Alert Solutions Blog

Bad Grades Might Lead to Less Money for Tennessee Families

Posted by Cassie Breen on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 @ 12:06 PM

The importance of K-12 student grades is no secret.  K-12 student grades affect college acceptance, student graduation and teachers’ evaluations.  However, in Tennesee, one more thing could be added to the list in the future: welfare.

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Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (R) wants to cut welfare payments to families whose K-12 kids have significantly poor report card and test score grades.  According to a recent article, he thinks this is a great way to “break the cycle of poverty,” and is pushing for this to become state law.  The state places a large emphasis on K-12 grades.  When those grades are consistently poor, teachers and students are mostly held accountable. Senator Campfield believes parents should have a responsibility as well.

This law would stipulate that parents whose children do not make “satisfactory” progress in school could lose up to 30-percent of their welfare benefits.  This coincides with the current Tennessee law that states up to 20-percent of benefits can
be taken from families whose children do not have acceptable school attendance.

This law could greatly affect numerous people in the state of Tennessee, as many low income families rely on these benefits.  School administrators, teachers, students and student families will have to work together to minimize poor grades in K-12 classes.  By monitoring K-12 attendance rates and student grades while having an effective form of communication in place between the school and parents, both student grades and attendance could drastically improve.

Do you think welfare should be affected by K-12 student grades?  Share your thoughts on our blog!

Topics: grading, power announcement, powerschool, education

School Districts Change the A, B, C’s of Student Report Cards

Posted by Cassie Breen on Tue, Apr 09, 2013 @ 15:04 PM

It’s time again to send out report cards for many school districts across the nation.  As the third quarter comes to a close, teachers are submitting their grades and comments, and report cards are being distributed to student families 

Many school administrators have been working to change student report cards throughout recent years. Grades used to be universally distributed with the letters A, B, C, D, or F to describe student performance, but with standardize testing becoming more and more relevant, many schools are modifying their grading systems to coincide. 

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New grading systems are increasingly being seen on student report cards and have been integrated into schools across the country. These grading systems have been making a more widespread appearance, especially in elementary schools, adding more complexity into the grading of these young learners.  According to educations, these new grading systems will better gauge student progress.

Montgomery County, MD is one example whose district’s 132 elementary schools now use a new standards-based grading system  for report cards.  Under the new system, curriculum learning standards are grouped into measurement topics.  For example, social studies is now divided into several measurement topics, including culture, geography, and history.

The new system takes the letter grades of A, B, C, etc. and creates new letter grades for report cards which include:

  • P  - meeting grade-level standards

  • I – in progress to meeting grade-level standards

  • N – not yet making progress or making minimal progress

In addition to regular curriculum material, learning skills will similarly be graded.  There will also be charts and graphs, depending on grade level, detailing how a student is doing. 

Although this more complex grading system is seen by educators as a better way of explaining a student’s progress with regards to new curriculum and standardized testing requirements, there are still some concerns.

One major concern for school districts is whether or not using these new, multifaceted grading systems will be understood by the students themselves or their parents when they receive the report card.  Most parents and students understand what A, B, C’s stand for in grading, but there is fear that P, I, N’s and other letter combinations now being used in report cards may not be well-read. 

Does your school use a new grading system? Share your experiences on our blog!


Topics: report cards, grading, power announcement, powerschool, education

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