Today I was asked what I have against report cards and as I stood there explaining my stance on grades something dawned on me; if we keep parents informed throughout the semester or trimester, do we really need report cards? After all, I continuously meet with my students and offer them feedback and we set and work on their goals. I send home more detailed feedback for parents to peruse so then doesn’t the purpose of the report card become obsolete? In fact, the report card may work against our philosophy of students as developing learners since we chunk their development and their learning into artificial calendar dates as determined by the district. Something unnecessary and just a tad bit redundant.
So I leave with this thought; could we abolish report cards altogether? Or are they a necessary component of our reporting to students and parents? Are they simply an overview or a snapshot rather than the entry ticket into college and free pizza?