Revere Public Middle School Discusses Change in Grading

During a ZOOM meeting last Tuesday Revere Public School Superintendent Dr. Dianne Kelly and Revere educators Dr. Christina Porter and Dr. Matt Costa discussed an ongoing plan to switch from traditional grading at the middle school level to the more modern ‘standards-based’ or mastery grading system.

Two weeks ago Revere Principal Dr. John Perella discussed making the same change at Revere High so there’s a real push now to move away from traditional grading in the district.

“We have spent several years working on this,” said Dr. Kelly. “Now with COVID and remote learning we have spent the last few months really trying to make this work.”

As part of the Grading System Subcommittee team Dr. Porter and Dr. Costa has been working with a group of middle school teachers and administrators to weigh the pros and cons of making the switch from traditional grading to standards-based grading.

Standards-based grading (SBG) is an intentional way for teachers to track their students’ progress and achievements while focusing on helping students learn and reach their highest potential. It is based on students showing signs of mastery or understanding various lessons and skills. Standards-based grading is a way to view student progress based on proficiency levels for identified standards rather than relying on a letter grade that represents the sole measure of achievement.

Dr. Costa said part of the problem with traditional grading are the system’s shortcomings that focus more on the grade and not the ultimate level of mastery for a student.

Both Dr. Costa and Dr. Porter said there will be no change overnight and the district will hold a town hall-style meeting with school principals and the community later this month or early November to get feedback and discuss next steps for changing the Middle School grading system for the 2021/2022 school year.

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