PA Core Standards and Progress Reports

    Grades Kindergarten, 1, and 2



    What are PA Core Standards?

    A set of standards defining the knowledge and concepts/skills that students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade need to master each year to be prepared for the next grade, and ultimately college or work.

    What is a standards-based progress report?

    A standards-based progress report lists the most important concepts/skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. For example, in writing, a second-grade progress report might list these skills:


    ·         Capitalize proper nouns.

    ·         Use commas and apostrophes appropriately.

    ·         Spell words drawing on common spelling patterns.

    ·         Consult reference material as needed.


    Instead of letter grades, students receive marks that show how well they have mastered the skills. The marks might show whether the student is exemplary, proficient, developing or emerging for each standard or they might be numbers representing whether students meet, exceed or approach each standard. Students get separate marks for effort and work habits, which are important for parents to keep tabs on even if these characteristics aren't included in the assessment of the student's academic skills.


    How are standards-based progress reports different from traditional report cards?

    On many traditional report cards, students receive one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a standards-based progress report, each of these subject areas (Mathematics and Reading) is divided into a list of concepts/skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each standard.


    The marks on a standards-based progress report are different from traditional letter grades. Letter grades do not tell parents which skills their children have mastered or whether they are working at grade level. Because one fourth-grade teacher might be reviewing basic multiplication facts, while another is teaching multiplication of two- or three-digit numbers, getting an A in each of these classes would mean very different things. The parent of a child in these classes would not know if the child were learning what he/she should be to meet the state standards.


    Standards-based progress reports should provide more consistency between teachers than traditional report cards, because all students are evaluated on the same grade-appropriate concepts/skills. Parents can see exactly which concepts/skills and knowledge their children have learned. The marks on a standards-based progress report show only how well the child has mastered the grade-level standards, and do not include effort, attitude or work habits, which are usually marked separately.


    Do I need to be concerned if my child receives a 1 Performance Level?

    The goal is for all students to reach a Level 3 Performance Level by the end of the year. If your child receives a 1 at the end of the first quarter, you should work with the teacher to see where support at home can assist. The progress report provides multiple standards in a subject area, thereby giving an overall performance of a student’s progress. This reporting provides information on areas of strengths and areas where a student needs more support. If a student receives a 1, it means the student is not yet meeting grade-level standards.