Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Measurable Success

by Mike Kaechele

We had our first parent/teacher conferences at our new school last week (project based learning). I had great discussions with parents regarding standards based grading. No one has any issues when there is opportunity to "fix" any grade that is not up to their standards.

But the thing that stood out to me overall about the conferences was how happy parents and students are with our school. We have a diverse group of  100 students including previously successful students who see our school as a place to stretch their independent wings and go deep into curriculum. On the other hand we have students with labels such as ELL, EI, and ADHD with IEP's who have struggled greatly in the past. We have students receiving professional help for depression and related issues. We have students who have lots of experience with suspensions and even have been expelled previously. We have students that I am confident would end up in "alternative ed" or just drop out if they stayed in a traditional school.

by Leo Reynolds

If you just looked at "grades" you would see that some of these students are "failing" at this time. But when you talk to a parent who has been at their wits' end with their child and they say my daughter/son likes being here and is doing so much better than last year you realize that all of our students are "succeeding."

Every student may not reach grade level reading, pass every class, or receive exemplary scores on the state mandated test. Some one somewhere may label them a "failure." But I know that our students belong to our school family and are growing in ways that matter even if it isn't measured in a grade program or on a test.


  1. Great stuff Mike. Keep up the amazing work.


  2. I think we're more than just grade-givers; my recent experiences of parent-teacher meetings proved to me that when parents are on your side you can meet, manage and explain expectations far more clearly.
    I wrote about what teachers do here


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