Before we can answer this question, we must agree on what we mean by an R or Below 50. Does it mean 'no evidence", 'zero evidence' or 'not enough evidence'?
Surprisingly, neither the Fresh AER document nor the Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics addresses this matter. Unfortunately, this lack of clarity has created inconsistencies amongst our schools which has ultimately resulted in our students being unfairly asssessed and/or evaluated.
Growing Success is a document the Ministry of Education has been promising to release to address the inconsistencies and create a common message among all Ontario educators. Unfortunately, it has not grown out of it's draft stage as yet. Luckily, there's a PDF version available:
This is what it has to say about R or Below 50:
- The student has not demonstrated the required knowledge and skills. Extensive remediation is required.
- “R”/ “Below 50” does not correspond to one of the four achievement levels.
- “R”/ “Below 50” is used for reporting purposes to flag the need for remediation and parent involvement.
- “R” signals that additional learning is required before the student will begin to achieve success with this grade’s expectations.
Some other questions to consider, while we're on the topic:
- Does your grade team/divison/school share the same criteria for R/Below 50? If so, how did you come to this consistent messaging?
- What's the difference between an R/Below 50 on an assessment task and an R/Below 50 on the report card?
- Can a student get an R or Below 50 on formative assessments and still receive a B or equivalent on the report card?