I admit I was kind of excited when my eldest child started getting report cards. I'm pretty sure I wasn't so excited to get my own as a kid and I know for sure I wasn't eager to share my high school reports with my parents.
But, recently, my kids and I looked at – and chuckled over – my grade school report cards. They were heavy card-stock affairs that had handwritten notes and the boxes were ticked by hand in pen (I love that the checks from each year's marking periods were often in random, different color pens).
They not only felt personal, they were personal. On my fourth grade end-of-year report card, my teacher wrote (and I paraphrase), "I loved being a part of the Tanzilo family for another year." (Alas, a more common, recurring note, read something like, "Robert could show better self control in class.")
Now, my kid's report cards are computer print-outs. There is, of course, a personal note from the teacher, which is the most useful part of the multi-page report, offering the most insight into how my child is doing on a day-to-day basis.
Otherwise, two pages are computer-ticked boxes covering a variety of subjects and performance parameters. Another page covers MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test results, expressed in not-so-clear numbers and bar graphs. A few other sheets are a letter from the principal, an explanation of the cards and suggestions for practice in subjects requiring further practice.
There is a wealth of information, and I'm happy to say that all of it is good news and I understand most of it, though parents less engaged in public education might find it a little more challenging.
But, a computer print-out still feels a little cold compared to the handwritten report cards of my youth.
KMo | Feb. 5, 2013 at 3:02 p.m. (report)
I am also an MPS parent and just read my kid's report card last night. What I find most maddening is trying to interpret the politics of "progressing" vs. "proficient" scores. It seems as though my child's test scores (97-99 percentile) are inconsistent with her progress in the classroom and I'm wondering whether the way in which educators are evaluated is affecting the evaluations, i.e., whether the educator must demonstrate consistent improvement across time and if a student does not improve such as when she starts at a proficient level, there is some push back. I hope I am wrong about this but wouldn't be surprised.
bobby this is but one of the things wrong with public education (and not MPS per se). A child shouldn't be reduced to a "wealth of information". Kids are more than just data. And a report card shouldn't be some anonymous computer generated thing based on numbers and test scores. It should be what you had as a kid - a clear indication that a teacher was able to have a personal interaction with both the child and his family. And my goodness - a parent shouldn't have to be intimately involved in public education just to decipher their kid's report card! It sickens me how public education has reduced a child to his test scores and the data that can be gleaned from him.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Nov. 26, 2014
Big changes are on tap at Milwaukee Art Museum, where the collections galleries are closed while the permanent collection is re-installed and an expansion project is under construction. MAM's Senior Conservator Jim DeYoung is the man charged with getting it done on time, on budget and, most importantly, without damage.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
When Mayor Tom Barrett visited Highland Community School on Monday to welcome home a group of adolescent students from China, the trip -- according to the students themselves -- wasn't officially over yet. Today, it is officially complete.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
This year, Dental Associates completed its restoration of the Iron Block Building -- actually a pair of connected buildings dating from 1860 and 1899 -- and the work put a gorgeous new luster on one of Downtown's most aged landmarks. As Milwaukee's only iron-facade building, it's a real Milwaukee gem. To look at the historic Iron Block Building on the corner of Water and Wisconsin now, you'd be hard-pressed to believe it almost didn't survive.
Published Nov. 24, 2014
The photomontages created by Eau Claire's Then and Now Photography seamlessly meld images of the same place but from different eras, creating a fascinating and unique look at how familiar sites in Milwaukee have changed over the years.
Published Nov. 22, 2014
The world's most famous ice skating rink shimmers beneath what must be the most impressive urban tree, perhaps in the world, and the shop windows in the Center and along Fifth Avenue must be seen to be believed. Crowds queue to see the holiday spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and Times Square is decked out in green and red. And all America comes to check it out.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Few likely know the idea of farm to table better than new Blue Jacket chef Justice Neal. Neal, after all, went from farm to table himself, having grown up on 40 acres near Beloit. Recently, Neal, who served as the restaurant's sous, was promoted to replace departing chef Matt Kerley, who had run the kitchen at Blue Jacket since 2013. Since he's already launched a new menu, we decided it was time to check in with him about his work in the kitchen.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Milwaukee Public Library looks into Milwaukee's historic public schoolhouses with a small exhibit and panel discussion at Central Library.
Published Nov. 20, 2014
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and you're hosting (or attending) a family dinner. What to do about wine? How to find something that pairs well with both turkey and cranberries? How to find a wine that appeals to you, your parents and Aunt Millie? It can be challenging, but experts say a few simple rules can help guide the way...
Published Nov. 18, 2014
One of the most recent building "booms" at Milwaukee Public Schools added a handful of new schools to the city's landscape, but at least one planned project -- and perhaps more -- never saw the light of day.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
Serious music fans will relate. Though a lot of music enters my ears, very few make the kind of impression that Lucy Wainwright Roche's 2013 record, "There's A Last Time For Everything," made on me. A year later I can tell you exactly where I was when I first popped it into the CD player and sat transfixed, unable to move. Lucy Wainwright Roche comes to Milwaukee next week, and we talked to her about it.