Today is first progress report day! But really, what's the point? I can hear myself from the distant past getting excited about these things inspiring parent interventions and waking up the students to the realities of how hard they'll need to work to be successful in my class. These can be important tools if used correctly. I still believe that, but I get discouraged.
At the same time, I can hear the the me from the more near past saying "these are pointless. The kids don't care about them. The parents don't care either and won't even read them. This is a waste of time, effort, and paper. Why don't I save a tree by not doing this? Also, if too many kids are below our goal, i'm going to get in trouble and will have to waste more paper by having to fill out a million intervention forms nobody will ever look at..." This is the sad reality of what progress reports mean in DISD and many other schools across the country.
Who are these for anyway? Ideally they would be helpful as follows:
Students - Let students know the results of their efforts thus far. These can help them know what behaviors to continue or change going forward. It also lets them know what they are missing and where they need to spend more time studying.
Parents - This lets you see where your student is struggling, which teachers you may want to get in touch with, and gives you an opportunity to praise your student is having success.
Teachers - It lets you look at all your classes and identify what is working, what isn't, which students/classes need more help, and how you are doing compared to yourself in the previous weeks, months, and years.
Campus - It can show you which teachers need more support, which students are struggling across all their classes, what goals and initiatives need adjusting, and overall how the campus is progressing compared to others and the past.
Districts - This is a way to see which campuses are being successful and which need more attention. It's also a great opportunity to interact and invest parents in their students success.
Checks like this are supposed to be used to provide real time feedback so things stay on track; however, as they currently are, they end up being condescending to some and useless to others. The culture around them is all messed up.