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Montgomery Co. Doing Away With Letter Grades On Report Cards In New Curriculum

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File photo of a classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (CBS Baltimore) — Students won’t be failing classes any more in one Maryland county.

According to The Gazette, Montgomery County Public Schools is doing away with letter grades and doling out a new academic achievement system for students.

The Gazette reports that students will now start seeing ES for “exceptional,” P for “proficient,” I for “in-progress,” N for “minimal progress,” and M for “missing data,” a system based on Curriculum 2.0.

“Schools are redefining what it means to be on an honor roll,” Ebony Langford-Brown, the county’s director of elementary instruction and achievement, told the online publication. “They are making decisions about how they reward student work.”

Kindergartners through third graders will first be issued these new standards-based report cards next month, while fourth and fifth graders will be implemented in the next few years.

Langford Brown tells The Gazette that the students will be graded more on what they understand and can conceptualize, instead of getting answers right on an exam.

“The language we are using with schools is around recognizing students in a multitude of ways. But there is no mandate otherwise.”

Some parents are not warming up to the idea of not seeing a traditional grade on their child’s report card.

“It bothers some parents a lot because they want to know what to tell their child to do differently … and there’s not always guidance for that,” parent Kelley Rogers told The Washington Post.

Darnestown Elementary School Principal Laura Colgary believes schools will need to better communicate to parents what is happening with their child’s education.

“It’s helping parents to understand really what the grades mean on the report card and let them know they’re getting more information than they’re used to,” Colgary told The Washington Post.

Curriculum 2.0 will be used at 132 public schools in the county.

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