Should test paper come home for parents to review with their children as part of the learning process?
I am a school board member and parent at a private, Catholic school in LA. 2 years ago when our school purchased Edline, the adminstration decided to stop sending home a weekly test folder for parent review. This has resulted in most tests not coming home -- even when requested by parents. Instead, the school adminstration wants the parents to set up an appointment with the teacher for the parent to come review the tests. When you have children that struggle with tests, this can certainly become cumbersome and the fact that most families have both parents working makes regular school appointments difficult unless the parents have flexible jobs. A group of parents have asked the administration and school board to reconsider the policy. Therefore, I am trying to collect as much supporting evidence as to why it is a good practice to send tests home for parents to review with their children in the comfort of their own home vs. in a meeting with the teacher. If you have supporting evidence, please include in your response.
After reading your concern about seeing graded tests, I assumed you were referring to an elementary aged child, since middle and high school students typically do not carry graded work home. In my opinion, reviewing graded work as soon as possible after completion does enhance a child's learning if someone helps the child to understand why the mistakes were made.
I am curious as to why the school would have discontinued the folders. And, as I read your comments, several questions came to mind. Is it possible many parents were not reviewing the folders or getting them sent back with the children to school? Is this school focused on grading and academic standing? Or, is the school focused on student learning? In my opinion, the latter is the better approach for improving students, which would support the argument to send graded tests home for review.
In this busy world of today with both parents working, it is hard to schedule appointments when all the 'necessary' people can meet. As an educator myself, I would much prefer to have a telephone conversation with a parent or send a work folder home than to have meetings. The more immediate a response can be seems to be more productive over the long term. I find most concerns are easily addressed with an email or phone call. I personally keep graded work in a folder at school, since many students simply "stuff" work into their bags and often fail to share the work with parents, especially if a score were low. However, I am always happy to send the work folder home for parents review any time they request it with a promise that it will return --- parents know it is coming and will ask for it; parents seem to take more responsibility in getting the work folder back to school promptly when they have asked to see the work folder at their convenience.
Bottom line --- as a nationally recognized teacher concerned about children's learning, I support parents seeing a child's work as soon as possible.
I am an educator AND a parent. As a parent, I definitely like all information and material before meeting with a teacher. This gives me time to prepare for my teacher/parent conference. I do not like surprises! As an educator I also understand why the schools prefer for teachers to hand out test results. Sometimes tests are not an accurate measure of how our children are doing in the classroom. Some children do not test well, and some might have an off day on that particular scheduled test date. Some parents might take these results very seriously without knowing all the information involved. Therefore it is better for the teacher to give out the test results and explain how this test really relates to the student's learning. The most accurate test of course is personal everyday observation and assessment. So, therefore I guess it might make the most sense for the administration to give these tests out beforehand so that there are no surprises - BUT explain to all parents to please wait until their scheduled teacher conference before "freaking out!"