One of my daughter's middle school teachers checks her agenda book weekly, and gives her a grade on it. If she doesn't write neatly or abbreviate the words," To her teacher's satisfaction", she takes points away. She is worried that it will drop her grade from an A to a B. The agenda book is supposed to be a tool or a reminder for homework or projects, or for parents to communicate with a teacher! I don't think an agenda book should be graded every week, and given equal weight as a test. Wonder if the school board knows what is going on!
I have the same thing going on with my 5th grader, however my kids attend a private school and it was outlined in the parent handbook that it been seen and signed by the parents as a way of holding the child accountable and teaching them responsibility and grading them would be at the teachers digression. However they have been attending the same school for 3 years and this is the first year it has even come up. My son is very gifted and excels at most things, however he has very sloppy handwriting, despite practice. I have the same problem of handwriting that is indecipherable, (thank goodness for computers and other technology these days), so I may be even more bias on the subject then just being the mother. I do however agree that it should just be a tool used, maybe checked and parents signed daily(which has always also been a requirement for my children's school) but not account for any kind of grades. Have you confronted the teacher and principal on this subject? It seems especially unfair if it is at just at the teacher alone opinion on weather or not it is acceptable or " worthy". I used an agenda in school also and can remember abbreviating and using shorthand of sorts about homework and reminders that I would probably be the only to decipher. I would defiantly confront with the teacher about this and if you are not satisfied then move up to the principal. That's just IMHO and what I would probably do.