Monday, January 28, 2008

Jordan's First Middle School Report Card:)

I've been wanting to blog about this report card for the past five days but between one thing and another, I keep putting it off. However, the school called me and wants the report card back - they keep them in their personal files, and I have no time to make a photocopy- so, here it goes:

The Italian grading system corresponds to the American one as follows:
Ottimo - super A (impossible to achieve, rarely given)
Distinto - A (very difficult to achieve, generally given the last semester upon merit)
Buono - B (consistent work above average, given when earned)
Sufficiente - C (average, acceptable work, oftentimes given during the first marking period even when the child deserves a Buono because the teachers want to motivate the child to achieve at a higher level...this is a double standard because so many times they give this grade to students who deserve the higher grade - so instead of motivating them to achieve at a higher level, it crushes the student morally.)

Before I begin to share Jordan's grades, I need to say that the Italian grading system flat out sucks and is entirely subjective. I will explain this after the report card. I will also say that despite my experience reviewing report cards of other students and disagreeing with their grades, I 100% agree with the grades Jordan received...this goes a long way in explaining how well his teachers recognize his abilities.

Italian: Sufficiente (average)
English: Buono (B - it's a damn good thing:))
French: Buono (B - told y'all the French teacher wants me, the only thing I can do in French is kiss)
History: Sufficiente (average- nightmare subject)
Geography: Buono (B - thank God for Luca, I can't even find my ass)
Math: Sufficiente (average - that will improve, it's the only subject where Jordan is totally independent - love that teacher)
Science: Sufficiente (average - same teacher, will improve)
Technology: Sufficiente (average)
Music: Sufficiente (average)
Guitar class: Buono (B - this is the one on one lesson he has once a week at school)
Art and Imagery: Sufficiente (average - his teacher told me he had very rudimentary art skills - definitely gets that from me:))
Physical Education: Buono (B)
Language Lab (Jordan does not take the curricular Catholic Religion class, this is an alternative hour of study) Buono (B)
All went well in the behavior department with good grades in participation, interpersonal communication skills and work ethic.

The comments were as follows:
The student behaves in a lively but correct manner and demonstrates consistency in his work methods although he often needs some guided assistance. He actively participates in class discussions, but sometimes, not always in an orderly manner. He is learning to organize his own work but is not always able to confidently adjust to certain problematic situations, nevertheless the student has achieved a consistent level of achievement in the class environment.

I am really satisfied with the report card. It shows me that Jordan is in an environment where he is understood and assisted. He is mainstreamed in a class of 27students and has a support teacher with him for only 9 hours a week. She divides the majority of those nine hours between Geography, History and Italian with two hours a week for Math and Science. He sits in the front center of the classroom with two intelligent girls next to him...intelligent and sensitive.

As I said before the Italian grading system sucks because I find it to be extremely subjective. The majority of the exams are oral exams - interrogations, literally. This fact is both beneficial and difficult for Jordan...beneficial because oral exams require him to study, order his thoughts and express them in a logical manner -no easy task for a deaf child...difficult - precisely for this reason as well as the stress of public speaking in front of the class. The power of determining the grade rests with the teacher. What if she doesn't like the student? What if she's PMS or on the rag and hates the world? Way too subjective. I can count on my hand the number of objective tests - multiple choice- exams Jordan has had in the past six years. The system needs to be re-evaluated...I'm sure the Italian government will put that on their list of things to do.
Interrupting post...I am sitting here with Maria Vittoria Cerboni aka Mavi who just crushed me in Scrabble with a record breaking 156 point word (two triple word boxes) - Have got. Shocked. Mavi says hello to all!


Karen Putz said...

Hmm, I read somewhere that Bill Gates was a ho-hum student and he didn't finish college. I think Jordan is gonna do just fine!

But it must be aggravating to have such a subjective grading system!

And smoooooch on the link love!

Anonymous said...

Appreciate your points. Good work!