Education A National Roundup

New Mexico District Switches to Reporting ‘Performance Levels’

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 11, 2005 1 min read

The Albuquerque, N.M., public schools are phasing out the use of letter grades for K-8 students.

Instead of using the traditional A, B, C, D, and F on report cards, the 87,000-student district has begun to use “performance levels” that correspond with the state’s standards for reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. The performance levels are “emerging,” “nearing proficient,” “proficient” and “advanced.”

The new grading system is in 20 of the district’s 83 elementary schools this school year and will be extended to all elementary and middle schools over the next two years, said Rigo Chavez, the director of community relations for the district. He said the new grading system also provides written descriptions to parents of the areas in which their children are succeeding and those in which they need improvement.

The district found in developing the policy that some public school districts in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina also have moved away from using letter grades for elementary and middle schools.

A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week