Frequently Asked Questions

September 12, 2017

Parent Meeting - Target Based Grading/MS & HS

1.Does a score of 3 mean perfection?  

No.  A score of 3 means your child has demonstrated content proficiency and skill application of the outcomes for the particular target at this point in the school year. Please see the descriptions below.

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2.Is this change about valedictorians? 

No.  Target based grading is all about providing a clear snapshot of a student’s proficiency on academic and behavioral skills at a particular time.

3.Can a student only earn a 3 at the end of the year?

            A student may demonstrate proficiency on a target at anytime within the school year. The complexity of the target may change over time, but the score students are receiving is based on the desired expectation at that point in time.

4.What is the correlation between the “new” system and the “old” system?

Based on the work of a team of teachers from the middle school and high school, as well as administrators from the district, data from both buildings was used to create the new scale. After examining many options for what scale to use, the scale below is representative of the great correlation between the previous scale using percentages and the 12 point scale and the current scale being used for our target-based grading system.

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5.Was there a financial motivation for the school?

No.  No dollars are associated with using or not using a target based grading system.

6.Is there data indicating this is successful?

        Since moving to a target-based grading and reporting approach, Winneconne’s assessment scores have continued to increase. Most recent scores will be provided to all stakeholders in the community in early October.

7.Do colleges/universities accept this grading system?

        Yes.  Many universities use a similar grading scale.  The high school transcript will still look like it did in previous years in terms of course grades.

8. Is there a certain amount of targets required in each curriculum area?

        No.  This is up to the teacher(s).

9.How does target based grading make better students/prepare students better for college?

Our number one goal for our students is to ensure they learn. This process gives students opportunities to clearly understand what they know and what their struggles may be. By ensuring kids learn, we are confident that will lead to less gaps in their learning as they move onto college or career after high school.

10.Can a student exceed a 3?

        No.  A proficiency score of a 3 is the highest level of attainment.

11.Can you retake a summative assessment?

Yes.  A student may reassess on target(s) after they have demonstrated new evidence of learning on that target.

12.How do teachers feel about the system?

Overall, the teachers have embraced the change.  They recognize the importance of learning versus a final grade.

13.What made us identify this a needed change?

Six years ago, we started looking at our grading practices.  As we learned, it became more and more apparent that students’ grades should be based on how well they comprehend a specific target at a point in time and not a percentage of work completed or an average of scores from one point in time to the next.  Target-based proficiency grading empowers students to understand their own learning strengths and areas that need improvement.  Students get direct and timely feedback on the areas/skills that they need to focus on.

14.  Why isn’t homework included in the academic grade?

Homework is a tool that helps learning (practice).  We do not want to penalize students when going through the learning process. Homework completion is assessed in the student’s behavioral/life skills grade.