A small Oregon high school is pioneering the “proficiency model,” which requires students to demonstrate they’ve mastered state standards but gives them as much time as they need to get there. The Statesman Journal looks at Falls City High, which has only 55 students.
. . . students are no longer graded on a traditional point system in which their grades are determined by turning in homework on time, or their test scores and paper grades.
Instead, student grades are based on whether they demonstrate proficiency in subject standards, which are determined by the state.
Each core class at the school has between eight and 12 standards, and students must essentially earn a C or better in each standard to earn credit for the class.
Students know up front what they’re expected to learn, giving them a clear target.
Students can retake tests, rewrite papers and redo projects if they fail to meet a standard the first time around. Rarely do they retake an entire class.
You can get whatever grade you want,” said Adhelia Meza, 16. “You have to work harder to get an A.”
The high school’s principal and four teachers decided that the old way of teaching wasn’t working.