This is from the Everyday Mathematics webpage. Just think about this for a moment. Why should a school change their entire report card to align with the math curriculum? The website even posts samples of schools that did. Here are a couple:
New York sample report card- 3rd grade
Michigan sample report card - 3rd grade
"Schools have revised their report cards to bring them into better alignment with the curriculum." I highly suspect that my school is one of them. This past year they introduced a new grading system for grades 1-4. In fact, they had to publish a handbook to explain it all to parents.
The following is a description of grading criteria at our elementary school:
(S) Secure- Student consistently shows strong understanding of the concept and skill. (90-100%)*
(D) Developing- Student shows satisfactory understanding of the concept and skill. (70-89%)*
(B) Beginning- Student shows minimal understanding of the concept and skill. (69% or less)*
(N) Not Demonstrating- Student is not currently demonstrating this skill. (?)*
(N/A) Not Assessed- Skill is not being assessed during given marking period.
*The percentages are not included on report cards. I have included them here for some perspective. When parents wanted to know what this grading system meant in real terms, the answer was to come up with these ranges in which the lowest anyone receives is a "B".
Generally, a "minimum" is meant to indicate the very bottom limit to what can be considered acceptable. Webster's defines it as follows:
minimum adj : the least possible; "needed to enforce minimal standards"; "her grades were minimal"
In the case "her grades were minimal", it would appear that unless you score an "N" for "Not Demonstrating", you are meeting the minimum standards. As far as I am aware, the lowest grade assigned this year to any student was a "B" for "Beginning" which by definition still meets the "minimum" standard even though it's below 50%. The only point of having such a range there could possibly be is for everyone to meet the minimum standard. This is school reform at its very finest, folks.
I don't know, but that kind of a range has quite a bit of wiggle room, doesn't it? What's even more worrisome than such a loosey goosey assessment model is that the Everyday Mathematics publisher actually encourages schools to change their report card to fit their curriculum. They want loosey-goosey report cards where everyone meets the minimum standard, they suggest that schools should change the report cards, and schools do!
I had no idea publishers had this much influence in our schools.... did you?