Report Cards Tell You Very Little

To The Reader’s Forum:

Did your child bring home a school report card in early February? Did you mutter, “This is only a bunch of numbers. It doesn’t tell me a single thing about my child’s performance.” You’re not alone. I muttered something a little more emphatic about my grandchildren’s Southwestern report cards: “Can Common Core get any more pathetic?!”

An academic key at the top of the report card provides explanation for numbers one through four: (4) Exceeding Common Core State Standards; (3) Meeting Common Core State Standards; (2) Approaching Common Core State Standards; (1) Emerging toward Common Core State Standards. The numbers do not mean that all children in a category reached the same level of proficiency. No, each category represents a range of abilities from low to high.

For example, say that your child received a 3 in reading. What if little Johnny falls close to the bottom of category 3, just above level 2? Would you feel OK about his reading ability? You better not! He’s having difficulties. Worse, suppose little Susie placed in level 2 for math. We already know CC math is incredibly weak, way behind good math programs that will offer calculus. This puts her in deep trouble; she wants to be a doctor. Forget it, Susie; CC math only will admit you into a community college, not the high-ranking college you need for a good pre-med curriculum.

Why is the school district presenting your child’s CC results in such an obscure manner? Obscurity goes along with a lot of other issues many of us have-including teachers-with the takeover of our schools by the federal government: CC caters to a low common denominator; it robs high- and mid-achievers; the standards are empty and lack rigor; there’s too much testing; CC focus is on transforming American youth into docile, easily-manipulated workers, not professional careers. Most importantly, Common Core is education without representation. What gave the NY Board of Regents and Commissioner the right to dumb down our children’s education? Robbers!

If your child’s grades were given in percents, wouldn’t you have a far better idea how your child is performing? Eighty percent says little Ronny needs work on reading skills. Ninety-five percent says Mindy is well on her way to math mastery. Reading and math are subjects that children must master in grades K-5-the foundation for all future learning.

Raise your voices, parents and grandparents, they’re your children!

Deann Nelson

Jamestown