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Let’s fix, not scrap reports

Parents who disagree with marks their children receive on school report cards sometimes argue the grading system is not fair and should be altered. Few suggest grades ought to be done away with entirely.

That would be crazy. Children’s progress in school has to be measured somehow. That seems obvious.

So why, then are some reportedly suggesting Ohio’s system of report cards for schools ought to be scrapped? That makes no sense, either.

Controversy over how report card data is used to determine whether students should be permitted to transfer out of public schools and to state-subsidized charters has brought the topic up again.

Critics of the system point out that it takes money from some public schools that do well in many regards but fall short in a few.

That is a valid criticism. But some are using it as an argument in favor of eliminating the school report card system. It is unfair to public schools, they argue.

No, it is not. Just like individual teachers’ grading systems, it may require changes in the interest of accuracy and fairness. But parents and taxpayers in general deserve a look into how well schools serving their children are doing.

Ohio legislators may want to fine-tune the report card process. Like any other complex system, this one ought to be re-examined regularly. No doubt it can always be improved upon — and that should be done. But eliminating it is, in two words, ridiculous and irresponsible.

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