While report card day is a moment of truth for students, when is the time for states to pony up accurate information about how they're doing to parents? The answer in too many states is not often enough.
I always encourage parents not to show their children their report cards, but rather to discuss areas in which they would like to help them function better in the classroom. This is a great place for opening communication.
If we really want to help kids, we should craft a fair and private system of performance evaluations and build a fire wall between that rubric and other statistical systems. We should then concentrate on public data systems to help schools improve.
This time of year, I always get asked to give students a D instead of an F. "He already got into college! What a shame if he couldn't go," I'm told. Yes, but it's also a shame if he goes and doesn't succeed because we never held him accountable.
Our food has nutritional labels noting calories, fat, and sodium content that help us make informed decisions. Parents and prospective students could use similar help when it comes to making decisions about college.
According to CUNY college tests, only 1.1 percent of the New Height Academy's graduates were actually prepared to do college level work without remediation. This is for a charter school that received a grade of "A" from New York City Department of Education assessors.