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Thread: Is a school report card a legal document

  1. #1
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    Is a school report card a legal document

    The Elementary school that my son goes to has change his report card. Are they allowed to do this? They changed it to make them selfs look better. I am looking for advice about what I should do. Thanks for any advice you guys may have.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    Quote Originally Posted by robertrose6 View Post
    The Elementary school that my son goes to has change his report card. Are they allowed to do this? They changed it to make them selfs look better. I am looking for advice about what I should do. Thanks for any advice you guys may have.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    That may be a option.

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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    How exactly did they change it?
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    Quote Originally Posted by robertrose6 View Post
    The Elementary school that my son goes to has change his report card. Are they allowed to do this?
    Yes.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    If it was a university transcript I'd say no. Those are legally-binding, with fairly lengthy processes required for changing them.

    High school report cards I'd be tempted to say that they could not be changed without some kind of explanation and/or appeal process, but I'm not 100% certain.

    For elementary school report cards, I'm pretty sure there's nothing legally-binding in those, so I'd be very tempted to say the school can do whatever they want with them. Around here elementary schools' report cards are very abstract indicators of whether or not the student is making an attempt at accomplishing their work, not a measure of how well the work was actually done, so ultimately they're pretty meaningless to everyone.

    How exactly did the school change the report card in question?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real Dave View Post
    How exactly did they change it?
    They removed the teacher comments. They also raised a couple of the grades.
    The reason I ask is because we are having issues with my son placement for next year and with the better grades they will be more incline to place him were they think he needs to be instead of were we think he needs to be.
    Last edited by robertrose6; June 24th, 2010 at 09:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    Quote Originally Posted by robertrose6 View Post
    They removed the teacher comments. They also raised a couple of the grades.
    The reason I ask is because we are having issues with my son placement for next year and with the better grades they will be more incline to place him were they think he needs to be instead of were we think he needs to be.
    I've worked at a number of schools (granted, not elementary-level ones), and schools can indeed change grades and comments. Usually it's polite (and it may be legally necessary, too--I'm not sure) to include some kind of explanation.

    In fact, there have been many instances in which admission offices (and, again, I've worked in several) have gotten revised transcripts from feeder schools with a brief explanation of the change in grade or comment.

    Just because a document is legally binding doesn't mean it can't be revised.

    That said, you can certainly fight the teachers on your son's placement. I've seen it work successfully both ways (fighting for higher placement or fighting for lower placement). Both the school and the parents are just trying to guess what is the right level for the student. Sometimes they guess right. Sometimes they guess wrong. If you feel strongly about your son not doing well in a higher placement, fight the placement.

    Also consider that sometimes students placed too highly at first can sometimes be switched to a lower section if it seems a bad fit.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    We are going to the school distract in about a 1/2 hour. I have no real problem with them changing something I would just like to be told about it.
    If the changes truly show were he is at then fine but what they changed and what the grades look like for this semester just doesn't seem right to me.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is a school report card a legal document

    Quote Originally Posted by robertrose6 View Post
    They removed the teacher comments. They also raised a couple of the grades.
    The reason I ask is because we are having issues with my son placement for next year and with the better grades they will be more incline to place him were they think he needs to be instead of were we think he needs to be.
    If it's a number grade, ask for a copy of the teachers grade book for your son to see how they averaged the grade and how much weight each assignment/test/quiz was. This way you can figure the grade yourself and compare it to the report card.

    As for teacher comments, that's trickier. Does the school use something like Powerschool, Moodle, or some other electronic grading system? If so maybe they can give you a history of comments with revisions from the teachers.

    Some suggested taking your case to the media, but I'd recommend going up the ladder in the school: Teacher > Councilor > Principal > Superintendent > School Board, and if that doesn't work then consider going to the media with the meat of your argument and what everyone with the ISD has given you.

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