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Wisconsin school district scraps traditional ‘A-F’ grading system for kinder, gentler model...

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https://www.thecollegefix.com/school-district-scraps-traditional-a-f-grading-system-for-kinder-gentler-model/

MADISON, Wisc. — As a kid, I always kicked into full subterfuge mode on the days I received my report card. In order to keep my report card hidden, I suddenly engaged in secret operations that would be the envy of any World War II-era spy. Hiding secret documents from the Nazis would have been child’s play compared to hiding my grades from my parents (who often only found out report cards had been issued weeks after the fact, after talking to other parents from the school.)

In the old days, it was easy for my parents to see that I was slacking off in school. They would simply look at the report card and see five or six subjects with a letter between “A” and “F” next to them. (Legend has it that a century ago, “E” was dropped as a grade, allegedly because some schools thought it would be confused for “Excellent.”)

Yet after a hundred-plus years of the standard “A-F” grading system, many modern schools have deemed it to be antiquated. Some districts have moved to their own proprietary grade scales in order to alleviate the shame a student may feel when earning a “D” or an “F.”

This week, I received my second-grade daughter’s report card from the Madison Metropolitan School District, on which she was given a grade of “EX,” “M,” “DV,” or “E.”

According to the key provided, these abbreviations stand for:

  • “Exceeding” – Student consistently exceeds grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
  • “Meeting” – Student consistently meets grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
  • “Developing” – Student is developing understanding and is approaching grade-level expectations for the end of the year.
  • “Emerging” – Student begins to show initial understanding of grade-level expectations for the end of the year.

As you can see, every grade is dripping with optimism, presuming every child is on the road to excellence – the only thing they are being graded on is the speed at which they are attaining complete world knowledge.

As a kid, I would no doubt love this scale – explaining to my parents that I wasn’t lazy, I was simply “Emerging,” would certainly have saved my rear end a few unwelcome meetings with a kitchen spoon.

(Also, isn’t every human being constantly “developing?” If nobody ever developed emotionally past second grade, the only job available to them would be U.S. president.)

But as a parent, I have no clue how my child is doing in school. None of these “grades” correspond to the “A to F” scale – further, they are all relative to what is expected by the end of the year, not specifically how well a child did during the time period tested.

In fact (warning: proud parent alert), my older daughter frequently received mixed grades on this scale during elementary school, and now she earns straight “A’s” on the standard scale being used in high school. (Lest anyone think the high school deserves credit for sticking with tradition, it is proposing a new “grade floor” to give students an automatic 40 percent credit for not turning in assignments, and allowing them up to 90 percent credit for turning in assignments late.)

The two scales don’t match up largely because the new grades assigned don’t address a specific class or subject – they deal mostly with behavior. The “Exceeding-Emerging” scale applies to 40 different classifications. Instead of being graded on “math” or “science,” my daughter is being graded on “Tells a story or describes an experience,” “cooperates with partners and in groups,” and “understands and identifies stages in the life cycle of insects.”

Of course, none of this gives any indication as to how she’s really doing in school.

A friend of mine noted that her school had recently moved to a number system, where a “4” was the best and “1” was the worst. “But a 3 meant that your kid is doing fine whether the kid had As or Cs,” she told me. “You didn’t learn the truth until middle school.”

Sure, if your child is receiving a lot of grades of “Emerging,” it might be time for you to worry – but the sugar-coated classifications only feed the idea that every child is equally brilliant, and they simply develop at different speeds.

This sort of rhetorical gamesmanship recently reared its head in California, where state lawmakers have discontinued use of the term “at risk” to describe students under adverse circumstances (criminal records, substance abuse, etc.) Instead, the state’s penal code now refers to “at promise” students, at least until that term falls out of favor and the state has to invent a new term for kids in tough circumstances.

In the old days, seeing a low grade on a report card was sounding an alarm that the kid wasn’t taking his or her studies seriously. Today, a low grade is just a suggestion that a child might have to wait slightly longer to unleash their immense cognitive abilities on the world.

The only question that remains is what options are left for parents who send their kids to school districts that deserve an “F” for honesty.

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To be fair, that is roughly equitable to the standard performance assessment one might find at a place of employment.....so maybe this is good....anything that might destroy the GPA system works for me...😄

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Yeah I dont totally hate this.   

Although there should be something for "Difficulty understanding basic class concepts" or whatever to indicate an F...but nicely

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What about the shitthead ghetto kids that are in the back of the classroom throwing dice and being disruptive with no intentions of learning a thing? There needs to be a DDN grade. Didn't Do Nuffin this grading period. 

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So if a kid takes a test and gets 2 out of 45 questions correct, he is 'emerging'? What is he emerging as, a failure? Is honesty out the window now?

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When colleges adopt this, everyone will be able to graduate with a degree in everything. 

I'm an 'emerging' Astro-physicist, Mechatronics engineer, Business analysis & Financial analyst 

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There needs to be a "grade" that basically says "Your kid is retarded.  I mean Forrest Gump retarded.  Please send his hot Mom to school for a "counseling" session or we may need to reassign your retard to retard school."

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Exceeds standard

meets standard

does not meet standard 

 

simple grading system that should be implemented 

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33 minutes ago, bostonlager said:

What about the shitthead ghetto kids that are in the back of the classroom throwing dice and being disruptive with no intentions of learning a thing? There needs to be a DDN grade. Didn't Do Nuffin this grading period. 

I think you mean to say "are we still able to celebrate our diversity".....right?

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The fear of god from coming home with a bad report card to mom should be the foundation of upbringing. I weep for the coming generations, I shudder to think what school will be like soon.

