Standards Based Grading
First new school reports in early March’
Progress reports for public primary and middle school students will be sent out next month, the education minister pledged yesterday.
Diallo Rabain said: “We want to assure parents that student reports will be provided in early March, early May, with a final report at the end of June before the close of the school year.”
The update came in a ministerial statement made in the House of Assembly.
Mr Rabain told MPs that standards-based grading “has been proven to transform teaching and learning”.
He added: “That is, transform the work that takes place in classrooms each day and the way that teachers teach and assess how children learn.
“It is our expectation that as a result of this grading and reporting system, students, teachers and parents will have more accurate information about what students specifically know in each subject, and what they are able to do.”
Mr Rabain said that “both the enhanced teaching and learning that will result from the sustained practices of standards-based grading will help to transform public school education”.
He added that a committee established last October had mapped out a four-year implementation plan for the grading system.
Mr Rabain said workshops held for teachers on standards-based grading this week were “engaging and empowering”.
He said that additional training sessions would be held this month.
Mr Rabain added: “These types of training workshops will be ongoing for various stakeholder groups in the public school system up until the end of the school year.”
Mr Rabain said that parent information sessions would be held at Whitney Institute in Smith’s, Purvis Primary School and TN Tatem Middle School, both Warwick, on Thursday at 5.45pm.
He encouraged parents and members of the public to attend “so that they can have a clear understanding of standards-based grading and learn more about how it will benefit their children”.
Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, sent a letter to primary and middle school staff last week that advised of grading and reporting procedures until June.
It said that pupils were to have a progress report at the end of the month.
Ms Richards said that a second progress report would go to parents in April followed by a final report card in June.
She added: “These reports will be pulled from PowerSchool.”
Mr Rabain said earlier this week that he did not foresee delays to dates outlined by Ms Richards.
He said: “Nothing in life is guaranteed, but as far as I am concerned, the commissioner has issued the end of February as the timeline ... and that is the date that they will be released.”
Teachers have been locked in conflict with the Government over a series of problems, including standards-based grading, which the teaching union said had added stress to already overburdened staff.
Shannon James, the president of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, admitted that not all primary and middle schoolteachers had uploaded grades to PowerSchool because of confusion about the introduction of standards-based grading.
But Mr James added that teachers had kept hard copies of pupil grades.
•To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF below “Related Media”.
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