Update Monday, October 31, 2011: I put up a post today on the problem with first year university students dropping out as a result of poor results on their mid-term exams. Essentially, universities are having to come with programs and strategies to stop that dropping out because the public system has abrogated its responsibility for proper testing and reporting. I mean, how come it is that universities an give letter and percentage grades in October and early November of a student’s first year and yet public schools can’t? Moreover, there are no prepared, warm and fuzzy comments in university either. Meaning, if public school educators really want to help a student’s self-esteem, they would prepare them for real life.
Update Friday, October 21st, 2011: Visitors to this post may find my latest follow-up on this topic interesting.
Original post November 12, 2010: This post is for all Ontario parents. Take a good look at this link. It is a “collection” of possible comments that teachers can copy and paste when they complete their students’ November 2010 progress report — you know the “new” and “improved” report card that the McGuinty government is trying to “sell” the Ontario public. The tragedy is that parents don’t seem to realize that it is nothing but a sham.
For example, last night, on Global TV news, I listened to a well-meaning parent saying how helpful this new progress report was because it was personalized and told her exactly how her son was doing. Unfortunately, that is simply not true when you look at the comment collection. Need more proof? Then, check out all the links on this Google page where readers will note that the issue of developing a dictionary of “comments” was being discussed as early as when the progress report was first announced.
What on earth has happened to professionalism? First the elementary teachers’ union (ETFO) manages to get the McGuinty government to reduce the number of report cards. Then, they both try to pull the wool over parents’ eyes by writing comments that are certainly not individualized — unless you assume the teacher said “now which packaged comments fit this child?” But, you know what? I am not going to blame the teachers. I think they are being told to use these comments so as not to cause any flack in the year before there is an Ontario election.
Well, I hope the Ontario PCs, under its leader Tim Hudak, take a good look at this “collection of comments” and promise the parents of Ontario that, if elected, they will bring about a report card that actually does reflect how each child is performing.
Anyway, when you go to the above link, scroll down a bit for this sample. The comment collection, which could also be called “Comments for Dummy’s” seems to include various subjects for both the secular public and Catholic public systems (since under values there is a reference to liturgies).
Endnote: Last night on Global, I listened as an educator suggested that a low letter grade can have an adverse affect on a child’s self esteem. I am so fed up with that line of reasoning. I ran a reading clinic and the adults I worked with had a lot more problems with self esteem when, as adults, they couldn’t read properly — even after graduating from the public system.
Children need to learn about their learning strengths and weaknesses. They also need to deal with reality. In other words, the latest Ontario progress report is just another example of a current so-called “Success Strategy” that is nothing more than a “no-fail” and “social promotion” policy — a policy that does not prepare students for the real world.