Endangered Report Cards

By Betsy Corcoran     Mar 19, 2014

Endangered Report Cards

MasteryConnect founder and CEO Mick Hewitt has been clearfrom day one: He had an idea about how to create a technology tool thatteachers would find useful and he wanted his company to stand on its own twofeet by selling that product.

Three years later, Hewitt has proven right on bothscores: MasteryConnect, based outside of Salt Lake City in Sandy, UT, offersteachers a gradebook in the cloud: a way to track students’ progress on anystandards, including Common Core. The goal isn’t just grades but to get a senseof how much and when students are learning.  

“We’re reinventing the report card,” declares Hewitt, “andredefining it around whether students are mastering learning—not just showingthat they’re proficient.” 

"What does a 'B' mean"? asks Kent Medlin, superintendent of the Willard School district in Missouri. "It means one thing for one teacher, and another for another teacher, and those weren't the same thing." When MasteryConnect breaks down grades into specific areas--such as Common Core standards--parents and teachers can look at students' skills and come to the same conclusions about where they need more (or less) help.  

MasteryConnect now has registered users in 36,000 schools(and 10,000 school districts), across 50 states. Teachers have used MasteryConnectto record 21 million student scores—up from 1 million in October 2012. Thecompany is growing, too. Thanks to arecent $3.425 million funding round, Hewitt says that he expects his staffof 32 to grow to more than 50 by July.

Another sign that MasteryConnect is onto something: Growingcompetition. Not far away is Salt Lake City edtech powerhouse,Instructure. Founded in 2008, Instructure got its start by offering a learningmanagement system (LMS) it calls Canvas, originally targeting colleges anduniversities. More recently Instructure has begun to work in the K-12environment as well.

And today just as MasteryConnect is unveiling its latest mastery-basedgrade book, so, too, is Instructure. 

Instructure says it has added a “mastery gradebook…embedded alongside the traditional grade book” into Canvas. In a pressrelease, Instructure vice president Jared Stein said: "This newview into student learning will give millions of educators who use Canvas theability to more seamlessly incorporate reporting on formative, authenticassessments using either model."

Instructure has heft. Its LMS is used by morethan 3 million K-12 teachers and students in 150 school districts to track students’mastery of concepts. Investorshave poured more than $50 million into the company, which is widelyexpected to head into an initial public offering at some point in the next yearor so. Instructure is adding what it calls the “Learning Mastery Gradebook” toits Canvas LMS, a kind of "dashboard" to track how students are doing. 

 

  Both can reflect whatever grades or standards a school or educator choose to represent. 

Surely the days of the "same old report card" are numbered!  

Endangered Report Cards

By Betsy Corcoran     Mar 19, 2014

Endangered Report Cards

MasteryConnect founder and CEO Mick Hewitt has been clearfrom day one: He had an idea about how to create a technology tool thatteachers would find useful and he wanted his company to stand on its own twofeet by selling that product.

Three years later, Hewitt has proven right on bothscores: MasteryConnect, based outside of Salt Lake City in Sandy, UT, offersteachers a gradebook in the cloud: a way to track students’ progress on anystandards, including Common Core. The goal isn’t just grades but to get a senseof how much and when students are learning.  

“We’re reinventing the report card,” declares Hewitt, “andredefining it around whether students are mastering learning—not just showingthat they’re proficient.” 

"What does a 'B' mean"? asks Kent Medlin, superintendent of the Willard School district in Missouri. "It means one thing for one teacher, and another for another teacher, and those weren't the same thing." When MasteryConnect breaks down grades into specific areas--such as Common Core standards--parents and teachers can look at students' skills and come to the same conclusions about where they need more (or less) help.  

MasteryConnect now has registered users in 36,000 schools(and 10,000 school districts), across 50 states. Teachers have used MasteryConnectto record 21 million student scores—up from 1 million in October 2012. Thecompany is growing, too. Thanks to arecent $3.425 million funding round, Hewitt says that he expects his staffof 32 to grow to more than 50 by July.

Another sign that MasteryConnect is onto something: Growingcompetition. Not far away is Salt Lake City edtech powerhouse,Instructure. Founded in 2008, Instructure got its start by offering a learningmanagement system (LMS) it calls Canvas, originally targeting colleges anduniversities. More recently Instructure has begun to work in the K-12environment as well.

And today just as MasteryConnect is unveiling its latest mastery-basedgrade book, so, too, is Instructure. 

Instructure says it has added a “mastery gradebook…embedded alongside the traditional grade book” into Canvas. In a pressrelease, Instructure vice president Jared Stein said: "This newview into student learning will give millions of educators who use Canvas theability to more seamlessly incorporate reporting on formative, authenticassessments using either model."

Instructure has heft. Its LMS is used by morethan 3 million K-12 teachers and students in 150 school districts to track students’mastery of concepts. Investorshave poured more than $50 million into the company, which is widelyexpected to head into an initial public offering at some point in the next yearor so. Instructure is adding what it calls the “Learning Mastery Gradebook” toits Canvas LMS, a kind of "dashboard" to track how students are doing. 

 

  Both can reflect whatever grades or standards a school or educator choose to represent. 

Surely the days of the "same old report card" are numbered!  

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