Making Report Card Comments Meaningful

by Robert Pondiscio
October 13th, 2009

What does it mean if a child “can systematically describes the relative locations of objects or people using positional language”?  In plain English, it means the child can tell you if she is first or last in line.  So why not just say so?  That’s the impetus behind a move in Toronto to allow teachers to put report card comments in simple language instead of “education bafflegab.”

“Teachers should strive to use language that parents will understand and should avoid language that simply repeats what curriculum documents state,” says the proposed policy, which the city school board will take up this week.  The new policy’s goal is to make report card comments “meaningful” to students and parents.