How we see Standards Based Grading

  Standards Based Grading is meant to provide better feedback about the task performed and skills used and skills that can be improved.

  This helps students understand their current areas of improvement, and helps them reach the next level. This positive environment speeds learning and students reach higher levels of achievement all while being deeply engaged and enjoying school.

   Director of Secondary Ed and Innovation, Casey Nye shared his thoughts on standards based grading and how it is geared towards helping the school district.

  “We are trying to positions to give better feedback to kids but the problem with that is the change from everyone getting to do grades their own way. But the idea is to give better feedback to kids,” said Nye.

  We believe that while these standards do apply to students, SBG is more applicable though to elementary students and middle school students. At a high school level we believe that for a few students this helps to further push them but for a majority of students, they understand the choices they are making based on what they want to do in the future.

  Teachers are working growth mindset in with their curriculum in order to shape a students mind for the future and make them college and career ready.

  “We are always trying to improve our growth mindset, and trying to better the learning environment for students,” said Nye. “When they say standards based grading they really mean ‘here’s the thing we are trying to hit, lets get what the feedback on that looks like,” said Nye.

  We believe that the work ethic being taught or lack thereof is setting students up for failure in the future. Students are not college ready, by students having the ability to turn in work months  late, they are not learning to take any responsibility for their actions.

  Colleges do not allow students to turn in work late and when you have a real job, you cannot procrastinate on your work, and giving students the ability to turn in work months after it was due only shows students that they can put in minimal effort and take the credit as if they turned it in on time which does not work in the real world.

   A system that allows students to essentially disregard assigned work, has few firm deadlines and creates more work for teachers is not what students need, and we believe this is causing students to fall behind.

  Another big issue we believe with SBG, is that students cannot see their grades until they come out, and after they seem them, there is no time to change it or fix it. Students “are given time” a short window of time but they also don’t know the effects of their grade because they don’t have an average of their grade to view.

Taking finals can be a good way to show your knowledge at the end of a semester. There are different forms of finals based on how teachers choose to assess their students.

  Nye said, “The idea with retakes is ‘I give you a test, on Tuesday and you didn’t show me what I think you are capable of’ In the old system that would have been it, that’s your grade and you move on,” said Nye. “The way we want teachers to interact now is to bring students in and give them another opportunity to take a look at that and then reassess them and the reason we chose to do that is because we are trying to allow these students to show that they can be as successful as possible.”

  Problems arise with this system when it comes to finals as students cannot retake any finals and we believe that it is a plus because it does make them college ready, as in college late work is not accepted.A drawback, however, is because we believe that students could be having a bad day or stressed and having the opportunity to retake is nice, especially for a high stakes grade.

  We believe that SBG can be a good system, but only when it is directed towards younger students. SBG strives to make students college and career ready but falls short and does not hold students accountable for their actions. There needs to be more communication between teachers and students, but overall a student needs to earn their grade and be held accountable for the effort they put in.