|[March 19, 2014]
MasteryConnect Releases Mastery Report Card to Help Teachers and Parents Shift from Letter Grades to Mastery-Based Grading
SALT LAKE CITY --(Business Wire)--
Education technology company MasteryConnect announced today that it has
reinvented the student report card, shifting the paradigm from letter
grades to what students know and don't know. The new Mastery Report Card
has been piloted with select K-12 educators and is now being released to
schools across the country.
"What does a 'B' mean?" That's the question Willard, Missouri,
superintendent Kent Medlin took to his faculty last year as they were
contemplating revising report cards across the district. Medlin found
that grades lacked consistency from one class to another. "The letter
grade 'B' means one thing for one teacher and another thing for another
teacher," Medlin said. He came to the conclusion that "the grade card,
and how we communicate learning to parents, had to change."
Medlin's district recently piloted the new Mastery Report Card designed
and developed by MasteryConnect, which provides K-12 curriculum and
assessment tools for teachers. The response from parents, educators,
board members and the students themselves has been positive. Medlin
feels like they have taken a significant step to level the playing
field. "We are laying dramatic amounts of information at their feet to
help them understand their student's learning."
Based, in part, on the success of the Willard Public Schools pilot,
MasteryConnect is publicly launching its new Mastery Report Card, which
features a percentage of "standards mastered" in the place of
traditional A-F letter grades. The Mastery Report Card looks more like a
Google (News - Alert) Analytics dashboard than the traditional letter grade format,
with circle graphs, bar charts and green, yellow and red indicators to
show exactly which standards the students have mastered and which ones
they need help on. "The way we teach our kids and track their
performance has changed," Medlin said. "It's time the report card
Willard County, Missouri, may be leading the way on report cards, but
they are part of a much broader trend. State and Common Core standards
initiatives across the country have een pushing districts and
administrators to find ways to track student performance of individual
standards. The traditional method of rolling points from things like
homework, quizzes and tests into a term average could not adequately
convey what students know and don't know relative to these new
standards. The state of Maine recently announced that they will be
moving all of their K-12 schools to "proficiency-based reporting" by
There's even a coordinated effort by a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
partner and non-profit called The Learning Accelerator to get colleges
and universities to accept mastery-based reporting in lieu of
traditional GPAs for admissions purposes. "We are excited to see growing
momentum towards mastery-based transcripts, " said Scott Ellis, The
Learning Accelerator's CEO. "We are starting to see a correlation
between students who have been assessed based on standards and their
readiness to take responsibility for their own learning, which is
something universities increasingly value."
Trenton Goble, co-founder and chief learning officer at MasteryConnect,
sees a trend: "The Mastery Report Card has tremendous potential to help
not just the parents and the teachers but the students themselves focus
on what they need to learn," Goble said. "A student who gets a 'B'
thinks, 'OK, I'm doing well enough,' but a student who gets an 85
percent mastery of standards taught asks, 'What's in the 15 percent?
What am I missing?' Those are powerful questions. And the answers are
right there on the report card."
"If a parent understands that their son or daughter needs help with
ratios," said Danielle Sellenriek, curriculum director for Willard
Public Schools, "they can do a lot with their student at home to help
make up the gap. This is about getting everyone on the same playing
field and identifying where the work needs to be done."
One of the challenges for educators looking to create mastery-based
report cards has always been succinctly conveying a much larger volume
of information than the typical A-F format required. With this in mind,
the Mastery Report Card provides an intuitive, color-coded visual
depiction of mastery term-by-term or year-to-date. The Mastery Report
Card can also be customized to provide other information, such as
attendance, work habits, behavior and more. "This feels like a real
game-changer for students, educators and parents," said Medlin.
The release of the Mastery Report Card comes on the heels of the
company's recent news that it had secured an additional $3.425 million
in funding from its Series A investors, including Catamount Ventures,
the Michael & Susan Dell (News - Alert) Foundation, Deborah Quazzo of GSV Advisors and
Learn Capital. The past year also saw the release of MasteryConnect's
Resource Pins platform that allows teachers to find and share
standards-aligned resources and materials. MasteryConnect also released
its Next Generation Science Standards app in partnership with the
National Science Teachers Association, and its popular Common Core app
is fast approaching one million downloads. In December 2013,
MasteryConnect became a featured app partner with Microsoft (News - Alert) Education.
MasteryConnect is a market leader in curriculum, assessment and
mastery learning tools for K-12. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah,
MasteryConnect makes it simple for teachers to share standards-aligned
assessments and resources, track student mastery of state and Common
Core standards, and collaborate in a global professional learning
community. The MasteryConnect learning platform is currently used by
more than 36,000 schools and 10,000 districts in the U.S. For more
information on MasteryConnect, visit www.masteryconnect.com.
For more information on the new Mastery Report Card, including a
video presentation, visit www.masteryconnect.com/reportcard.
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