Recording & Reporting

Recording and Reporting
In an authentic Learner-centered, Competency Based recording and reporting system, the scores reflect what a student knows, understands and is able to do. This approach to measuring learning improves student achievement by focusing on four critical questions:

  1. What do learners need to know and be able to do?
  2. How will we know that they have learned it?
  3. What will we do when they haven’t learned it?
  4. What will we do when they already know it?

In a Competency Based System, scoring practices are more clearly defined and fair when compared to a traditional system (Marzano, 2006). The following table describes what the learner needs to know in order to reach a particular score within the WPS model.

Westminster Public Schools Scoring Scale

Score

GPA Value*

What the Learner Knows

4.0

4.0

In addition to Score 3.0, in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught.

3.5

3.5

In addition to Score 3.0 performance, in-depth inferences and applications with partial success.

3.0

3.0

No major errors or omissions regarding any of the information and processes (simple or complex) that were explicitly taught. (WPS Learning Target)

2.5

No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes (Score 2.0 content) and partial knowledge of the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).

2.0

No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content). (WPS Performance Indicators)

1.5

Partial knowledge of the simpler details and processes (Score 2.0 content) but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).

1.0

With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes (Score 2.0 content) and some of the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).

0.5

With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes (Score 2.0 content) but not the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).

0.0

Even with help, no understanding or skill demonstrated.

*GPA is utilized when applicable.

 

Clarifying a Score 3.0
A score 3.0 is achieved with a demonstrated performance at the Analysis (Specifying, Generalizing, Error Analysis, Classifying, Matching) level on the Marzano taxonomy . A Score 3.0 can be earned on the first attempt of achieving proficiency of the Learning Target. However, the teacher should ensure the learner has demonstrated understanding of the precursor Score 2.0 skills.

Clarifying a Score 4.0
A score 4.0 does not equate to more work but rather a higher level of performance on the Knowledge Utilization (Investigating, Experimenting, Problem Solving, Decision Making) level on the Marzano taxonomy . A Score 4.0 can be earned on the first attempt of mastering the Learning Target. However, the teacher should ensure the learner has demonstrated understanding of the precursor Score 2.0 and 3.0 skills.

While this scoring scale is quite different than the letter grade scale we are all very familiar, it is far more valid and reliable as the following definition of a letter grade demonstrates:

A letter grade can be regarded only as an inadequate report of an inaccurate judgment by a biased and variable judge of the extent to which a student has attained an undefined level of mastery of an unknown proportion of an indefinite amount of material. 
By Paul Dressel (as cited in Kohn 1993)

The fallacy of the 100 point scale used to determine traditional letter grades is the widely held belief that it is objective.  We know from our own experience as a student that we had teachers who graded “easier” and teachers who graded “harder.”  From some teachers we learned much and others we learned little. Oftentimes the grade did not reflect how well we knew and understood the content nor did it show how we applied it.

For instance, let’s imagine you administer an “old fashioned” end of unit test that contains some questions on the simple details and processes, some questions on the more complex details and processes and a few questions that allows the learner to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in a new way.

The following table could be used to depict the test based on the above information:

Types of items Number of points
A: Questions 1-10
Ten questions that require recall of important but simple details and processes
Total for section=
B: Questions 11-14
Four questions that require the application of more complex details and processes that were explicitly taught.
Total for section=
C: Questions 15-16
Two questions that asks for application of details and processes in novel situations that go beyond what was explicitly taught.
Total for section=
  Total          /100

If you ask three different teachers to assign a number of points for each section you are likely to get three completely different scenarios based on what each teacher values

Teacher A may value the mastery of basic skills and assign points this way:  80/10/10
Teacher B may value the mastery of the more complex skills and knowledge:  20/60/20
Teacher C may value the application of the skills and knowledge: 20/20/60

If the student gets all of the section A questions correct, half of section B, and none of section C, then the points and letter grades could look like this:

Grade in Teacher A’s class:  80/80 + 5/10 + 0/10      = 85% (B grade)
Grade in Teacher B’s class:  20/20 + 30/60 + 0/20   = 50% (F grade)
Grade in Teacher C’s class:  20/20 + 10/20 + 0/60    = 30% (F grade)

The points earned and the subsequent grade for the same performance varies vastly for each teacher (from 30%-85%). This example shows the variability for one test; think of the cumulative effect over the course of an entire school year.

Inter-rater reliability which leads to “fairness” is the main advantage of scoring learner evidences on a four point scale as shown in the table above. The same understandings and practices for determining quality evidence of learning are used by all teachers systemically across the entire school district.

How does a learner achieve mastery on a Learning Target?
To achieve mastery on any Learning Target, a learner must demonstrate what they know by engaging in a series of evidence based formative checks (assignments, informal assessments, classwork, evidence of learning, etc.) that assess their level of understanding for each learning target. A score of 1.0 or 2.0 from these formative checks during the early learning stages designates that a student is simply at the beginning stage of learning about a new topic not that they are failing. Whether the assessment, assignment or activity is formative or summative, the teacher will record a score from 0-through-4 as part of the scoring record for each student. These scores become the triggers for action that determine the next appropriate instructional steps. A score of 3.0 or above on each learning target associated with a measurement topic would indicate that the student is ready to take a Measurement Topic Assessment (MTA) to validate their learning.

How will scores be recorded and reported?
A student’s progress toward attainment of all Learning Targets and Measurement Topics in all content areas will be recorded and reported as part of their scoring record.  The scoring record for each learner will be housed in E-ducate®. E-ducate® is an electronic web-based program that has the ability and flexibility to manage learner progress regarding Learning Target and overall Performance Level attainment. It allows all users (learners, parents, teachers and principals) on-demand 24-7 access to detailed reports for individual learners and learner groups..

More information and training resources for E-ducate can be found here.

Who do Competency Based scores help?
Competency Based scores help learners know what stage of learning they have achieved without being judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ so that they can deal realistically with where they are performing and continue the learning process from that vantage point.

Competency Based scores help teachers plan learning and instruction so they can challenge and support all learners at the appropriate instructional level.

Competency Based scores help parents know the content and Learning Targets that their child meets or exceeds expectations, needs challenge, or needs support.

Competency Based scores help the school system ensure that the learners are proficient in a skill or task before moving to the next performance level. This guarantees that learners are not set-up for future failure in the higher performance levels due to gaps in their knowledge.

How does the recording and reporting system affect students in special populations?
Learners receiving services for limited English proficiency, special education, or 504 disabilities will be afforded all accommodations and modifications, as documented by a English Language Learner (ELL) plans, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), or Section 504 plans.