Some Milwaukee schools moving away from letter grades
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Public Schools has moved away from traditional grades for elementary and K-8 students, and is rating them instead on a different system.
The standards-based report card offers four grades - advanced, proficient, basic, and minimal. Teachers want every student to achieve proficency in a given subject.
The new report card was actually in use for most of MPS' elementary and K-8 schools last year. Some schools have been using it for even longer, according to MPS spokesman Tony Tagliavia.
"The old system wasn't measuring how well students were mastering actual concepts," Tagliavia says. "Now we're telling students and parents, 'Here's how your doing at multiplication and here's how your doing at division. There's not just one grade for all of math."
TODAY'S TMJ4 asked parents if the system makes the grade.
"It gives kids a chance who fall through the cracks to achieve success," says one parent. "Maybe Johnny didn't get an A, but there are other ways to measure his success."
The feedback about the student's "work habits, behavior and efforts" will be on a separate area of the report card.
The school district is only using the grades in K-8 because traditional letter grades factor into grade point averages, which are still used for most college admissions.
Other local school districts have already made the shift to the new grading system, including Oak Creek, Grafton, Kettle Moraine and Wauwatosa.