Editor, The Times:
I am responding to public expressions of concern about children who are not receiving formal report cards during phase 1 of work-to-rule action by public-school teachers.
Legislation requires formal reports on student performance to be completed by teachers, signed by principals and issued to students.
In my opinion, formal report cards in the traditional sense should not be made a central issue during phase 1 of job action.
At all times, teachers maintain records and are in a position to inform students, parents and administrators on student performance.
A lot of classroom teachers use an online or digital-reporting system and can provide updated assessments on request.
My school is @Kool, where marks and comments are online 24 hours a day.
Teachers constantly advise students they have immediate access to information on their progress.
I refer to the premier’s technology council report of December 2010, A Vision for 21st Century Education.
It identifies nine skills and attributes of today’s learner, including “communication and media literacy.”
It goes further to say learners functioning in a “hypermediated environment” must use media to obtain, assess and analyze information.
For example, students developing those skills can always access updates on their performance and share them with parents.
This approach is consistent with the report’s emphasis on timely assessment during learning so any necessary corrective action can be taken immediately.
Too much is being made of the lack of formal report cards in the present climate.
Interested individuals may wish to refer to the above-noted report to appreciate its emphasis on the need for continuous feedback and communication.
Corrie Macdonald, teacher