A Daily Report Card For Your Child?
How often do you have a parent meeting with your child’s teacher? Once, maybe twice a year? Now imagine having a daily report—that’s right, every day—on how your child is doing in school: how she fared on that pop quiz in algebra, how he behaved (or didn’t) in the cafeteria at lunchtime, how much progress she’s making in science or reading or music. Would you welcome this inflow of information, or would it be too much—too intrusive, too much to take in?
I was just talking about all these important and interesting issues with Stew Stout, a former teacher who now works for a New Orleans-based startup called Kickboard (www.kickboardforteachers.com). Kickboard pulls together a whole lot of data—about students’ academics, behavior, and families—and makes it easy for teachers and administrators to view, share and analyze that information. What really caught my attention, however, is that Stew told me that many schools who use Kickboard are sharing this data with parents, by emailing mothers and fathers directly or by sending a printout home with students.
Once- or twice-yearly meetings with teachers may not be enough to inform parents about how children are doing, especially when those kids are struggling in school. And we all know how hard it can be to get information from kids themselves (“How was your day at school?” “Fine.” “What did you learn today?” “You know—stuff.”) But I do wonder just what parents are supposed to do with all of this new knowledge. This may be the next hurdle teachers and parents have to leap: now that we’re beginning to have access to more extensive and sophisticated data about our kids, how do we use it productively?
What do you think?