SBE Parent Information
Developing a standards-based curriculum and shifting toward standards-reflected grades requires changes in the way teachers teach and in the way schools view education. The shift to standards-based education is perhaps one of the most comprehensive and complex endeavors the public educational system has experienced in over 100 years.
Because change is challenging and because the education field requires constant reflection and revision, the documents and practices that exist today could very well change throughout the years. Please be assured that any changes are based on reflection, research, and effective practices, leading to a greater understanding of how students learn, and are always made with the best interests of students in mind.
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”
-- Heraclitus --
Introduction and History
BPS believes that giving students and parents honest and accurate information regarding their progress on both academic and success skills is a key factor in creating passionate, successful, lifelong learners.
In 2007-2008, Bismarck Public Schools (BPS) started implementing standards-based education (SBE) and reporting practices with incoming kindergarten students. BPS currently uses standards-based reporting in grades K-8, which means students receive number scores based on their level of proficiency within a specific standard.
High school students will need letter grades for the foreseeable future; thus, there is no current plan to exchange letter grades for number scores (4, 3, 2, 1) at the high school level. Maintaining letter grades as the method of reporting, however, does not change the practices of a standards-based classroom where grades or scores are based on student achievement of academic knowledge, skills, and processes; where grades are a reflection of what students know and can do in relation to the standards.