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Parent report card proposal stirs debate

Who's judging whom? Parent report card proposal stirs debate

There's a movement afoot for teachers to start issuing report cards... on parents! How would you feel about being graded by your child's teacher? One Florida state lawmaker is proposing just that. NBC Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis reported the story for TODAY, and it got her thinking about her own parental participation.

NBC News Correspondent Rehema Ellis

By Rehema Ellis, NBC correspondent

As I researched this story, it made me think about my own family. I asked myself, would I mind being graded as a parent?

All my son's life -- he's 8 years old now and in the second grade -- I've embraced the notion that my school days are starting anew.  Of course, the big difference now is that I'm in the teacher/tutor role. I make him breakfast every morning and sit down with him. I read all the school notices and frequently communicate with his teachers and the school. There's a big payoff:  I know how he's doing in school and his report card has never been a surprise. (And I should add, he's doing really well in school.)  

So, based on my involvement in my son's school life, I think I'd get a pretty good parent report card. Still, I got to thinking: What kind of grade would I get if I missed a few school notices or didn't check all of his homework? It could happen, because as we all know parenting isn't easy. Parents, especially those who work outside of the home, have long days on the job, often exhausting commutes, and frequent challenges to keep the house in order AND keep an eye on what's happening in their child's school.  

Susan Rayburn, the principal at Lincoln Elementary School in Plant City, Fla., told me that grading could jump-start involvement from parents who are not actively engaged in their child's education. But she also cautioned that if not handled properly, the parent report card could be a turnoff. Some parents could feel intimidated, she said. If the bill passes in the Florida legislature, Rayburn said she hopes teachers use the parent report card "as a tool for partnership versus a 'gotcha.' " 

She makes a great point. After all, the ultimate goal is to help children do better in school. If the parent report card is used, as she says, to "showcase what parents are doing and then help bridge that gap for what they are not doing,"  everyone's grades would improve ... kids AND parents.

by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Replies (131-140):
mjande4
by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM
2 moms liked this

Hopefully the grade would be lowered for helicoptering.

Quoting Woodbabe:

What's funny is the wanting of parents to be more involved...and yet on the other end of the spectrum we have parents of third graders coming to school to hand feed their kids lunch every day. Would that get them a higher grade on their report card? What about the mom that stands outside the fence at lunchtime yelling at her son to eat all of his food? Or the mom that attends every recess to stand under the monkey bars because her precious might fall?


bolz08
by Member on May. 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm very involved in my children's education...just not their school/classroom.  We do tons of activities, my oldest son even asked me to print off worksheets so he could do more at home.  I have 5 children and do not have the time to volunteer in a class and we rarely attend after school functions.  My son is excelling in school, confident, has friends,and can't wait for the new school year to come.  My point is, being "involved" doesn't mean I have to be involved with a whole classroom too.  This idea oversteps.

nurbabe82
by Member on May. 2, 2012 at 11:04 AM

 I have nothing against it. Sounds interesting.

LindaClement
by Linda on May. 2, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Well... and if it's not 360 degrees, it's irrelevant. If the teachers think rating the adults is 'fine' they can be rated by parents and students... or leave it.

Quoting turtle68:


Quoting LindaClement:

Interesting... 

It has been very-well demonstrated that the kids who do the best (educationally) are the ones whose parents care the most about the child's education (whether through homeschooling, private school, or just being 'involved' with the public school)...

I agree...which would IMO make the parent report card moot.  It would just highlight the fact that some parents are now useless on paper.


Taurus_Girl78
by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

 I think if parents were more involved with there children school  it wouldn't come to this. There are so many parents who think it is the teachers job only to teach there kids. I find that sad. It is the teachers job to give the information out in class to the kids and work with them while in school but it is also the parents job to help there children too at home.  I find that if you work together with the teacher you get more accomplished with the grades and behavior.

FLmommy0204
by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

If the parent is not paying attention to the child, do you really think they give a rats ass what some stupid report card says about them?

And if a single mom is working 2 jobs, barely  has time to see her child, is doing the best she can... what type of impact would it have on her to get a bad report card? 

I don't see the point of them.  My daughter starts K next year at a charter school.  They have parent involvement hours.  I think that's a good way to encourage parent participation.  Hours can be during or after school on the weekends, or they can pay if they can' t meet the hour goals to help fund supplies.

mommy2cristian
by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:41 PM

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting acrogodess:

 Every time that I volunteer for some school function and see that I am 1 of maybe 3 or 4 parents who volunteer, it makes me sad. These classes are full of 20 to 30 kids, many who have stay at home moms or parents who work part - time and yet never make time for their kids and their kid's school. :-(

I would rather have 1-4 parents who were in the class to be supportive and helpful than a room full of parents who show up for appearance sake and then sit and gab amongst themselves.

I get what you're saying though.

 And there are reasons why some parents don't volunteer which other (judgmental) parents don't take into account.  I know for me volunteering in class would be a distraction but my foster sister helps the teacher out 3 days a week.  Plus, I am supportive but admittedly I don't like his school.  I don't support because I don't think they do a good job; however, that has nothing to do with the classroom instruction.  I think that's more important.  Helping him with his learning. 

mommy2cristian
by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

 

Quoting gotnothinonme:


Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting acrogodess:

 Every time that I volunteer for some school function and see that I am 1 of maybe 3 or 4 parents who volunteer, it makes me sad. These classes are full of 20 to 30 kids, many who have stay at home moms or parents who work part - time and yet never make time for their kids and their kid's school. :-(

I would rather have 1-4 parents who were in the class to be supportive and helpful than a room full of parents who show up for appearance sake and then sit and gab amongst themselves.

I get what you're saying though.

the problem for some parents is that the pto/pta moms are often bitches- many parents don't feel welcomed- it's no different than high school really, the bullies are STILL the bullies, the mean girls have just gotten older, not less mean. But this does deter some parents who either are intimidated or just don't want to deal with the holier than thou crowd.

 true.  i've seen the lady who runs ours around the school & she has a permanent scowl on her face.  she never seems to smile.  i've said hi & she doesn't reply.  she doesn't seem pleasant at all even when i've had to give her money to buy books. 

la_bella_vita
by Bella on May. 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

 Interesting

Marimaru
by on May. 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I think the idea behind this is totally sound.  I think where it starts to muck up is the idea that teachers would likely downgrade parents for differences in parenting opinion, rather than the parent actually doing something wrong.  But I think it would be great if parental envolvement was paid attention to.

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