How It’s Different
Proficiency scores can’t be compared to the traditional letter grade system many parents are familiar with.
Traditional letter grades show a student’s performance on a list of tasks, such as homework, quizzes, participation, tests, etc. It compares students against a classroom average or a percentage range, but it doesn’t show if a student is learning what they need to learn every year to stay on track…proficiency scoring does show this.
Proficiency scores show how much a student has learned in relation to an end-of-year standard. It also shows how much further they have to go before they meet the standard.
In a proficiency-based scoring system, student scores are based on progress toward achieving year-end content standards. For this reason, proficiency scoring is sometimes referred to as “standards-based grading.”
How Proficiency Grading Helps
Because proficiency scoring shows progress toward standards, proficiency scoring helps increase student learning. It helps teachers find gaps in learning and focus instruction in those areas.
It’s a way for teachers to individualize instruction and meet each student’s unique needs and allows each student to make progress toward the year-end learning goal at a pace that matches their individual learning style.
How It Works
Proficiency scores at the elementary level are reported on a scale of 1 to 4. A score of 3 means the student has mastered a standard, or reached proficiency.
The goal is for students to reach at least a score of 3 (proficient) by the end of the school year after all instruction about a standard has been given.