An advisory group for the Ministry of Education is recommending report cards be changed to show letter grades instead of percentages.

The Conseil Superieur de l'Education (CSE) is also suggesting that report cards not include marks indicating the class average, pointing out that Ontario did so in 2010.

The CSE said its suggestion should apply to elementary school and to Grades 7 and 8.

Maryse Lassonde, president of the CSE, said in the report that knowing the class average does not teach anything to the student, and the report points out that the competition for good grades discourages weaker students and prevents them from going to CEGEP and university.

Lassonde, who has a background in neuropsychology, said report cards take away the pleasure of learning and the development of self-esteem.

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge did not like the idea.

He said Wednesday that numbered grades and percentages help parents understand how their children are doing, and where they need to work to improve.

The debate on numbered grades vs. letter grades is not new.

Two decades ago then-premier Lucien Bouchard expressed his preference for percentage grades, and that was implemented by then-Education Minister Francois Legault.