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I am a 5th grade math teacher in Queens, NY. Our first semester just ended and for the
report cards, many of my students received a level 4. However, my administration forced
me to change the level 4s to level 3s so that "growth" could be seen. My issue is that the
units throughout the year are made up of different standards so second semester grades
and first semester grades reflect different topics. Also, those students earned a level 4.
My question is have you come across the issue in schools and is there any research or
articles out there that address this issue?

Thank you



I don't know about specific research but your administration is unprofessional and wrong.
Grades are summaries of ACHIEVEMENT and the evidence you have led you to give students
4's which I assume is an accurate reflection of their current achievement (an absolute level)
GROWTH is relative and the reference point is the student - where are they now compared
to some time in the past. You achieve AT and you grow FROM. Achievement is the grading
variable and growth is a reporting variable. Given that the math concepts (presumably) get
more difficult as the year progresses students will have to grow and progress to maintain
their current level of achievement.

My one concern is that you say that there will be different topics and standards in the
second semester but in a true standards-based approach the standards should be taught
throughout the year through different topics/content.