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 Oct. 23, 2014
You've met Milwaukee Art Museum chef Micah Kaufman in the pages of OnMilwaukee.com before, talking about how he creates menus for specific exhibitions at the museum for Cafe Calatrava. In honor of Kaufman's promotion to executive chef, we asked him about his background, his work at Milwaukee Art Museum and how his role is evolving there.
Published Oct. 23, 2014
The high performing International Baccalaureate middle school program that MPS board members and administration has been promising for the former Malcolm X Academy, 2760 N. 1st St., is an existing program. The plan is to move Rufus King International Middle School, currently housed in the former McNair Elementary, at 4950 N. 24th St., in time for the start of the 2016 school year.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Bavette la Boucherie's Karen Bell has teamed with former Colectivo director of coffee George Bregar to open Company Brewing in the Stonefly space at 735 E. Center St., in Riverwest.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
I've been watching with interest as New York rolls out its first phase of $340 million statewide universal early childhood education plan this autumn, and as Chicago debates how it will get its version off the ground next year. By watching others, we can see what works and what doesn't. We can learn the best ways to create and more smoothly implement universal pre-K that is effective and helps close the achievement gaps and boost the success of all children.
Published Oct. 20, 2014
Hip-hop trio Clipping is headed to Milwaukee as part of the tour for its latest record, "CLPPNG," out now on Sub Pop. The three -- Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson -- will open for Busdriver on Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Cactus Club. In advance of the Milwaukee gig, we caught up with Snipes and Hutson, to ask about the new record and the whole idea of genres and the limitations they might impose from outside.
Published Oct. 20, 2014
This week, the Council of the Great City Schools hosts its 58th annual fall conference in Milwaukee, hosted by MPS, and some big names in the world of education and beyond will be on hand for the event, which runs Oct. 22-26. The conference -- "Fresh Water, Fresh Thinking in Urban Education" -- takes place at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and will bring about 1,000 school superintendents to Milwaukee.
Published Oct. 18, 2014
It seems to always happen in a farm field. A kid sees the mother of God, a white buffalo is born, an astonishing cave full of prehistoric paintings is accidentally uncovered. That's where Wisconsin and the world stumbled upon one of the state's most stunning natural attractions, Cave of the Mounds, too, in 1939.
Published Oct. 17, 2014
This week, Karl Paloucek is one of a number of Milwaukee musicians taking part in Betty Blexrud-Strigens' Patti Smith tribute -- "Smith Uncovered" -- at Alverno College on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. He's also riding high after the release of his second record, "Sail," recorded over 20 years and issued by Brew City's Latest Flame imprint. As he preps his contribution to "Smith Uncovered," we asked Paloucek about "Sail" and what comes next.
Published Oct. 16, 2014
A locally produced book featuring the writings of local teens is certainly notable, but what's even more noteworthy about "Milwaukee: A Collection of Work by Local Teens," published in a small run by Hidden Color Press, is that it was also edited, designed and produced by an area teenager. Hidden Color Press is the work of 14-year-old Jack Hietpas, a student at St. Robert School in Shorewood. He started the press as a means to publish art and writing by area teens from all backgrounds.
Published Oct. 14, 2014
For a mere $40, you can get a silhouette of the Milwaukee skyline immortalized in wax. In PVC that is.