I think we are so stuck in our current framework because of contractual agreements about when conferences happen and how long they will take.
Many of our sons conferences were like sprints to just get everything covered in 15 minutes! And we knew that there were other parents waiting right outside the door for their 15 minute time slot.
Too too many of them included too much time with the teacher talking through the entire conference- sometimes about topics that didn't even pertain to our child or his work/skills/lack of skills etc.
What if conferences could be done on a rotating basis throughout the year where the teacher knows they will have one parent conference per week? That way they can have a less stressful prep time for 30 conferences all at once and the tie pressure is removed from each conversation.
It allows for one long conference at some point in the year and then enough time for short/quick check in and connect conversations about progress at other points in the year.