Parents have always been cautioned that grades are not the be all and end all for your child. Many successful individuals actually struggled to get top honors in school. Fact.
Grades and report cards, though, are one of the ways educators and parents could assess a child's learning progress. While grading systems are far from perfect, good grades give kids a sense of accomplishment and is a source of pride for the parents. No doubt, receiving less stellar marks can be saddening, but our unconditional love for our children will prevail and we'll move on. So will our kids, promising to do better.
But what if you--the parent looking at the report card--is offered a second "version" of your child's academic performance?
Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island (YKLI), an Orthodox Jewish elementary school in New York, sent our report cards to the parents of their students in the same way all other schools do. The report cards, though, were sent with an accompanying letter that could be a bit of a shock for parents.
"This report card is an opportunity to praise your son for his areas of strength, encourage, him to keep up his fine efforts and to improve any areas of weakness," the letter said. The letter went on to say that it is for sharing "accurate information with the parents" and that great discretion must be used before allowing your child to view his report card" to avoid discouraging the student or hurting his feelings.
What do you think of this policy? Brilliant? Befuddling? Best idea ever? Source: Jerry Richter / Yeshiva Ketana of… pic.twitter.com/JdIQRYSW6X
The last paragraph of the letter read: "If after reviewing the enclosed report card, you would like us to develop a second version of this report card for your son with higher grades, please call..."
YKLI has since issued a statement, saying that it is the school's decision to provide the parents with “honest grades” and transparent progress of their sons. YKLI is only issuing an "inflated" report card to be used by the parents "as a tool of positive reinforcement in addressing their children’s emotional and psychological needs, all while working with their partner, YKLI, in addressing the child’s continuing weaknesses," the letter, which was signed by Rabbi Tzvi Krigsman of YKLI, said. The statement also underlined that a child's self-confidence is a big factor in studying and taking tests.
Concerned parent Jerry Richter took to social media to share a screenshot of the letter he received home with his son’s first semester report card. Many couldn't believe it at first; others found it utterly ridiculous. One mom Amy Pali tweeted back, "This is a disgrace!! The coddling of kids has got to stop. There is no accountability anymore."
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Guidance counselor Vida Joyce Mangaoang explains in an article for smartparneting.com.ph that there are a combination of factors that contribute to a child's grades. “As parents, know your child well and nurture his confidence and self-esteem. While academic success contributes a lot to his perception and feeling of self-worth, it is not the only measure of success in life,” she said, adding that parents should also understand that we are all intelligent in different ways. It’s also important to let kids relax and have fun.
What do you think of the letter: pass or fail? Let usk now in the comments below.
Sources: January 20, 2016. "School Offers To Change Grades On Students' Reports To Boost Kids' Confidence" (huffingtonpost.co.uk) January 15, 2015. "MAILBAG: Letter Sent to Yeshiva Parents Offers Fake Report Card Option for Kids" (theyeshivaworld.com)