Communicating with Parents about Student Learning
Even in our constantly connected age of email, online school portals and cellphones, it can be challenging to capture the attention of students’ families and communicate important information about children’s academic progress. Too often, a report card may be the first time that a parent or guardian takes a close look at a student’s work in a given class.
And yet we know that parents and guardians play a central role in reinforcing student learning at home and helping teachers understand the needs of each learner in the classroom. So what can teachers do to help build families’ understanding of student’s strengths and areas for growth?
Recently, EdSurge Columnist and Charter School Growth Fund Partner Alex Hernandez shared his perspective. As a parent, he finds information from NWEA’s MAP—among other resources—particularly helpful in understanding the full picture of his children’s progress. While students’ MAP results are used primarily to help educators target and personalize instruction, they can also be used to communicate with parents about student learning.
“My favorite ‘second opinion’ right now comes in the form of standardized tests like the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP),” he writes. “These normed tests tell me how my children rank in various subjects compared to all their peers taking the same test. If my child is getting 3’s and 4’s in math on his report card and performs better than 87% of children his age in math on the standardized test, I feel really good about my kid, my child’s teacher and the school. But if my kid is getting all 4’s and scores better than only 32% of his peers (i.e. the 32nd percentile), all kinds of red flags go up for me.”
Read more about how Hernandez uses information from MAP and other data to better understand his children’s academic progress in this EdSurge post.