Students will no longer worry about receiving an “F” or being straight “A” students, as their schools system is moving from letter grades to standrd based grading.

Soft SkillsIn Neosho, Missouri, the new grading system will affect kindergarten to sixth grade classes.  Subjects are broken down into standards, and students receive a score of 1 to 4 for each standard. A 4 means that the student has complete mastery of the subject, and a 1 means that the student does not understand.

Participation and behavior will be evaluated separate from academic subjects, and they remain important.

“Ultimately, the benefit as a school leader is that once you put standards in place and you have a way to assess where a student is,” said Superintendent Dan Decker. “It allows us to tailor make the education for each student.”

More challenging material can be given to student who master content more quickly.  The advantage of the new standard based grading system is that teachers can focus on areas where students struggle, and plan so that they can help them succeed. The goal is for each student to be at a 3 for each standard by the year’s end.

“It’s all about progress and learning,” said assistant superintendent of curriculum Becky Sears.

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