The standards-based report card reflects a different philosophy of grading—one that places an emphasis on growth, understanding, and mastery of skills over time. It is designed to provide an easy-to-understand student progress reporting tool that merges a traditional format with new standards-based measures. Standards are statements about learning expectations for students, and a standards-based report card gives students a clear message about what children know, what they are able to do, and what they need to learn in relation to the Illinois Learning Standards.
Students are evaluated on standards listed in each content area, and progress is reported in relation to expected levels of performance at that point in time. Students also are evaluated on their work habits and social skills, as feedback in these areas is an important part of the communication between school and home.
The standards-based report card, which was designed by a committee of teachers, parents and administrators, provides a clearer picture of what the student is expected to know and be able to do, as well as his or her progress towards those goals. Research shows that children learn best when they understand clearly what they are expected to know and do, and the standards-based report card is designed to empower students and allow them to take more ownership of their learning. It also enables parents to see where their child is doing well, and where improvement is needed.
The standards-based report cards clearly define learning goals and standards for students, and just as the District 58 curriculum is tailored to guide students towards meeting the state standards, the report cards meaningfully convey students’ progress towards those goals.
The standards-based report cards provide a basis for better communication among students, parents and teachers. It also allows teachers to collect evidence as to how their students are doing in relation to the standards, and adjust their teaching accordingly.