Ms. Abplanalp and MMSD District Staff (cc’d to the Board of Education),
I read with some confusion your letter [350K PDF] sent to all elementary school parents about the lack of measurable change in students marking period as too small to report to parents on their third quarter report cards.
Here’s my confusion. I have complained many times about the lack of communication from MMSD to parents concerning students grades or progress. At the elementary level the “grade issue” seems to do with the lack of any measurable assessments. While I know testing is a bad word in the education world I find it amusing that between the end of Jan. and beginning of April, my two elementary students failed to have any measurable change in their grades. My 7th grader had a full report card…..with grades and everything. I’m old at 42, but we used to have report cards come home every 6 weeks. My parents could assess my progress rather well that way, and I got lots of candy from Grandma. I accept the quarter system as being more practical but seriously…you can’t even accomplish quarterly reports.
I am wondering why my two elementary students were sent home early on April 4th. My tax dollars went to pay for what?…..four grades evaluated out of 31 (not including behavior grades). The teachers spent the time to log onto the computers to tell me about one grade in reading and 3 in math. My daughter who is in 5th grade tells me lots of social studies and science occurred from Jan. to April but I guess none was graded. The paper work, the early release, the time spent logging on for four grades has to rank up there with the last day of school with the amount of waste of tax payer money (last day is one and 1/2 hour of school with bus service and all).
We do not receive grades for the first quarter. We get a conference. Parents can then evaluate their child’s progress after half the year is gone. Now I get to wait until the year is over. While I know your response will be if my child is failing her/his teacher would let me know…..I say great but I’d like to know if they are struggling, confused, or just not meeting MY expectations.
Study after study states a students success is highly correlated with parents expectations. But since MMSD has taken an attitude that THEY will let me know if my child is failing but not if they do not meet MY expectations a am unsure how I proceed. My expectations just might be different than yours.
You set up the schedule for 2005/2006 and you were unable to figure out how to get three report cards home to me during a 9 month period. This is my 6th year with MMSD and previous years I guess “changes a student experienced between the grade periods” were bigger then.
My confidence is weakening.
Mary Kay Battaglia