Our goal was to let the staff see for themselves that a change in our reporting system was necessary. We were hoping that they would approve a move by our focus group to rewrite the report cards. We handed out copies of several report cards from the school. Teachers eagerly poured over the documents in groups of two or three. I heard exclamations such as, “I had no idea they were all so different”, “I’ve never seen these before”, “There is no consistency”, “Even the descriptors are different!” And on it went. Every group could be heard reaching a consensus that a change needed to be made.
So, we took a vote. Fortunately the staff voted unanimously in favor of reworking the report cards. It felt like a small victory.
Now, we will create a uniform reporting system that appears visually similar in both elementary and secondary school. The most exciting thing for me, however, is that it gives us an opportunity to separate the learning behaviors from academic achievement. I cannot wait to see a draft of that in print! It finally feels like we are on our way to standards based grading, even though I know the journey is a long one.