Communicating Learner Process

What if our communication of learner progress focused on clarity, mastery, and our portrait of a graduate?

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Problems: our current report card is hard to read, is focused mostly on core academics (and so communicates to parents that is the most important thing happening in our classrooms), the measurements (1-5, A-F) don't accurately reflect  student mastery, and each report is the same (so that even if you don't teach a concept until the 3rd trimester that standard is listed all three trimesters and makes you feel like there SHOULD be a score in that box). In addition, we have a large focus on goals & reflections on goals that aren't included and are a separate set of  paper & PDFs that are sent home and aren't included in report cards.

This situation frustrates teachers ( what do I put in that box--I haven't assessed that skill yet but the parents might judge me if I don't put something there; why don't the parents understand that collaboration is also important?), frustrates parents (what does a 4 mean? why is there an * there still? how is my child actually doing?) and frustrates students. 

How might we reframe our communication around student progress so that it matches what we value, is meaningful and useful to parents, and is something that students also value?

Our initial brainstorm is to create three progress reports (one for each trimester) that include the standards that have been assessed that trimester (with a competency/mastery-based focus that is clear to parents) and selected life and learning competencies (2LC) such as collaboration, problem-solving, goal-setting etc. At the end of the year, the progress reports would be consolidated into an annual report. This report would also contain the focused learning goals from the year, a student reflection, and a list of the elective classes the student has taken (which are not graded and so not usually included on our current report cards). This annual report would reflect progress made toward our portrait of what we consider a student at that grade level should have mastered.

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

"Locally developed, but globally positioned, the Portrait of a Graduate serves as a North Star for system transformation. Providing strategic direction for the redesign of the overall educational experience for students, this collective vision reinvigorates and re-engages students, teachers, and community stakeholders."


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Photo of Alysha English

Lisa Stone Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing your idea with The Teachers Guild community. I love this idea and appreciate you sharing a bit about your process to generating this idea also. I wonder if an additional build might be to co-deisgn some aspect of the Report Card experience with families or students. I could see that generating some really interesting ideas. Thanks again for sharing! :-)

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