Beyond report cards, state tests
Madera Unified School District plumbs the depths of student performance
Madera Unified will no longer depend solely on report cards and state tests to tell parents how their kids are doing in school.
As of last week, parents are being guided through an extensive report that tells whether their child is meeting grade-level standards and if not, why not?
The portfolio, which reaches beyond fuzzy numbers and letters on a report card, has been named the MEtoBE Grade Level Readiness Report. It draws its conclusions from a massive data bank that demonstrates precisely how the student is performing — how that compares with how the student performed last year — and how the student is expected to perform in the future. It includes statistics on discipline and attendance along, with academics.
As parents sit down with the teacher in a conference, they are shown an “Overall Readiness Meter,” which tells in color code whether their child is at grade level according to eight measures: the state english test, local English test, English grades, state math test, local math test, math grades, attendance, and discipline. A “multiple measures map” shows the percentage of total points earned in each category.
Next, the report turns to an in-depth look at the state English and math assessments and their component parts. Following that, the report deals with local assessments of reading and math. It shows a student’s content knowledge in each area and measures the distance individual performance is from grade level expectations.
Classroom grades in reading, math, science and social studies are then calculated and compared by quarters. This includes all four quarters of 2018-2019 and the last two quarters of 2017-2018. Grade point averages are given for each quarter.
The report continues with a Scholastic Reading Inventory, which measures a student’s reading ability in the context of text difficulty. This measure is given in the form of a “Lexile.” Each grade level has a range of Lexile expectations, and the report compares each student’s Lexile score with the grade level expectation.
The report then measures how well students whose primary language is not English perform in English. The report gets very specific and includes oral and written language.
After the academic analyses, the report deals with attendance and discipline. It compares this year’s attendance rate with last year’s rate. The report also measures discipline in terms of the percentage of “referral free days” and compares this year with last year.
Individuals not familiar with current testing in today’s schools will most likely be surprised at the section entitled “Expectations.” Here parents are given sample questions taken directly from the state tests to show the rigor and complexity demanded by the state.
The report concludes with suggestions for questions that parents may want to ask during the teacher conference. It also includes the location of parent resource centers and the services they provide.
The MEtoBE Grade Level Readiness Report represents the most radical departure from traditional assessments yet to appear in public schools. It presently is unique to Madera Unified School District.