class. Middle level teachers, around 150 kids to assess. Anyone see a problem here???

September 27, 2011 at 8:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lower expectations

My experiences with my student's teachers is that they do work to avoid zeroes in the grade book by assigning after school time, missing recess, or by calling home if a problem arises. The idea of a earning a bad grade or zero if work is not completed with consequences attached teaches responsibility.

I actually have read O'Connor... the guy has some good points about grading responsibly. One of the messages that he sends though is that a teacher only assesses kids on what they actually do turn in. A zero should never count against a student. That idea... it just isn't real-life. If I don't show up for work multiple days, or don't get work my work done on time... I'm judged on that.

You can't separate work ethic behavior and performance, which is what O'Connor suggests teachers do. I would rather my kids learn responsibility at school (at home too) early on, rather than wait until high school. By then, the lack of consequences becomes too costly of a lesson.

I still cannot stand the idea that "S" is the goal either. Why not let parents be the judge of what is truly satisfactory?

September 18, 2011 at 9:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lower expectations

As quoted in the article from Journal-World article “Schools phasing out letter grades” (Sept. 11, page 3A)

“ ‘S’ is the goal,” Kobler said.

I hope to never see that quote in a classroom in the district where my kids go to school. Imagine that one hanging on a wall....

And what's the deal with standards-based education that says that kids don't have to do their work? I've heard that zeroes in the grade book aren't supposed to count against a kid under this system too. Even if a kid only does like three out of ten assignments, they are only supposed to be marked on the three that they did. How does that prepare a kid for life?

Always tell a kid to shoot for the stars and that work ethic does determine where you end up. Kobler's message and this whole system is shameful.

September 17, 2011 at 8:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )