School Report Cards –A Study In Psycho Babble?

A parent in Canada received the following statement on the report card of their son: ‘Johnny sometimes represents factions using concrete materials, words and the standard fractional notation, and explains the meaning of the denominator as the number of the fractional parts of the whole set, and the numerator as the number of the fractional part being considered.” I assume this is an example of what educators regard as clarity in communication. Tom Sullivan, who was baffled attempting to understand what was being written about his grandson’s school work asked the Toronto District School Board if there was anyone working in the school system who was conversant with the English language.

Howard Goodman of the School Board agrees with the distressed parent and commented, “it really is befuddling.” Some educators believe lack of comprehension stems from immigrant parents, which is an explanation, but as one who has taught for 53 years, I must confess modern gobbledygook is beyond my comprehension. I apologize for only being in possession of a Ph.D. and recognize that educators today have gone light years past that mark of learning.

I have a hunch inhabitants of the planet of Confusion do understand what is written on report cards. How about: “Johnny is receiving a “B” in my math class. If you would like to discuss his math work, give me a call?”

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