Catholic parents favour A-to-E school reports

Almost three in four Catholic school parents support the introduction of student ranking and plain-English school reports, according to a survey by the Parents and Friends Associations and Sydney Catholic Education Office.

According to The Australian, the survey found just eight per cent of Catholic parents are opposed to the new reports format.

Reporting the results in the parents newsletter, About Catholic Schools Magazine, federation executive officer Franceyn O'Connor said parents were "largely enthusiastic" about the five-level grading system.

"Many parents have indicated in several discussions and meetings held throughout the year that they welcome the opportunity to compare their child's progress against statewide standards using a common grading scale," Ms O'Connor said.

"They appreciate how difficult it may be for teachers to convey bad news but they still want a fair and honest assessment of their child's abilities to determine their rate of progress."

The Federal Government introduced a requirement for all schools in the government, Catholic and independent sectors to provide plain-English report cards as a condition of funding.

All the states and territories are introducing the reports, which must grade students in five levels, such as A to E, and also provide information on the students rankings according to their peers.

Ms O'Connor said the decision by governments to only grade and rank students from Year 1 was crucial for parents' support, with the survey showing more than one in five were concerned that grading children when they started school could harm their self-esteem.

One parent quoted in the Catholic schools newsletter, Veronica Molloy, who has two children in high school and one at primary, said her only concern was about preconceived ideas that attached a stigma to any grade lower than an A.

"There are a lot of negative perceptions in society about a C grade, for example," she said. "Children themselves might perceive any grade other than an A as a failure ... it's up to the Government to address these misconceptions."

Catholic school parents want grades (The Australian 20/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
About Catholic Schools Magazine

Report cards given an 'F' (Herald-Sun 20/6/06)
Parents urged to reject new report card (The Age 16/6/06)

20 Jun 2006