By George A. Lucas, Member, Milford School Board and candidate on the ballot this November. Website: www.lucasformilfordschools.com
Our student grading process, much like the educational process, has evolved to identify a measurable level of skills and abilities to ensure best chance for individual success in life. The word “measurable” is subjective and denotes a graduated scale created by those qualified to compare – which in and of itself is subjective. Hence, “the eye of the beholder” rings true. Who is to say someone or anyone is more or less qualified to measure?
Fortunately, we in the private sector can default that duty to the trained eye of the ever-faithful educator, the teacher. The point of course, is that accurate measurement yields a greater chance to achieve the best level of product. Let’s be realistic: we cannot be a society of past processes in order to ensure our students are ready for the future. We’ve all heard that more detail will reveal the 1-4 evaluation (standards-based measurement) is superior to A-F (letter grade measurement). If we believe more detail delivers a superior student, who would cast that belief aside without in-depth research?
Obviously, as we’ve seen, there are those who vigorously support the new standards-based report cards and those who stand firm on letter grades. You will hear reports of how great standards-based works to identify details. Well, does it? Do we believe the reports and those who are reporting? Only the few who actually apply their teaching skills daily can answer those and many more questions. I believe in the saying: “Things that get measured get done.” But I also believe methods and processes that are under continuous scrutiny and improvement eventually yield quantitative results or they cease to exist.
Given the concerns expressed by our district parents and educators, I support the joint reporting of letter grade adjacent to 1-4 standards. I recommend patience, understanding, trust, and persistence as we strive for excellence together. I’m very confident this approach and time will confirm the best method for measuring success of student learning.