Communication Under Way About Changes in Student GradingThursday, September 27, 2012
Responding to a new state law, secondary schools in the Medford School District are beginning to change how they evaluate student work. The changes will take effect gradually over the coming two years. When they are finished, grading in middle schools and high schools will be more tightly linked to state academic standards.
Superintendent Phil Long has sent a letter to the families of secondary students to alert them to the changes. Click here to read the letter
. Future communication will include meetings with teachers, school meetings with parents, and a new section on the district’s website.
The changes come as the district works to comply with a 2011 state law that requires schools to use standards-based proficiency measures when assessing students’ academic abilities. Under the new system, non-academic factors like attendance, attitude, behavior and completion of practice work may be communicated but will not count toward student academic grades. In addition, students will not be graded on a curve that depends on how well others do in the class.
The new system will show whether students are on track to pass state exams in reading, writing and math, which they will need to do in order to graduate. The new system also will help the district measure progress toward its goal of extending student learning beyond minimal levels of proficiency.
Ultimately, the new system will do a better job than current methods of communicating academic progress to students, their families, employers and post-secondary institutions.