The nation's leading education authority is calling for an overhaul of the public school institution's end-of-year report card system, suggesting there are better ways to value a student's holistic achievement.
The report by the Australian Council for Education Research argued that grades alone are poor identifiers of a student's progress.
Over three years, researchers Dr Hillary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard considered the effectiveness of report cards as a way of monitoring progress.
They concluded that schools could stand to withdraw the overall focus from academic achievement to better highlight the year-long process of improvement in students.
"Grades alone can also mask progress and be demotivating for students," the report said.
"A student who receives a D each report might conclude they are making no progress at all.
"But they may actually have made more progress than a highly able student who continually receives an A but is not being stretched."
Helen Mundy has had years of practice getting her mind around the language of school report cards.
In a few short weeks, Ms Mundy will receive two report cards from Wagga High School. One from year nine, the other from year seven.
"The reports my daughters bring home are basically just about academic performance," Ms Mundy said.
"The other things they're involved in at school are listed, but that's it. It doesn't go in to what that involvement contributes to them or to the school."
Ms Mundy explained that the high school does an excellent job of supporting and identifying students with a variety of talents, beyond the traditional academic or sporting achievement.
Teachers and staff encourage student involvement across the board in a multitude of fields in which they may excel.
But, across the board Ms Mundy said, the way the school system is set up does not always value the contribution of its less academic students.
"There has been a push over a number of years to tailor the teaching method for individual students, I know that a lot of work is being done at Wagga High and where [my daughters] went to primary school to do that," Ms Mundy said.
"As they get older, report cards can be more tailored to show everything they're involved in."
Such a sustained focus on academic achievement is not always mimicked in real-world economics. Considering workforce dynamics, knowledge and ability otherwise pale in comparison to a person's emotional intelligence.
"I think employers are looking for team players, people who can communicate and get along with others," Ms Mundy said.
"Depending on the job, you may need more of those skills. Say, an accountant would definitely have to have a high level of maths, but tradespeople also need to know contract [law], have strong maths, and how to run a business."
While the traditional report card indicates areas for improvement in a student's academic achievement, the same indicators could be used for mapping emotional intelligence.
Otherwise, a student with a superior intellect could be left to navigate the professional world without the inter-personal abilities required for success, and without ever having known this was an area in need of improvement.
"Some people do easily relate with other people but others have to work much harder to learn that," Ms Mundy said.
"There are those who [excel] academically and those who do well in other areas, including in communicating with others. Both are important.
"I do think schools value those things, but how do they show that? The school day is already so jam packed with things to get through in the curriculum, something would have to go to make way [for classes on emotional intelligence], and what would that be?"