Most people remember the trepidation with which they brought their report cards home to show to mom and dad. Today, not much has changed with grading measures and reports cards looking just about the same as they did a couple of decades ago. However, parents of special education students may feel particularly wary of the report cards that their children bring home, never knowing if they will accurately reflect the abilities of their children.
The report card is allowed to show that the student has a disability and may list what special education services were received. The report card should list the courses that the student took and his or her degree of success in them.
A transcript is different from the report card in that it is a snapshot of the student’s academic success. Because it is merely displaying what academic achievements have been gained, it is not allowed to reveal whether or not the student received special needs services.
Many educators and legal experts do not believe that special education students are graded fairly. They believe that the grading systems are severely out-of-date. Instead, report cards should be flexible enough to work for both general and special education students while giving students at all levels opportunities to make high grades. Therefore, even when special education students receive certain accommodations, they should still be graded on their performances related to these accommodations.
Even more disputes and questions arise when students receive a mixture of teaching in both general and special education classrooms. In these instances, teachers must work together to create standards of grading that accurately reflect the students’ progress.