A couple of days ago the Toronto Sun posted an article written by Catherine Porter about Ontario Report Cards called “Honesty and report cards prove a toxic mix.” The articles states that teachers are frustrated with the positive language they must use due to the Ministry of Education and principals push to keep parents happy. To read the article, click here.
The problem they are stating that teachers can not communicate really how students are doing because they have to put a positive spin on everything written.
Here is a quote from the article “…instead of telling parents their kid was disorganized and his desk was messy, the teacher now writes: “Johnny consistently places his materials inside his desk in a random order. He is highly encouraged to adopt a more streamlined organizational style, so that during in-class work periods he is able to locate his documents with greater ease.”
I honestly think that times are changing. Education is in the middle of the biggest flux that it has ever experienced. In the past, schools were a one room school house in the tiny local community. When I was attending school (1986-2001), it was a school that contained several separate classrooms but you only interacted with your own class.
Now with our world of ever changing technology, school has to be different. We can connect with other schools, authors, and experts globally at the touch of a button. We need our students to be able to think critically, communicate clearly, collaborate, problem solve and be creative.
Below is Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson’s series, report card from 1971-1972.
So what has changed since 1971? In Ontario, we have a section at the top of our reports that focus on Learning Skills: Responsibility, Initiative, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration and Self Regulation. We have also added comments to the report cards so parents have more information on what was learned. But comparing the report card now and from 1971, they are pretty much the same.
With all of the changes in our world and with technology, shouldn’t our report cards have evolved as well?