What Is a “Good” Report Card? (1947)


Betty Irish, an elementary coordinator from San Diego, Calif., published “What Is a ‘Good’ Report Card?” in the Parent-Teacher Courier, and it so impressed the editors of Educational Leadership that they broke from customary practice of only featuring original content and republished it in the magazine’s April 1947 issue.

Read the article: What Is a “Good” Report Card? (PDF)

In retrospect, it’s easy to see how the editors were entranced; who else had thought to talk about report cards through prehistoric allegory? The First Mother, befuddled by the report card brought home by her Son, First Child, puts on “her newest tiger skin” to pay a visit to First Teacher and get more information: is his report card “good”?

Irish then tells of two scenarios, one in which the teacher’s explanation leads to First Mother scolding First Child back at the cave, and one in which the outcome is happier for all involved. Although I won’t reveal it here, the message this allegory sends is still as relevant today as it was when it was published—perhaps even more so.