Many schools use a 1-4 scale to indicate not enough evidence, not yet proficient, proficient, or exceeding proficiency. Parents and students may think this is just the same as A-D, but it’s not. Designing a grading strategy and communicating it effectively is an important step in reshaping the culture of schools and districts.
Much of the grading controversy is driven by college admissions. That’s slowly changing. Last week, 48 New England colleges announced that they would be accepting proficiency-based diplomas. While we’re waiting for higher ed to change,school districts will need to provide translations that give their graduates a shot at selective schools.
Report cards that provide standards-based feedback need to be simple to produce and easy to understand–and 20 years after our first attempt, it’s still harder than it should be.