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This system is stupid.  Meaning, that every kid is going to know that "EX" means "A", that "M" means B to C+, that "DV" means C to D, and that "E" means "F".  Any kid who brings a report card home with "DV's" and "E's", their parents will have the same reaction if they had gotten "D's" or "F's".   Simply, putting makeup on pig doesn't change the fact that it's a pig.

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5 minutes ago, TBayXXXVII said:

This system is stupid.  Meaning, that every kid is going to know that "EX" means "A", that "M" means B to C+, that "DV" means C to D, and that "E" means "F".  Any kid who brings a report card home with "DV's" and "E's", their parents will have the same reaction if they had gotten "D's" or "F's".   Simply, putting makeup on pig doesn't change the fact that it's a pig.

Good point.  When my daughter started competitive dance, she got a Gold in her first dance.  WOOT! Then I was told that Gold was 3rd out of 4 - diamond, double gold, gold, and silver.  Of course the girls know this.

 

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6 minutes ago, jerryskids said:

Good point.  When my daughter started competitive dance, she got a Gold in her first dance.  WOOT! Then I was told that Gold was 3rd out of 4 - diamond, double gold, gold, and silver.  Of course the girls know this.

 

Exactly.  There's always a top score and a bottom score... does it matter what you call them?  No.  It still means the same thing.

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2 minutes ago, TBayXXXVII said:

Exactly.  There's always a top score and a bottom score... does it matter what you call them?  No.  It still means the same thing.

Also my son played baseball at a young age where they didn't keep score.  Well, "they" didn't.  The kids did of course.

That all being said, I don't completely hate the new system for young kids, if it is accompanied by an improvement plan.  I doubt that is the case tho. :(

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1 minute ago, jerryskids said:

Also my son played baseball at a young age where they didn't keep score.  Well, "they" didn't.  The kids did of course.

That all being said, I don't completely hate the new system for young kids, if it is accompanied by an improvement plan.  I doubt that is the case tho. :(

For elementary level, sure this is fine.  Heck, when I was in elementary school, we didn't get numbers or A through F, we got "E" for Excellent, "O" for Outstanding, "S" for Satisfactory, and "N" for Needs improvement.  So it's not like this system is a new concept.  It's only new if it's past elementary level and will end up changing nothing.

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My sons' school uses the same type of grading scale in 3rd grade.  Big deal.  They never see their report card or their standardized test scores because it's all electronic and you need to sign in to get that info.  They do receive number scores for all their assignments.....4 being the highest demonstrating mastery of the concept.....1 the lowest which shows additional work needed.  So they all get the appropriate, immediate feedback which roughly corresponds to the A-F scale.  

Not sure about the remainder of their elementary school career but in Middle School they definitely get A-F....and kids absolutely fixate on the grade they're getting rather than learning what is taught.  Elementary kids need to focus on learning, not on getting straight As.

This topic is just about people who need to b!tch about something.

 

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14 hours ago, FeelingMN said:

My sons' school uses the same type of grading scale in 3rd grade.  Big deal.  They never see their report card or their standardized test scores because it's all electronic and you need to sign in to get that info.  They do receive number scores for all their assignments.....4 being the highest demonstrating mastery of the concept.....1 the lowest which shows additional work needed.  So they all get the appropriate, immediate feedback which roughly corresponds to the A-F scale.  

Not sure about the remainder of their elementary school career but in Middle School they definitely get A-F....and kids absolutely fixate on the grade they're getting rather than learning what is taught.  Elementary kids need to focus on learning, not on getting straight As.

This topic is just about people who need to b!tch about something.

 

Actually this topic is for people who need to change something cause feelings

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Letter grades are stupid anyways... all grades should just be a percentage.

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8 minutes ago, Kanil said:

Letter grades are stupid anyways... all grades should just be a percentage.

I have no problem with letter grades.  It very quickly and simply conveys within a range how well a student did.

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They could really simplify things by breaking it down to just 4 grades:

RS - really smart

SE - smart enough

KS - kinda stupid

DF - dumb fock

 

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18 hours ago, FeelingMN said:

My sons' school uses the same type of grading scale in 3rd grade.  Big deal.  They never see their report card or their standardized test scores because it's all electronic and you need to sign in to get that info.  They do receive number scores for all their assignments.....4 being the highest demonstrating mastery of the concept.....1 the lowest which shows additional work needed.  So they all get the appropriate, immediate feedback which roughly corresponds to the A-F scale.  

Not sure about the remainder of their elementary school career but in Middle School they definitely get A-F....and kids absolutely fixate on the grade they're getting rather than learning what is taught.  Elementary kids need to focus on learning, not on getting straight As.

This topic is just about people who need to b!tch about something.

 

Now, I didn't read the article, but my assumption was that this system was the be used K-12.  The reason for that in because NJ has been doing this type of grading at the elementary level for at least 40 years.  If Wisconsin is in the dark ages on this, then it's about time that they woke up.  That said, if this is their plan for 6-12... then they're stupid.  It won't change anything.

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At least now we know why they cant seem to recognize rodgers blows. 

He's still an EM

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20 hours ago, supermike80 said:

Yeah I dont totally hate this.   

Although there should be something for "Difficulty understanding basic class concepts" or whatever to indicate an F...but nicely

Sinking

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21 hours ago, Djgb13 said:

Exceeds standard

meets standard

does not meet standard 

 

simple grading system that should be implemented 

Where would 34 fall on this system?

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7 minutes ago, vuduchile said:

Where would 34 fall on this system?

Clearly it’s “Exceeds Standard”. Don’t need a 34 on the ACT to know that :rolleyes:

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