Credit Recovery, Proficiency Options Grow(ing)

Samantha Runtuwene, Staff Writer

As of now there are three ways for a student to recover credit for a class they have failed:  They are able to retake that class, they could work with the teacher to get a grade change, or they could take the course online.

But a fourth method for recovering credit is gaining steam:  Proficiency Credit.

“Proficiency” is still a work in progress, but it could prove to be a valuable resource for students and teachers.  One aspect of Proficiency Credit would be the use of corresponding SBAC, ACT, or PSAT/SAT scores to award credit.  In these situations, the passing scores from the standardized tests represent that the student is proficient and has the skills needed and would not have to retake the class.  This practice is used in some districts but is not yet used in the Centennial School District.

“I think its a useful indicator but it isn’t the most efficient. I think students need to do more and their needs to be further evidence like passing the next level class. Proficiency is great indicator but it only shows that students were proficient on that day or that week,” said Principle Mairi Scott-Aguirre.

Another avenue would be for students to demonstrate proficiency. Demonstrating proficiency could take on a number of looks.

“If you have some kids who for whatever didn’t pass a class but they have the skill set and have demonstrated it in subsequent classes, proficiency is the best option,” said Language Arts Teacher and Curriculum Coach Anne Haverkamp.

One of the ways proficiency could work at Centennial would be for a student to only have to show proficiency for a section of a class that was failed.  For example, if a student passed the majority of the units in a course but still failed the course, the student would only have to show proficiency in those units that were failed.

According to Haverkamp,one of the negatives of the proficiency program is that it isn’t an equitable system for students who transfer in “F” grades because Centennial would not have . Students who are dilemma unfortunately proficiency isn’t a program available to them if they’re trying to recover their credit. They either have to retake the class or take it online. Only students specifically from Centennial who are failing have at least some of the proficiency options.

“I think the program recognizes that maybe a student during his freshman year didn’t learn the skills he needed, but figured things out by his sophomore year. With proficiency we don’t have to put kids through things they already know or have them redo the work they already passed.  Proficiency gives them a chance to more quickly improve their graduation status,” commented Haverkamp.

She also believes it’s a great program but students shouldn’t see it as an easy way out. Haverkamp states “Not all students learn at the same rate or pace. I think we are trying to provide more options for students but we need more flexibility in what we can do so all kids have a chance to earn credits.”