How Schools Can Make Classroom Grade Reports Easier for Parents to Access
In this age of location and “likes” found on Facebook and other social media sites, we have become used to providing some kind of accountability to our friends. The problem with school and student grade level databases is that it doesn’t work so well when parents are suddenly faced with not only the need to increase communication, but also to help their kids with homework. How is the reporting of a grade when the children can’t even find the portal?
It has been well documented that the critical role of parents, without which, children would not be achieving as much as they possibly could. But most studies on it point to a core disconnect between student and parent. Parents want to feel like they can support their children and help them excel, but they can’t really get out there and do it. They tend to seek out some sort of educational machine to do the job for them, but they discover it’s only becoming more complex.
Schools have been warned for years that the implementation of standardized tests is making what should be easy-to-navigate portals difficult for parents to access. Some school districts have made it easier for parents to access, as many of the school scores aren’t coded in the endnotes of the text book that are supposed to summarize the data. But students shouldn’t need to be anything more than able to spell a grade they earned during the course of the semester or the school year to find it out. This shouldn’t take a few hours on parent training sessions.
Instead, school administrators should look at the school grades and points in a more holistic way, if not going so far as to base information on the child’s progress in health and the development of friends. It’s difficult for an underachieving child to do well in a large area when their principal is not comfortable to handle a child that “doesn’t fit in”. Obviously, student grade rankings can’t be based on every educational organization or organization’s opinion of how a student performed, and they can’t be extracted by a particular section of the school calendar or the person being evaluated.
Instead, there are a variety of valid standards that are promulgated within the state of the student: whether they were taking the SAT this year, attending the recent state expo, or if they took the state board exams. Instead of relying on just marking up grading reports, schools and school districts should be pushing toward measuring a child’s progress towards qualifying for the other national certifications in their state of residence. Even if schools don’t have to depend on one particular day or day during the course of the year, the bar to qualify should be high enough so that students don’t flounder in the shadows of the school who is calling the shots.
From the event planners who can’t accommodate students to implement or host a fundraiser, to nurses who want to vaccinate children as early as possible and not simply rely on an August notification to parents or guardians to ask if they are up to date on this immunization, the importance of minimizing the time children spend being overlooked is critical. Furthermore, people should be able to write in and be signed off as mentors and advisors with the given school.