Colorado school district does away with grade levels

while trying ti improve education is a good thing, it is common sense that change for the sake of change can be bad. i dont see this program lasting too long.

when the elementary and middle-school students come back next fall, there won’t be any grade levels – or traditional grades, for that matter

On one recent day, that included a quiz on telling time. Namba has the student who received the only perfect score help some of the others. “Cristian knows how to tell time,” he says. “He’s available to help others.”

so instead of teaching the smart kid something new, they have him do the teachers job for them?

Scheduling is a big one. It’s also unclear what will happen if large numbers of kids arrive in high school still unable to demonstrate proficiency in certain subjects, like math, and a bottleneck gets created. Since no student can move forward without a “B” equivalent, it’s also essentially impossible for students to have lower than a 3.0 GPA, which could be a challenge to explain to colleges.

this bottleneck idea is where i see the biggest problem coming in.

full article:


**Colorado school district does away with grade levels **


Well, seeing as how many school systems have done away with teaching, ya might as well drop the charade of grading. :rolleyes:

I don’t see a real problem with this, it will definatelty take alot of relearning on the educators part…rather than teaching to one particular level you are looking at each individual student and teaching them where they are and to their potential…some will be learning at a higher rate & some may need to take a slower approach…alot of excellent charter schools are multiage classrooms and alot of homeschoolers are not in a particular “grade” but mastering skills and gaining knowledge none the less and most above average. I think is has excellent possibilites and I wish them well.

We have a problem every time someone asks my son what grade he is in. He always looks to me for the answer.

Because he is in 9th grade Math and Science, 8th grade History, 7th grade English. We home school. Not being in one grade is what most kids need.

My idea is that everyone has the same subject at the same time. This class is 1st grade, the next is 2nd and so on. When you pass the class you are in, you move on. That could happen in Jan or June or next year. I am sure it would cause a lot of problems, but I bet it would solve more.

in big schools that might work, but i dont think it could in smaller ones with only 1-5 teachers per grade. unless every teacher is qualified/certified(dont know which if either is the proper word) it could be bad. what do you do if a school with 100 kids breaks down to 5 kids at a fifth grade level 5 at fourth and 90 at third? very extreme and unlikely i know, but it is a logistical issue that should be addressed and planned for.

i see more problems at a junior high and high school level.

And they are allowed to keep learning, not teaching their classmates or having to take a “slower approach.”

from the article

On one recent day, that included a quiz on telling time. Namba has the student who received the only perfect score help some of the others. “Cristian knows how to tell time,” he says. “He’s available to help others.”

seems like Cristian is getting a raw deal. maybe they’ll let him into the teachers union.

There’s a lot more to the story, the other side of the coin, as it were.

Adam 50 School District is in trouble. They are failing to reach their students. Unlike Boulder or Cherry Creek School Districts, who are predominately “white collar” districts—much better tax base for schools. Adams 50 is “blue collar”, and pretty much, English is the second language in this area. Tax base not as good.

The no grade level idea is (Standard-based Education) is modeled after the program in Chugach, Alaska, a school district which produced 1 student, who went to college in 20 years. In the Chugach School District in Alaska, composite score on standardized achievement tests soared from the 28th percentile to the 71st percentile in five years.

Other notable scores:
Reading: 43 point increase
Math: 24 point increase

At least Adams 50 is trying to do something.

Will the program work?? I have no idea, but I pray it does. The kids need something.

I’m live in Colorado. The Yahoo article fails to cover some of the finer points.

if only because its failing would hurt many kids, i hope it works too. i doubt it, but itd be nice.

on the source. i know they tend to not give youy everything, and i couldnt find another, but i thought it was too interesting to pass up.

i still feel bad for little cristian though.

They expect a large elementary school to operate like an old-fashioned one-room schoolhouse? I would have to see this.
I have huge doubts that it will work, because most teachers
won’t know what to do with it. One inhibiter will be egalitarianism which won’t allow the development of a natural hierarchy, where some kids will dominant others, as in a street gang, or as so often happens on the playground where the teacher keeps a loose reign.

I don’t think it’s so much like a one-room schoolhouse but more that there will still be “grades”, but broken down by subject matter, if I understand the article correctly. Like the article said, there could be bottlenecks at certain subject levels, or rather, more like you might have 800 kids taking Trigonometry, but 15 taking Calculus. I guess in theory, it’s like taking a college course over again while moving up in everything else. In fact, come to think of it, it does seem more like college.

[quote=maryjk]We have a problem every time someone asks my son what grade he is in. He always looks to me for the answer.

Because he is in 9th grade Math and Science, 8th grade History, 7th grade English. We home school. Not being in one grade is what most kids need.

Reminds me of looking at my California Aptitude (or was it Achievement?) Test results in 3rd grade. It said I was something like 4th, 6th, and 10th grade in certain areas. (I think it was Math, Science and Reading.)

I guess I can see one good thing in this is that kids would be able to take classes at their level. The disadvantage is that kids won’t always be around kids their age (socializing at this age is pretty important).

I agree with this approach. I think the current system is flawed and grades and GPAs do not accurately reflect a student’s abilities. With this style of education, students can move forward on their own level and pace. This is better than the current practices of grade-skipping or being left back a grade.

maryjk, is right. This approach does resemble homeschooling in a way and some statistics do show homeschooled students are better off.

I’m not sure if it’s the homeschooling program that’s better, or the fact that homeschooling is usually one-on-one (or maybe 5-10 kids max - small class sizes). I remember reading about a very, very small school (a small town with only two students) who both got a perfect score on the SAT.

Another problem does come to mind… you could have 20 classes (with varying subjects) with 2-5 kids (meaning, 20 teachers), but the lower “grade” classes might have 2-4 classes with 20-50 students (2-4 teachers). That means, you’ll actually need MORE teachers for higher level classes just to teach one or two classes…

Ever hear about the lady cannibal who went to the cannibal delicatessen to get something special for her husband’s birthday?

The butcher says, “How about a nice brain pudding? We got three specials this week. Over here, we got mathmetician’s brains for $1.98 a pound. Then down here, we got physicist’s brains for $2.18 a pound. And right down here, we got school administrator’s brains for $763.75 a pound.”

“Wait a minute,” the lady cannibal says, “How come so much for the school administrator’s brains?”

“Lady,” the butcher sighs, “Do you have any idea how many school administrators we have to kill just to get a pound of brains?”

Ohhhh, I don’t think, Cristian minded at all. I remember, my nephews at that age, bragging rights to being the best! Ohhh, myyyyy!

yeah that part im sure he is fine with. i was more reffering to him having to do the teachers job instead of learning something new.

This is a common technique in the “enlightened” (i.e. ridiculous and devoid of common sense) view of public schools today. When I taught high school math in public schools, I once had a student who was literally a genius. He was the most intelligent student I ever had. Once I saw that he was scoring 99 or 100%on everything we did in Algebra (andwhen he scored 99% he would come to me to figure out his mistake and apologize!), I allowed him to work at his own pace and go way ahed of the rest of the class. I asked the science teacher what she was doing to accomodate his amazing ability. Her answer was that when he finished his work, she was having him tutor the Special Education student in the class.

So instead of having the best and the brightest live up to their potential and become the future leaders of America as we used to do, the public schools are now using them as cheap labor. They are basically holding them back and refusing to acknowledge natural human variation and natural ability. This is one reason why neither myself or my children will ever set foot in a public school again (God willing and barring some kind of necessity resulting from near-starvation or homelessness.)

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