School Board Again Eyes Break From Letter Grades
By: Alex Scofield
The Bourne school district this week took a step forward in its plans to do away with letter grades, and instead, implement standards-based reporting.
The school committee this week approved an agreement with the Bourne Educators Association that would next year replace letter grades with what administrators consider a more accurate and informative reporting system.
Through the standards-based system, teachers would send home a more detailed picture of the child’s ability to meet academic standards, which had been determined by the middle school’s faculty.
Under the new system, instead of sending home report cards with the traditional As, Bs and Cs, teachers would send parents a rubric that would rank a student’s ability to grasp concepts on a scale that ranged from “warning” to “advanced.”
The new grading system was supposed to have been implemented in the second grading semester of this school year, but was held up by parents who said they thought the process was being pushed through too quickly.
Parents said they had not been given enough time to weigh in on what they considered a drastic change to the middle school’s grading system.
They also argued that the grading system was too vague, and without the opportunity to earn an ‘A,’ their children would lose motivation.
School Committee Chairman Richard A. Lavoie this week said that through a series of meetings between administrators, teachers and parents, most of the concerns about the new system had been addressed.
“There have been many meetings with administrators, the teachers union and parents,” Mr. Lavoie said. “Everybody understands what’s going on now.”
School committee member Jay O’Hara said the next step toward implementing standards-based reporting at the school would be for the school committee and the Bourne Educators Association to both approve the actual standards-based report card.
He said the card will be up for review by the school committee’s curriculum subcommittee later this month.
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