The elementary report card gives an overall score for each subject area, except in the case of Kindergarten and First Grade where students receive an individual score for all areas of the subject due to its importance in early literacy. Under each reporting area, there are summaries of the clusters of standards that are included within the domain. These are summaries only and do not speak to all of the standards. You can find the complete standards on the CA Department of Education website.
Traditional grading is what most parents are used to. With traditional grading students earned a letter or number that represented a wide variety of skills and understandings in a particular subject. They may have earned extra credit, or turned in late assignments causing them to earn a lower grade. Assignments were averaged for the entire semester, including quizzes and tests that may have been low earlier in the semester, even if the child learned those skills later on. Work habits and behavior were all part of the overall grades.
Standards-based grading, on the other hand, provides parents, students, and teachers a more accurate view of a student’s progress in both academic and behavioral areas. It identifies the skills in which students are struggling, and provides a clear understanding of a student’s strengths. Standards-based grading looks at grade level standards individually, separate from student behaviors. It also acknowledges a student’s growth in their learning by emphasizing the most recent evidence of learning.