‘A’ is for achievement, not acquiescence

Grades will reflect achievement, not behavior, in Milwaukee’s elementary and middle schools, reports the Journal-Sentinel.

According to MPS, the updated report card identifies the skills students need to master in each grade level, and replaces overall letter grades with an AD for advanced, PR for proficient, BA for basic and MI for minimal. Proficient is the level expected for a student’s grade level.

The report card offers separate feedback about a student’s work habits, behavior and effort — such as following rules or arriving to class prepared — on a scale of 1 to 4.

High schools will use the traditional A-F system to generate grade-point averages necessary for college applications.

This could be an effort to help boys, write Ann Althouse. “I suspect that the credit-giving business had been perverted into an enterprise of teaching compliance and tolerance for boredom and constraint.”

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  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    Wow. My very ordinary elementary school did this in the 1950s. Skill-based report cards, with a 4 box scale–though in this case the boxes read EX (Excellent), AA (Above Average), AV (Average), and BA (Below Average).

  2. Nothing new here.My district brought similar report cards about 15 years ago. Only actual achievement counts for grades. A separate section evaluates behavioral traits, including punctuality, homework completion, cooperation, responsibility, etc.

    Comments have to be provided for both; the skills/traits are evaluated Ex,G, S, Needs Improvement, while academics are given letter grades or percentile scores.

    Feedback from parents is mostly positive about this.

    My elementary school report cards (back in the Pleistocene era) also had grades at the bottom for things like Citizenship and Honesty. I have no idea how those grades were calculated. They did not count towards the GPA.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    I guess I have to confess being surprised this is a change. Was it not always thus? Apparently not. But when I was a kid, performance in grades, behavior at the bottom.
    My brother’s eleventh grade English teacher remarked, “suffers from the family disease of independence”.
    My folks thought that was pretty neat.

  4. My district did indeed factor behavior in to the grades for middle and high school, ending the practice three years ago. The grades were figured as 1/3 behavior, 1/3 homework completion, 1/3 tests&quizzes.