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Dearborn Schools Reveal New K-5 Report Card

Changes include the elimination of letter grades and the addition of a "life skills" assessment.

Dearborn parents of elementary-aged students will see their child's progress in a whole new way, thanks to changes implemented to K-5 report cards for Dearborn Public Schools.

The district tasked an elementary report card committee, comprised of more than 40 teachers and administrators, with creation of the new measure of student progress. The process involved looking over report cards from nine other school districts, as well as four months of discussion on the various features.

The goals of the committee were to create a report card that made understanding student performance easier, incorporate the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and math, and assign a grade-level for student performance in reading and math.

Here's what parents can expect:

  • The first big change that parents will notice on the report card is the conversion from a letter grade to a number. The numbers on the report card correspond to the following: 1 = Masters Expectations, 2 = Meets Expectations, 3 = Progressing, 4 = Concern. A number will appear next to each Common Core State Standard listed on the report card to indicate a student’s performance in meeting that Standard.
  • A new item on the report card is the reporting of student performance on two different computer-administered assessments: one in reading and the other in math. These assessments provide an indication of the grade level the student is performing at in these two subject areas. For example a score on the reading assessment of 3.2 is equivalent to third grade second month. The same holds true for the math assessment.
  • The test given in reading is the Scholastic Reading Inventory or SRI reading assessment. The SRI may be given up to three times a year. Starmath is the math assessment tool and may be given up to four times a year. Students in second through fifth grade will not receive an SRI or Star Math score on the first report card.
  • The report card also includes a section titled Life Skills and the objectives change from kindergarten through grade five.
  • In addition, there is a notes and comments section at the end.

According to the district, the report card grades represent a summary of what students have learned during the marking period. The district encouraged parents to also keep in touch with their child's teacher through regular communication and parent-teacher conferences.

Parents interested in serving on the report card committee may contact Dr. Jill Chochol, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education at 313-827-3026, or by email at chochoj@dearborn.k12.mi.us

Lee Jacobsen November 02, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Somehow, the changes don't inspire trust or logic in the education grading system. I can imagine all the confusion over a '2' or '3' on a report card or paper when the student goes from the 5th grade to the 6th grade , and later, to junior high. " Look Mom, I got a 3 on my report card!" In the 5th grade, that kid needs 'progressing', in the 6th grade, a 3, or B, is above average. A 4 in the new system is cause for concern in the 5th grade. In the 6th grade, that would be an A, time for celebration and high fives. Bottom line, the new system should just reverse the scale, so a '1' means you are at the bottom, and reason for concern, and a 4 means excellence, as it is through college grading. Who do we need to contact to make this commonsense suggestion?
malak November 03, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Lee, I teach at a charter school. We have already started this new grading system since day one. We had some training on it at the end of last year. Our 1-4 is the opposite where 4 is the highest. We could be wrong since we are known for that. Our grading system scale itself is not set up right. For example, I have students getting a 70% (C+) but their grade is showing up as a B+. I don't know what happened to "teacher teaches, student learns then do a simple test to see if student has gained mastery. Students today go through so many test in class (quizzes, formative, summative, standardized..) its insane.

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