Standards Based Education: The Big Picture
Why FWPS moving to SBE and what it means to your student
In March 2010, the Federal Way School Board adopted policy 2000, which charged the superintendent to implement a Standards-Based instruction, assessment and reporting system at all schools throughout the district.
The board determined that standards-based learning, through the establishment of challenging and appropriate learning targets in every course at each grade level, was the best approach to prepare our students with content knowledge mastery and 21st century skills.
The school district will launch its new Standards-Based Education (SBE) system in the fall of 2011.
As part of this transformation of our teaching and learning initiatives, each course at every grade level will have no more than 15 Power Standards that identify the most critical learning targets.
And grading and reporting practices will reflect a student’s academic achievement of those Power Standards.
Only scores for assessments directly tied to district-adopted standards will count toward grades. That means that quizzes, tests, research reports, major projects, writing pieces and other forms of assessment will determine grades.
Scores from practice work, homework, extra credit and classroom behavior will not be included in grades. While teachers can report separately on qualities such as effort, attendance record, participation, attitude and ability to meet deadlines, these issues will not be considered for grading purposes.
Our board made the bold move to adopt SBE because they believe it’s the right thing to do—for all students. Since SBE focuses on consistent and aligned standards for learning, students can concentrate on true mastery of a topic or skill. And teachers can invest in teaching standards that every student must learn.
In SBE, learning goals will be clear and opportunities to meet them will be varied, so students can spend less time figuring out how to navigate the success track in each individual class—and more time on real learning.
Teachers at all grade levels in every school across the district will know exactly what students should learn each year. They will now teach a manageable number of standards that will be consistent district-wide. And students can concentrate on learning skills that will last a life time—rather than memorizing facts they may forget only minutes after taking a test.
In Standards-Based Education, everyone—students, teachers and parents—will know what success looks like.
Middle School Standards Based Education (SBE)
Standards-based learning provides the foundation for 21st century learning opportunities that prepare students for today, tomorrow and the future. Learn more about what will change, and what will remain the same as Federal Way Public Schools transitions to Standards-Based Education (SBE).
What’s the same for middle school grading?
- Students will be expected to complete homework.
- Attendance will continue to be an important ingredient of success for students.
- Students will be graded using the BAME scale on daily assignments.
What’s different for middle school grading?
- Power standards have been identified for each course or content area.
- Students will be graded using the BAME (Below, Approaching, Meeting, Exceeding) scale rather than letter grades (A, B, C, F).
- Students will know what it takes to earn a Meeting or Exceeding grade for each course.
- Grades will be based on achievement only and will not include participation, effort, homework or attendance.
- Teachers, students and parents will have a common vocabulary to communicate about grading, instruction, and assessment.
More Information on Standards Based Education:
FWPS Website — Standards Based Education Information