Citizens of Ankeny originally lobbyed for the following goals. The items in red are the result of a years worth of efforts by parents, teachers, and the school board to get the administration to fix known problems. The spirit of our goals were for teachers to be given back the flexibility needed to teach our kids and no longer be mandated to follow theory-based standards that were forced on them by the administration.
- Completely eliminate the 1-4 grading method immediately in secondary schools (8-12). It does not allow for specificity in grading, and the teachers' interpretation of the "Advanced" or "Mastery" level required to earn a 4 is extremely stringent in most cases, making the "A" grade difficult to achieve. New 2014/15 District Guidelines: Letter grades will be assigned for all courses at the secondary level based on the 0-100 percent scale. The decision whether or not to use a rubric will be determined at the PLC level. Prior to utilizing rubrics with a 1-4 scale for a summative assessement, the rubric will be approved by the building administration and instructional team from content and accuracy.
- Define a minimum % weight that homework, or "practice", will still factor into the semester grade for each class. Traditionally, homework has been around 25-30%, so using a 15% weighting of homework would be a significant reduction and allow us to analyze the impact. This would be a weighting large enough to impact the grade, thus encouraging students to complete the practice that reinforces learning, while not large enough to "make" the grade. New 2014/15 District Guidelines: Homework will be calculated into a student's final grade at a weight between 0-20%. This weight will be determined at the Professional Learning Community (PLC) level and will not be required to be at 0%.
- Determine a test retake policy. Define the proportion of tests a student can retake per semester, class, etc., or, as an alternative, the number of times a test may be retaken. (What does Rick Wormeli's book "Fair Is Not Aways Equal" say?) New 2014/15 District Guidelines: Generally, reassessments will be limited to one retake per assessment. Additional reasssessments will be provided at the discretion of the teacher.
- Limit any secondary-level experimentation of SBG to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. This protects high school students' GPAs from any negative impacts if implementation and practices that don't work out as the theory implies as well as not making changes for students who have used a traditional grading system throughout their schooling. This goal was not accomplished and SBG is being "unpacked" in 9th-12th grades.
- Develop a written risk assessment and implementation plan that is open to public comment and approval. This includes researching schools where successes and failures were experienced in order to learn from them. New 2014/15 District Guidelines: See the "Implementation Expectations" section of the disctrict guideline document.