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Developing Standards-Based Report Cards

Developing Standards-Based Report Cards

Edited by:

January 2010 | 248 pages | Corwin
Although schools have moved toward standards-based curriculum and instruction, grading practices and reporting systems have remained largely unchanged. Helping headteachers gain support for transitioning from traditional to standards-based report cards, this book guides educators in aligning assessment and reporting practices with standards-based education and providing more detailed reports of children's learning and achievement.

A standards-based report card breaks down each subject area into specific elements of learning to offer parents and teachers a more thorough description of each child's progress toward proficiency. This accessible volume:

- Provides a clear framework for developing standards-based report cards

- Shows how to communicate with parents, students, and other stakeholders about changes

- Illustrates how to achieve grading consistency without increasing teachers' workloads or violating their professional autonomy

Filled with examples of standards-based report cards that can be adapted to a school's needs, this practical resource shows district and school administrators how to establish reporting practices that facilitate learning.

About the Authors
1. Getting Started
The Difficulty of Change

The Need for Change

Why Standards Instead of Letter Grades?

Guiding Premises

Our Purpose

Our Organizational Scheme

Our Hope

2. The Importance of Standards
Defining "Standards"

Five Essential Understandings

Standards-Based Report Card Development Levels


3. Defining the Purpose
Purpose Questions

Leading Discussions About Purpose

Key Questions in Defining the Purpose

Making the Purpose Clear

Method Follows Purpose

Purpose Determines the Development Process

Multiple Purposes Means Multiple Reporting Elements

Focus on a "Reporting System"


4. Developing Reporting Standards
Reporting Standards

The Development Process

Three Types of Learning Goals

Conflicts in Reporting on Different Learning Goals

Meaning Solutions to the Conflicts


5. Essential Steps in Development: Part I
Crucial Questions in the Development Process


6. Essential Steps in Development: Part II
Additional Crucial Questions in the Development Process


7. Developing Reporting Forms
Defining the Purpose

Selecting the Method Based on the Purpose

Effective Reporting Forms

Combining Methods of Reporting

Format and Graphic Layouts

Design Processes

Additional Sample Reporting Forms

8. Piloting and Revising
Broad-Based Involvement

Focus Groups

Parent, Teacher, and Student Surveys

Test-Driven Reporting

Back to the Drawing Board

Informing the Community

Professional Development

Parent Education Programs

9. Beyond the Report Card: Developing a Reporting System
The Importance of Purpose

The Challenge of Communications

Tools for a Comprehensive Reporting System

Guidelines for Better Practice



"This is a must-read for devoted Guskey-Bailey disciples! This latest addition to their collective wisdom provides clear measures for addressing the unique grading challenges of children with special education needs and children considered gifted or talented in the regular education classroom. Teachers who collaborate on students’ grades will find the recommended practices to be fair, logical, and an excellent way to communicate student learning."

Melanie Goffen Horowitz, Principal
Central School, Wilmette, IL

“Guskey and Bailey clearly articulate the need for reform on one of today’s most pressing issues in education: grading and reporting. Throughout the book, they offer realistic solutions to improve how educators communicate a student’s academic progress to all stakeholders. Their work provides the practitioner with the research, step-by-step guidelines, and reporting templates so a faculty is ready to begin the dialogue to develop a standards-based report card. The research has helped us answer the two main questions: 'What goes into a grade?' and 'How do we report it out?' This work, without a doubt, is a model for schools that want to improve their system of grading and reporting. It certainly has transformed ours!”

Jeffrey Erickson, Assistant Principal
Minnetonka High School, MN

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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