• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Rubric report card



I have been working on my report cards and I have to vent. We used a rubric report card that goes from 1-5, with 3 designating grade level work. So a child can get really good test scores and be a 3 because he or she falls into the description for what is acceptable performance for the grade level. 4 and 5 are supposed to be reserved for extraordinary students. It is supposed to eliminate grade frenzy and explain how kids are doing in terms of where they should be at this point in the year. We are not permitted to average grades. We are supposed to look at each child's work and decide whether or not they are performing on grade level and if they are they are supposed to be a 3. Parents don't understand that the score is made up of more than just test grades. It is homework and classwork and effort and participation. They think that if their son got 20/20 on three of the math tests he should be a five. The description that goes along with the report cards explains the distinctions but the parents don't get it. They don't understand that if I give a math test and 12 of my kids get 20/20 and another four get 18/20 and a couple get 16/20 and the rest fall between 15 and 10/20 on math tests that the tests are an appropriate measure of grade level work and then the appropriate rubric grade is a 3. They think that perfect test scores equal a 5 on the rubric and it just doesn't mean that. A 3 is unacceptable to these parents and we all go through this nonsense every year at report card time. It also doesn't help that the teacher in the grade before me ignores the instructions and gives EVERYONE 4s and 5s. HELP!!!!!!!


Senior Member
I feel your pain. We have parents that don't understand- or want to understand! They all have Lake Woebegone Syndrome- where everyone is above average.

I have had colleagues that put down anything just to make the parents happy. I also have had colleagues that stretch things a bit so they look like they are doing the best job in the world.

It was explained to me this way: Meeting all the grade level standards is like your brain surgeon knowing everything about brain surgery. Being a 4 or 5 is when he would know that as well as heart surgery, too.


Senior Member
Me too

We grade on a four point scale, with 3 being fully meets and 4 being exceeds...we were told that fours indicate the student is working beyond grade level. So in reality a report card full of threes is a great report but so many parents discount the threes and only want to see fours. How discouraging for their children...they are doing well, learning grade appropriate material and it is not good enough!

I too have a colleague who blankets some children in fours...for example, the child is above grade level in reading (decoding skills) but gets fours for every reading outcome...it is so frustrating to be the teacher who gets this kid the following year. You either look like a real hard ass who doesn't see their child's genius...or a bad teacher because their child is "dumber" in your grade! It is pure nonsense!

I really hate the numbers....!


Senior Member
report cards

It seems that just when we think we have the reporting "licked" and that parents will understand, we find that parents will still question our methods and the scores. Unfortunately, we are left with what the teacher(s) before us did. If they were too liberal in applying the scores, then the parents think you are being too stingy. It is hard to imagine how we can win in this situation. Some teachers (I've known a few) just don't want to have to struggle with parents, so they cave in and give good grades/scores from the start. I think it's time for your school to circulate another memo to parents about how grades are actually computed and what they mean. It also sounds as if your teachers need the same information, if the teacher before you is ignorning the instructions and is giving everybody 4's and 5's.


Full Member
We just switched

We just switched to a 4 point report card and I love it but one of my parents doesn't. About 2 months ago, our admin. had a parent meeting to explain all about the report card. He was very clear about the fact that parents should NOT expect 4's and that 1 2 3 4 did not equal A B C D. He explained that the report card was designed to help the children "grow" not just assess them. He said our focus should be on teaching not just assessing and he hoped the parents would join us in that effort. Great...right? Well guess who didn't go to the parent meeting. You got it - the confused and upset parent. (Okay okay...I am not going to focus on my "uniformed" parent.) The good thing is that I ONLY had one confused/upset parent;). It was all due to the parent meeting. Would your admin. ever consider something like that? They also sent out a letter to all parents who did not attend (yeah, my "parent" admittedly didn't read it:mad:). Our admin. also charts how many of each "grade" ( 1 2 3 4) we are giving. That way, they can see if we (the teachers) are or are not in alignment from grade to grade. For example, they will address it if they see that 1st grade has 20 4's and 2nd grade only has 2 4's. This kind of keeps the reigns in and I personally love it<!--lovestruck-->. I would really urge you to suggest this to your principal or AP. Hope these help!


Full Member
I think even with A,B,C... report cards there is the same problem. I have kids that are right on grade level so according to our district cannot get anything higher than a C. It says it right on the report card. So, I give them a C and their parents freak out. Like you said, the biggest problem is when the previous teacher gives inflated grades! I hate that :(


Senior Member
bad grade

I had a parent wonder how her daughter got a bad grade. Well, her "bad" grade was a C. For me, a bad grade is a D or an F. Parents need to think about a child's progress and not focus upon donations of good grades for effort. I think the system of numbers should help for most parents, as long as it's explained to them carefully that the numbers don't translate into letter grades. (Many of them will still try to translate, I'm sure.)