My son brought home his first quarter report card yesterday. It contains 61 rubric grades covering two different scales, 1-5 and 5-10. The numbers are virtually meaningless. Much of his homework and all of his tests never come home. They are put in his portfolio to be presented to us in our December school meeting. This is the one he is supposed to lead and explain how he will try to be a better student. My head is going to explode.
The 1 - 5 rubrics are for academics (as opposed to effort) and are non-linear. A '3' is like a 'B', but some teachers really don't like to give out 4's or 5's. Some teachers seem to use a sort of differentiated grading technique where they hope that a low grade will get kids to work harder. Even my son commented on it. "The grades always start out low in the first quarter."
I would like to ask teachers to show me where each number came from. For example, in social studies, he gets a rubric grade for "Analysis and Connections". I want to see the homework and tests and how the teacher figures out this score. I can't imagine that any teacher likes rubric grading. There are a lot of numbers, but less information. I want to see the raw data (homework and tests) and see how those grades translate into the numbers on the report card. When we ask our son about what the numbers mean, he has no clue. At best, we can track whether the numbers go up or down, but that won't give us any indication as to why that is happening.
Do they really think this is a good feedback loop? We don't know what's going on in class, the homework and tests don't come home, and the quarterly grades have a heavy dose of subjectivity. Even if we did see a number that looked particularly bad, why on earth would they wait until the end of the quarter to let us know?