A school’s report card is inherently flawed and actually a good thing. Of course, your teacher is the only one who can give you feedback on how you’re doing in school, but do we really need them to tell us this? In the past few years, report cards have been replaced with letter grades that are reported by parents and most teacher-directed preschool programs stress.
In some cases, schools may not even be able to provide feedback because of budget cuts. Schools cannot provide information about your child’s progress without knowing their actual grades or test scores which aren’t provided when they do report cards.
1. Grades are arbitrary and teachers grade students differently.
One student may receive a 90 in one class, but another student may receive a 95. It is likely that the second student had a better understanding of the material and was more prepared but his grade will be lower because he didn’t meet the arbitrary cutoff point of 90. Students can learn different subjects in different ways, but report cards don’t take this into account. Many school systems allow teachers to hand out a range of grades depending on the subject matter that they cover in a given class.
2. Grades discourage kids from learning new things.
When students get punished for not studying enough or doing poorly, they are less likely to try new things in the future because they’re afraid of failing or being punished for something new. Punishing kids doesn’t encourage them to better themselves, it discourages them from learning altogether.
3. Grades don’t tell us what the student knows.
A student can study to make good grades, but how will they know if they don’t know the information unless they take a test?
4. Grades don’t tell us how we’re doing as parents.
Report cards just let teachers tell you if your child is performing well in school or not. There are no concrete suggestions on how to improve or better your child’s grades and educators cannot do anything for you if your child is struggling in school because of factors out of your control.
5. Grades encourage competition among students instead of collaboration.
Competition can lead students to compare themselves to their peers and measure the amount of effort they are putting forth. When students do this, they put so much pressure on themselves that they get discouraged from working together.
6. Grades don’t tell us about your child’s effort level.
What does it mean if your child is getting B’s and A’s in different classes? Are they a fast learner that just doesn’t pay attention or are they failing because of lack of effort? It’s not possible to understand a student’s actual ability without feedback, and report cards don’t provide that.
7. Grades encourage teachers to assign more work than necessary because they’re graded on a curve.
The fewer assignments students have, the more work they have to do. The more work students have, the less time they can spend on other important things because it’s all about how much grade they can earn.
8. Grades show teachers how good or bad their ratings are at school.
Teachers aren’t employed for the purpose of teaching our children nor are they supposed to be interested in the grades their students receive from them. Obviously, good teachers will be able to keep their job while a bad teacher will get fired because of low points that could change quickly depending on their future performances in class.
9. Grades stifle creativity and innovation within students by telling them what not to do or aim for in the future.
Students aren’t allowed to try new things in school because if they do, it will hurt their grade. A lot of interesting developments have happened in the world because someone tried something new and got a bad grade for it.
10. Grades don’t tell you how your child is doing socially or emotionally.
Teachers are required to intervene when they notice a student is struggling academically, but there’s nothing that can be done if students are not given the chance to show that they’re struggling emotionally or socially with their peers and teachers instead of just academically.
Report cards are based on test scores or grades alone and these don’t specify how well a student is doing as a whole in school.
Report cards are flawed and actually discourage children from learning because of the pressure that comes from earning good grades. Children would be better off not doing them at all and just getting feedback from teachers that already care about your child’s progress in school. Report cards can only tell you if your child is performing well in school or not, there’s no way to compare a student’s grade with other students or with other schools. Report cards are also flawed because they don’t take into account how you’re doing socially, emotionally or creatively as a student. Report cards aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so it’s important to understand why they’re bad for your child both academically and socially at school.