SBR Frequently Asked Questions

What is standards-based reporting?

In a standards-based system, teachers report what students know and are able to do in relation to the state and national standards. Although the terms standards-based assessment and standards-based grading are also used, District 28 has opted for the standards-based reporting (SBR) designation.

What is the purpose of standards-based reporting?

The purpose of standards-based reporting it to clearly communicate students’ progress towards learning standards in a timely, fair, and specific manner. SBR accurately communicates student achievement to students, parents, and educators.  

What benefits does standards-based reporting offer?
  • Standards-based reporting offers many benefits. Specifically, it:
  • All students are learning the same thing in the same subject at the same time.
  • Provides clear communication and expectations regarding student progress toward trimester learning standards that is accurate, fair, specific and timely
  • Separate work habits and behavior from academic skills.
  • Shifts the focus toward mastery of essential learning standards and away from the accumulation of points toward a grade on a report card
  • Students will receive more targeted instruction based on their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Encourages students to reflect on and take responsibility for their own learning

  • What disadvantages are associated with standards-based reporting?
    Change is difficult. Becoming accustomed to a new way of reporting student performance will take time for all stakeholders: students, parents, and educators. Having thoroughly reviewed the research on SBR before embarking on this change, however, we are convinced that the temporary discomfort is worthwhile. Indeed, there is no evidence that quality assessment practices, aligned curriculum, increased rigor, descriptive feedback, clearly articulated standards, and assessment for learning will harm students.

    What is the key difference between standards-based reporting and traditional grading?
    Standards-based reporting communicates how students are performing on a set of clearly defined learning standards. Rather than providing a single mark for a course, student performance on several key standards is reported. In the past, common practice has been to average student performance on assessments and various assignments throughout a grading period. However, averaging grades does not communicate how a student performs on standards-based learning. A student who struggles on a learning standard at the beginning of a grading period, but knows and demonstrates clear understanding of the standard by the end of the grading period, should receive a grade that reflects that understanding.

    How does standards-based reporting encompass special student populations?
    SBR is equally applicable for special student populations. A student's IEP teams determine what, if any, adaptations are necessary for a student to master grade-level expectations. Students with accommodations will be instructed with those accommodations and then graded using grade level standards-based grading rubrics. Students who have modified grade level expectations will be graded against modified grading rubrics. Report cards and progress reports will indicate if this is the case.

    How are student work habits reflected in standards-based reporting?
    There is a clear correlation between strong work habits and student learning. However, work habits are not inherently part of learning standards. As such, Characteristics of a Successful Student such as work habits, communication and collaboration, and independence/initiative will be communicated separately from the degree to which a student has mastered the learning standards.

    How will standards-based reporting affect the placement of eighth graders as they enter high school?
    NBJH teachers and staff will continue to work closely with their high school counterparts to ensure that students are placed appropriately. Placement will be based on several factors, including classroom performance data, Characteristics of a Successful Student, and standardized tests (i.e. TerraNova).

    What is the timeline for implementation of standards-based reporting in District 28?
    Be assured that SBR implementation will be thoughtfully designed to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. Toward that end, the Standards-Based Reporting Committee, comprised of representatives from all four schools in the district, is completing its second year of behind-the-scenes preparation. Some teachers have voluntarily elected to pilot SBR during the school year. While a decision regarding district-wide implementation is pending, the earliest possible roll out will be the 2017-2018 school year.