Premise for Proficiency-based Learning
Grades are intended to communicate progress toward mastery of articulated course content standards to students and parents. They are intended to indicate what a student knows and is able to do with respect to course objectives that have been explicitly taught. They encourage the student to act on feedback and the teacher to adjust and individualize instruction.
- Grades should be directly tied to specific standards and objectives in a given course or content area.
- Grades should be accurate and reflect proficiency in course standards, concepts and content.
- Grades should be associated with differences only in student performance rather than with differences in gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
- Grades should reflect multiple opportunities for assessment in multiple modalities in a given course or content area.
- Grades should be specific and timely in providing feedback to students and parents.
- Teachers create frequent opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency in prescribed standards.
- Teachers utilize a multitude of assessment evidence to determine a student’s level of proficiency: assignments, observations, portfolios, assessments, products, discussions, projects, performance tasks, etc.
- “Homework” is replaced with meaningful, independent practice tied to specific content standards which requires time and effort outside the classroom. These learning activities are not scored but serve as vehicles for teacher feedback and student progress.
- Points are not deducted for reasons other than a student’s lack of academic proficiency.
- Classroom formative assessments tie directly to specific content standards and objectives.
- Teachers allow students who score below proficient on formative assessments to reassess and/or take alternative assessments to demonstrate their increased learning.
- Teachers require extra practice on specific concepts before reassessment.
- “Extra credit” is not included in the academic grade. Instead, students are given additional opportunities to demonstrate increased proficiency.
- Issues of student behavior, participation, punctuality, work timeliness and effort are reflected in a citizenship grade rather than an academic grade (unless such behaviors are written into content standards).
- Gradebook is updated regularly to prompt learning and increase proficiency.