Monday, October 08, 2007

Midterm Reports

In our schools, kids get a report card every nine weeks. However, at five weeks, they get a "midterm report." This report grades the kids as "Successful", "Progressing with Effort" or "Needs Improvement." I don't know if the report cards are going to use normal grades.

When I was in school, you were graded according to what teh teacher felt was your potential. I will grant you, this was subjective; but at least my parents had an idea of how well I was doing compared to no-one else but me.

Apparently, Joey is graded against his peers. The grades reflect how he is doing in comparison against other, non-disabled kindergardeners. He has two Ns: social studies and science.

We are working on figuring out what this means. Is he not understanding the work? Or is he being graded according to his ability to answer questions about the subject?

We're very concerned that he is being evaluated based on his ability to answer questions. For one, this would tell us exactly nothing. We already know he has a communication disorder. What does he know about social studies and science? Secondly, what accomodations are being made so that he can be evaluated appropriately against his peers? After all, you wouldn't fail a blind child in reading just because she can't see the book.

I tried to go in and ask (today was open-conference), but the teacher I needed to talk to wasn't there today. So I'll keep you posted.


VAB said...

Let me get this straight: they are teaching science and social studies in kindergarten?

That's quiet something. I hope they find time for a little algebra, too.

An IEP should clearly set out the academic standards that you are shooting for and how these are going to be evaluated. It's a very big deal for our guys because casual questioning does not always work. For MK I try to insist on written tests, but in kindergarten that might be pushing it.

Kindergarten. Science. Social Studies. Graded every 9 weeks. But that isn't good enough, so they give a midterm report too. In kindergarten.

I'll just go lie down for a bit now. My head is spinning.

Casdok said...

Will be interesting to hear how they have done it.

Niksmom said...

VAb, you took the words right out of my mouth, er, brain! Seems to me (waaay back in the day) that we were graded on things like "Gets along with others," "Follows Directions," Is quiet during circle time" and the like. studies?? Yeah, makes home school sound better and better each day!

Joeymom said...

Science is "The Five Senses." This week they start sequencing, measuring, and questioning (how are they going to evaluate a child about "questioning" who has a communication disorder that includes not being able to ask or answer questions????) Social Studies is "Community Helpers" and this week they start globes and maps.

Amy Hall said...

Good grief. Two thoughts: 1)getting a public school to change anything is often more complicated than it ought to be...and 2) schools seem to be trying to shovel in more and more superfluous information at younger and younger ages. Mom and Dad can't teach them the difference between "salty" and "sweet?" Hmmm...

Maddy said...

I'm with VAB and Niksmom on this one. My boys are marked like the NT's on the standardized compulsory state tests, but also individually and with huge accommodations to see what they're really capable of my the Spec Ed team at the school.
Best wishes