THE JOURNEY TO STANDARDS
BASED ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING
Life in the ASB Middle School would certainly have been quieter without
changing to a standards based system. Many associate the standards
based movement with a change in report card format but in truth, the
changes run much deeper. The most fundamental change is in fact to
assessment tools and to the grade book. The reason that faculties
perhaps find this such difficult work is that they have to change or adapt
all of their assessment tools and record the results in a different format.
Changing the fundamental methodology and conceptual underpinning of
an assessment and reporting system is not for the faint hearted.
Fortunately the Middle School faculty has courage in bucket loads and is
not afraid of hard work, especially when it is significantly linked to
student learning. So why did we take on this daunting task?
We made this change to better communicate the learning of our students
in the key skills, knowledge and understandings of each discipline. We
changed because we wanted to empower our students with a greater
understanding of their strengths and areas for development. We wanted
our students to be metacognitive, that is to understand what success
looks like, how they measure up to defined criteria, and most importantly
to be able to plan purposefully for their growth. We needed a system that
defined learning more clearly for students and one in which students and
their parents were better informed, and as a result, could partner with
their teachers in the learning process.