How do you explain this discrepancy to parents?

Posted: July 9th, 2022

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This week’s discussion is a real-world scenario. It’s parent-teacher conference time and you have two pieces of data to go over with the parents: the report card that you created and the assessment results from a standardized test (such as Georgia Milestones, etc.). So far, so good, right?
Here’s the tricky part. The report card and the test report don’t match. They say completely opposite things. For example, a child scores really high on the Milestones in language arts, but the report card grade is a C (or a 2 if you are using a standards-based report card where the score could range from 1-4). The opposite could be true as well. Imagine that the student earned an A in your math class, but an End of Grade exam report puts them at beginning steps in the course content. (And it has happened – my oldest scored Developing Learner on her 7th grade Georgia Milestones for Math this year, but earned a 7 out of 8 for the course at her IB public middle school.)
How do you explain this discrepancy to parents? How do you explain this discrepancy to your students? To your administrator? (And if you have been on the other side of the table, you may want to add how you have raised the issue with teachers, administrators, etc.)

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