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Standards-Based Report Card

What Is Standards-Based Grading?

Standards-based grading is a method used by teachers to measure your child’s consistent progress towards meeting the learning expectations for their grade, as determined by state standards.   Each content area is broken down into several learning expectations and measures your child’s knowledge and progress towards mastery of content taught during each marking period.  In English Language Arts, for example, you’ll see the content broken into several learning expectations: applies strategies to decode text, reads with appropriate fluency, phrasing and accuracy, etc.  The report card grade given tells you the progress of your child’s performance towards mastering grade-level expectation for that marking period.  In addition, the report card includes a section about your child’s habits for life-long learning and social development, which assesses your child’s performance levels that have a direct impact on their achievement.


How are Grades Determined?

Teachers use various measures such as tests, projects, quizzes, written assignments, student work samples, teacher observations and district assessments as evidence for determining your child’s learning throughout each marking period.  Based upon the teacher’s review, the following performance level scores are assigned:


Level 1 or “Below Standards” means your child seldom meets requirements for grade-appropriate work, demonstrates minimal understanding of learned concepts and skills, and assistance is necessary to produce work.  This lets you know that your child is struggling with grade-level learning expectations and requires additional academic interventions to support their learning.


Level 2 or “Working towards Standards” means your child meets some requirements for grade-appropriate work, is beginning to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of learned concepts and skills, and produces quality work inconsistently.  This lets you know that your child is struggling with grade-level learning expectations inconsistently and once your child masters the state standards, his/her final grade may reflect either “Meeting Standards” and/or “Exceeding Standards.”


Level 3 or “Meeting Standards” means your child meets requirements for grade-appropriate work, demonstrates knowledge and understanding of learned concepts and skills, and produces quality work.  This lets you know that your child’s ability to meet grade-level state standards should be celebrated.  You are encouraged to meet with his/her teacher to discuss how they can take further ownership of their learning and exceed grade-level learning expectations.


Level 4 or “Exceeding Standards” is achievable but may be harder to come by.  Your child can achieve this level by consistently demonstrating their ability to:

  • Meet requirements but exceed expectations for grade-appropriate work.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding but apply and extend learned concepts and skills.
  • Produce work of outstanding quality.


Does Level 4 Equate to an “A” or a Certain Percent Accurate?

No.  Levels 1-4 do not equate to letter grades, percentages, or averages.  For example, there is no mathematical/numerical formula to equate Level 4 to an “A” or “% accurate.” Level 4 means that your child produces work that demonstrates how they consistently “meets” and “exceeds” understanding the grade-level state standards for the specific marking period. 

  • Traditional-based grading would take an average of the following Math scores: 0, 45, 75, 80, 90, and 90 which is 63%. Taking the average would result in your child receiving a report card grade of Level 2 – Working towards Standards. 

*Current NY State Regents Passing Score Requirements:  0%-54%=L1    55%-64%=L2    65%-84%=L3    85%-100%=L4

  • Standards-based grading takes into account the overall distribution of these math scores. In the example provided above, 66% of the Math scores (i.e., 75, 80, 90, 90) are at 75% or above, while 33% of the Math scores (i.e., 0, 45) are at or below 45%.  This distribution of Math scores supports your child receiving a report card grade of Level 3 – Meeting Standards.


Are the Grades Cumulative from one Marking Period to Another?

No.  It is important to note that the performance level is based on the units of study, concepts, and skills taught for that marking period.  Since the grades for each marking period are not cumulative, a child’s grade may fluctuate from one marking period to the next.  Grades may increase, decrease, or remain the same as the content and skills advance in complexity over the course of the school year.


common core standards


To Learn More about Standards-Based Report Cards:

  • Click here to view the following presentation, Standards-Based Grading: Grades That Show What Your Child Knows!
  • Contact your child’s teacher
  • Contact the principal:
    • John Singleton, Clear Stream Avenue School – 434-3550
    • Erin Malone, Forest Road School – 434-3800
    • Dr. Alejandro Rivera, Shaw Avenue School – 434-3700