In Part 1 of How is My Child Doing? I explained the process for breaking learning into goals in a proficiency-based education (PBE) system. This is part of clearly articulating the learning. In RSU 10 during the 2017-18 school year we created graduation standards, reporting standards, and learning targets for all content areas K-12.
I’ll create a writing assignment so we can look at the reporting standard, learning targets, and the rubric as an example of a PBE assessment.
Here is an actual RSU #10 standard for writing; we’ll use the example of a How-To Essay .
ELA.W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
- This is a third grade writing standard.
- It is clearly stated and consistently taught in third grade across the district.
- This reporting standard is in PowerSchool and students’ progress will be reported out on it there.
For this standard, there are four learning targets —
a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
d. Provide a concluding statement or section.
Each step (a – d) is taught, students practice and receive feedback on each step. Then students would put all the steps together to create a complete writing assignment — the essay. A complete essay is the summative or final exam, and this score is put in the grading system.
Rubric or Scale
A rubric or scale is given to students during the teaching of this standard. The rubric provides a guide for student learning and when marked by a teacher it measures where a student is in terms of his/her learning.
Here is an example of a rubric/scale for a How-To Essay for this standard and learning targets.
For our How-To essay, the rubric and learning targets match up in the following ways —
a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension. Organization,
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details. Organization & Elaboration
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information. Use of Language
d. Provide a concluding statement or section. Organization
Audience and Purpose — Could be an example of a previous learning target , which may be a skill we want students to carry into other writing assignments.
The teacher would circle on the rubric where each student achieves.
Test Grade vs. Rubric
In a traditional education setting, a test score gives information about how a student is doing in a subject. In a proficiency-based setting, the rubric gives specific information about how the student is doing in each step (or learning target) of his/her learning. The focus has shifted to reporting out on overall areas (like Math or Writing) to reporting out on explicit learning steps.
Yes, this is a lot of information, but you as a parent can choose how much information you want.
Do you want to look at the reporting standard? > Go into PowerSchool or look on the report card.
Do you want to know how your child is doing on each learning target (step)? > Go into PowerSchool and drill down a bit (we will offer training on this in the fall).
Want to know how a student did on an assignment/assessment? > Look at the rubric.