The above chart is provided to help teachers apply the proposed B.C. Proficiency Scale by converting the new proposed scale with the current system of letter grades. Teachers will need to understand how the new scale converts to the current grading scale if the proposed new reporting system is adopted by the government.
The adoption of the B.C. Proficiency Scale would not only replace letter grades for students in grades K to 10 but would also change the “what and how” of reporting student progress or attainment of curricular goals for each subject and grade. Read the background section below for more information on how the B.C. Proficiency Scale converts to the current letter grade system.
The Draft K–12 Student Reporting Policy includes several proposed changes in grading and reporting. Some of these changes may increase teacher workload. Other changes may alter how teachers report student progress and how standards are applied in educational settings. The proposed changes would also fundamentally alter how student work is used to demonstrate mastery of curricular goals.
Currently, student work provides the basis for determining the level of mastery of curricular goals that a student has attained. The B.C. Performance Standards provide a set of examplers and descriptions for what is considered “grade level” for a subject and grade. Student work is marked according to a scale that ranges from “minimally acceptable” to “outstanding or excellent”. Attainment below “minimally acceptable” is not at “grade level” and therefore does not meet the criteria for passing a given subject or course. Between the levels of “minimally acceptable” and “outstanding or excellent” are “satisfactory”, “good”, and “very good”.
The current approach is based on the following principles:
- Student work is compared to performance standards (such as to exemplars, rubrics, criteria, etc.)
- The teacher determines, based on evidence provided by the student, if a student has gained mastery of the curricular goals for a given subject and grade (in order to pass a course)
- If work is at or above grade level for a given subject (passing), that means that the student has gained mastery (at or above the minimal required level) – next the teacher determines the level of performance (C-, C, C+, B, or A)
The proposed new approach bases reporting on demonstration of understanding. The highest level of understanding is “sophisticated”. This is markedly different from “outstanding or excellent” as markers of the of quality of a student’s performance or work.
The conversion chart (above) is meant to help explain how the two different scales compare. Given that one scale is performance-based and the other is based on level of understanding, the two scales do not directly convert. But both scales do indicate level of mastery. For the proposed new scale, “emerging” would indicate an I or F in the letter grade scale. That is because for a student to only demonstrate an “initial” understanding would not indicate mastery for the subject and grade. Some teachers would consider a “partial” understanding to be below mastery as well, in which case a teacher would consider “developing” to be below passing as well. Each teacher will want to convert between the two scales based on their professional determination and the specific context.