Proficiency Based Learning
Grades are important, but we have to ask “How Important?”
A former colleague of mine, Jonathan Raup used to say, “It all changes when there’s a transcript.”
And for secondary students, it does. The transcript is viewed as the entry platform to the future. It is with the transcript that student gain access to employment, to training, to college, and maybe to graduate schools.
The methodology of recording grades in transcripts is very important. On the one hand, we have the more “traditional” methods based on letter grades like “A,” “B,” and “C.” On the other hand we have more modern methods based on the proficiency model and frequently seen as a notation of “1,” “2,” “3” and “4.”
If the “1-4” method of grading is used as a recording of how a student is doing in a class, then we have missed the point - entirely missed the point of proficiency based grading.
Proficiency Based Grading is intended to “rate” a student based on the level of achievement of a “standard,” the ability to complete a defined skill. The “1-4” system is not intended to “rank” a student as a method to determine who knows what content best.
Somehow they have been all mixed up, and the original focus of Proficiency Based Grading lost.
The entire beauty of ALPS by Gryphondale is that it can do both. The Assessment and Learning Profile System (ALPS) can tell the “numeric” story of traditional grading and the “narrative” story of proficiency based grading. With two completely unique transcripts, ALPS provides parents, employers, and college admissions officers with the kind of information they need.