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Milwaukee Public Schools drop letter grades for K-8 students

A guest teacher facilitates a discussion in an Explorations classroom. By DanielbdaDirector (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A guest teacher facilitates a discussion in an Explorations classroom. By DanielbdaDirector (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee Public Schools are the latest in Wisconsin to drop "A" to "F" letter grades for kindergarten through 8th graders. 

Instead, those kids are under a new evaluation system, which shows how proficient they are in meeting standards for their particular grade levels.  

Milwaukee school officials say the idea is to get a better handle on a student's academic performance, by leaving disciplinary factors out of the equation -- things like zeroes for turning in homework late, or bad behavior in class.  

The disciplinary factors will have their own grades, on a scale of 1 t -4. The new system is called "standards based" grading. 

Among other things, it's designed to be aligned with the new Common Core educational standards that Wisconsin is adopting. 

District spokesman Tony Tagliavia says it's a better way to assess student learning, so they can stay on track for college and career training. It's more difficult for high schools to drop the "A" to "F" system, because it determines grade point averages needed to apply for college.

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