Standards-Based Report Card FAQs

What is a standards-based report card?

A standards-based report card provides a level of proficiency for particular targets in each content/subject area. This type of report card provides more consistency between teachers than traditional report cards because all students are evaluated on the same grade-appropriate targets and benchmarks.

How does the traditional letter grade system compare to the standards-based grade system?

A traditional A, B, C, D, F report card lists major subjects by name only. A letter or percentage grade states how the student performed on average in a broad area.

On a standards-based report card, content standards and grade-level indicators are broken down within the major subjects. A standards-based report card reports a student’s level of mastery of the standards at their grade level. The proficiency levels on a standards-based report card are:

Blank—Concept has not been introduced or assessed at this time
1—Area of Concern
2—Approaching Standards
3—Meets Standards
4—Excels at Standards

How are the standards graded?

The standards on the report card reflect where students are expected to be by the end of the year. Students are evaluated throughout the year as they progress toward that end of the year expectation.

Blank boxes or 2’s are normal in the early quarters of school. If there is not enough evidence to support a student’s knowledge of a standard, the grade box will be left blank. Partial teaching of a standard will reflect a grade of 2--Approaching Standards.

End of the year the grades reflect the overall proficiency level of the student on mastery of the standards at their grade level.

Won’t most students receive the same grades, mostly 2’s and 3’s?

Learning is a process. Repeated experiences and exposures are necessary for students to gain new skills and strategies.

A score of “2” indicates the student is progressing toward full understanding of the standard. Once the student demonstrates thorough understanding of the content and skills involved in the standard they will earn a “3”. The process of moving from a “2” to a “3” is unique to each student and occurs when the student independently performs the skills with accuracy and quality.

How do I help my student get a “4”?

Remember, a mark of a “3” indicates that a student is meeting grade-level expectations with independence and excellence. A “3” is exactly where a competent student should be.

Getting a “4” is not about what more a student does. It is about what a student knows, and at what level this knowledge is applied to new and higher-level situations, exceeding what is explicitly taught at their grade level.

The shift in thinking from the A, B, C, D, F letter grades is that “3” is the top for the grade level and should be celebrated as such.