Giving Compass' Take:

• According to a report released by nonprofit Learning Heroes, there is a disconnect between how parents and teachers measure students' academic success (through report cards). 

• How can education philanthropists become involved in addressing this disconnect? How can educators re-evaluate the usefulness of report cards? 

• Read about the ways that school data is failing families by confusing them about student progress. 

If a child earns a B– in math on his report card, is that a good grade, or does it mean he’s the worst in the class?

Ask a parent and a teacher, and you’ll likely hear very different answers. But that disconnect is just the beginning when it comes to how these two groups understand the education system and all the grades, jargon, and communication within it, according to a new report from the nonprofit Learning Heroes.

“We’re not helping parents in ways that we should be to make sure they have that complete, accurate picture of how their child is achieving,” said Bibb Hubbard, founder and president of Learning Heroes. “The system puts all these barriers in the way.”

One of those barriers, Hubbard said, is the report card. It’s the No. 1 way parents say they know how well their children are doing academically.

But teachers said report cards are only the third-most important tool for understanding student achievement. For teachers, a report card is a combination of grades, effort, and progress. About one-third of teachers said they feel pressure from administrators or parents to avoid giving too many low grades, and more than half said they are expected to let students redo work for additional credit.

“To hear teachers qualitatively say, ‘Oh yeah, report cards do not measure achievement alone and do not equate to grade level,’ and then to hear the juxtaposition of parents who … say, ‘That’s what I have to go on — that’s all I have to know if my child is achieving,’ was just really powerful,” Hubbard said.

Read the full article about student report cards by Kate Stringer at The 74