In a standards-based approach, will families see consistent grading standards at each school?

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In a standards-based approach, parents and students will see consistent grading standards throughout each school—and throughout the district. Teachers will grade based on what each student has learned and how that student meets standards.

In our standards-based education system, students have multiple opportunities to achieve a standard by retaking a test or portions of a test. What does this teach them about the real world where it’s necessary to do one’s best?

In the real world, only people who master certain information or skills are able to receive certain privileges. Our new system puts more focus on student learning, and yes, it allows for multiple attempts for success. It’s actually a more accurate reflection of real-world experience, where a person must meet a certain standard before receiving certain privileges.

Some “real life” parallels are the ACT, SAT, professional exams—even the driver’s test. There are no penalties for the number of attempts on these tests, but failing them gets expensive and wastes time. A person who truly wants the privilege becomes intrinsically motivated to succeed because he or she wants the benefit that goes with passing the test, i.e., getting accepted into a good college, getting licensure in a certain profession—or driving a car.

The standards-based system still features deadlines, also a real-world concept. The teacher has discretion over accepting late work, such as the end of a unit. Policy 2420 reads, “The teacher may limit the number of re-take attempts.”