Perceptions and Responsibilities
To make improvements, we first have to understand the perceptions of those involved. So in this chapter we turn to parents', teachers', and students' perceptions of grading and reporting. We'll also consider the responsibilities of each of these groups in the grading and reporting process, and how they usually go about fulfilling those responsibilities.
As I described in Chapter One, parents' perceptions of grading and reporting are based largely on their experiences as students. And in most cases, those experiences involved percentages and letter grades. Parents know these grading methods, and they make sense to parents. That's also why most parents view departures from these methods with some skepticism. Still, when we asked what changes in grading and reporting they would like to see, parents most frequently mentioned three ideas.
First, the majority told us that they would like to receive more regular information about their child's learning progress in school. When asked about report cards, for example, most parents indicated they would like to receive them every six weeks rather than every nine weeks. This runs counter to the desires of most teachers, of