Report cards are a great way to keep records of students' progress. It is a great way to communicate students' achievement to parents and guardians as well. In my personal opinion, I do not think that letter grades are capable of showing students' progress. I like the idea of narrative reports because they give detailed written accounts of what each student has learned in relation to the school's curriculum. It also allows the parents or guardians to see what exactly is going on instead of just seeing a letter grade. For example, if a student receive a C for a certain subject, that does not really tell the student or the parents/guardians why he/she received that grade. A narrative report would explain in detail why a C was given and provide unique information about the student.
In my elementary school and high school, we did not receive letter grades. We received number grades and on the back the teacher would write any additional comments that were necessary. I liked this method of report cards because all the information was not condensed in a letter. The students were able to see a number grade and read any comments.