Schools across the United States are attempting to improve test scores and improve the way students perform. In the Denver area the latest approach is radical. No more grade levels and no more grades like their parents had.
Denver next year will be focusing on “standards-bases” learning. The plan will begin with the youngest students and then go to high schools. In time there will be 10 multiage levels instead of 12 grades. Depending on a student’s performance in subjects they could be in different levels. Students will only advance to the next step when they have mastered the material.
The Christian Science Monitor reports:
“There was a sense of urgency to attend to what wasn’t happening for kids here,” says Roberta Selleck, district superintendent, explaining why she decided to go with a drastic approach. “When you see the stats for the whole school district over time, we realized we are disconnecting [from] our kids.”
Until a child achieves what is the equivalent of a “B” in old school grading will they advance to the next stage.
The approach is already in place in the Chugach district of Alaska. Before this method was in place only one college come out of the district in 20 years. It now has a 58 graduation rate.
Selleck decided that the Denver schools could benefit from this radical approach.
The goal is to have students accomplish more in a shorter period.
There will be complications. One of which is what do do with students who have most levels at a high school level but not all.
Some time it is hoped that colleges will look at this new breed of student wondering how every graduate has a 3.0 GPA. That will be a good day in education.