There are four essential components of a standards-based teaching, learning, assessment and reporting system:
- Content Standards – describe what a student should know and be able to do at a given grade level.
- Standards-based Curriculum – the teaching plan to ensure that Instruction targets the content standards.
- Assessments – measurements to see if students have met the content standards for their grade level.
- Standards-based Report Card – allows teachers to communicate a student’s progress on content standards at specific points in the year.
The standards-based Report Card does not give a traditional letter grade (A, B, C, D, U). Instead, proficiency levels are given for each standard taught and assessed during that marking period.
Academic Proficiency Scale
- AD - Advanced
- PR - Proficient
- BA - Basic
- MI - Minimal
Students with Special Needs
All students must be graded according to grade level standards, in line with their peers, on the grade level report card. Proficiency levels given on the new Standards-based Report Card must be based on expectations for that grade level. This means any student performing below grade level CANNOT receive a PR-Proficient or AD-Advanced in any content area, including reading. For students with special needs, the IEP Progress Report informs parents about their child’s progress toward IEP goals and is included with the mailing of every report card. Students whose IEP includes modified standards will receive an alternate report card based on Common Core Essential Elements (CCEE). See the specific handbook that accompanies the CCEE report card.
Early Childhood Scale and Explanation
Students in grades K3 and K4 are assessed based on the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS). Students are evaluated based on expected developmentally appropriate progress at that particular point in the school year. In other words, students who receive a “3” or “Usually” are performing at the level expected for their grade level at this point in the school year. Students receiving “2” or “Sometimes” are performing below the level expected for their grade level at this point in the school year.
Students in the Bilingual Program
Students in the Bilingual Program are Spanish-speaking students working to achieve the skills of understanding, speaking, reading and writing in two languages, one of which is English. The goal is greater success in Spanish and English, along with the understanding of customs and values of the cultures associated with the two languages being taught. The premise is to foster continued development and retention of a child’s literacy skills in their native language and to utilize the language as a vehicle for exploring and acquiring a second language.
Students in the Bilingual program are graded according to grade-level standards in line with their peers on the grade-level report card. There will be an additional line in the reading section that states, “Your child has transitioned to reading in English” with a Yes or No indicator.
English Language Learners (ELL)
Milwaukee Public Schools recognizes the continuum of language development within the four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing with six English language proficiency levels. These levels describe a learner’s progression from knowing little to no English to acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful in an English-only mainstream classroom without extra support. Students’ English language proficiency levels fall within this continuum.
- Level 1: Entering
- Level 2: Beginning
- Level 3: Developing
- Level 4: Expanding
- Level 5: Bridging
- Level 6: Reaching
All English Language Learners (ELL) must acquire the English skills necessary for academic success and ultimately for success in a global, multicultural and multilingual society. Consequently, ELL students are graded according to grade level standards in line with their peers on the grade level report card.
Students Learning a World Language
World Language Courses are designed to prepare students for citizenship in a multicultural, multilingual global community. These courses promote proficiency in languages along with knowledge of cultures and literature. The standards in world language courses include:
- Interpersonal — active negotiation of meaning among individuals
- Interpretive-Reading — interpretation of meaning, including cultural, that occur in reading
- Interpretive-Listening — interpretation of meaning, including cultural, that occur in listening
- Presentational-Writing — creation of written messages that facilitates interpretation by an audience
- Presentational-Speaking — creation of oral messages that facilitates interpretation by an audience