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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 (21-30):
_Bama_
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM
2 moms liked this

I dont have a problem with it... its my job as a parent to make sure my son is doing what he needs to do in school to pass and if he needs extra help with anything its my job to make sure at home he gets that extra help. First thing I do every afternoon is check that bookbag...then later its on to the homework.

ElitestJen
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM


Quoting Sisteract:

Nah- I have read your replies in other groups as well. It's your go to approach- own it. I doubt you care what anyone on CM thinks of your displayed attitude/tone.

I generally skip over them myself- the world is filled with malcontents.

LOL  Malcontents.  Your 8-ball needs to be fixed.

FTR, I love my kids' teachers. 

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM
7 moms liked this

When I was a public school teacher, I did not work for you. 

I attempted to work with you and if a parent was unwilling, unable or unknowing it was not my responsibility as I did not work for the parents. I was always willing to work WITH the parents though.

Had you come into my classroom and said that I worked for you, I would have politely disagreed with you and invited you to be a part of the classroom.

Quoting ElitestJen:

I don't work for teachers.  They work for me (and the rest of the parents and kids they serve). 

I'm very involved in my children's educations, never miss a conference, volunteer, and always available.....but its not their job to grade me.



ElitestJen
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM
3 moms liked this


Quoting Momniscient:

When I was a public school teacher, I did not work for you. 

I attempted to work with you and if a parent was unwilling, unable or unknowing it was not my responsibility as I did not work for the parents. I was always willing to work WITH the parents though.

Had you come into my classroom and said that I worked for you, I would have politely disagreed with you and invited you to be a part of the classroom.


Who did you work for?  The Principal?  The School Board?  The State? 

All of them, save for the principal, are elected officials (also public servants). 

Working with parents is absolutely an ideal circumstance.  It works better for all parties involved....especially the kid.  Ultimately, though, its the parent's job to ensure quality education for their kid. 

Tanya93
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM
5 moms liked this

I always loved the parents that were never available on the phone, could never come for a conference, wouldn't sign failing tests, and then call the principal to ask why I failed their child.

opal10161973
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM
4 moms liked this

I live in Florida and even though I am very active in my children's education, this worries me quite a bit.  What if you have a problem with the teacher and then they consistently give you poor marks?  Are they going to hand this report card over to CPS to use as a tool to show parents aren't taking 'proper' care of their children?  This just has too many questions for me to feel easy about it.  Another way for the government to stick their noses where it doesn't belong- in MY business! 

JazzyMommyx3
by Bronze Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM
1 mom liked this
Im not sure i like this idea, i dont get to do much extra volunteer and such, though i am active in my kids homework, but Volunteering does not make you a better parent of a student... so unless thats not part of the grade, i find it ridiculous.
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rfurlongg
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM
1 mom liked this
It takes a village to successfully raise a child. Suggestions like this one and grading teachers etc... Signifies to me the lack if respect some people on both sides have for each other.

I work closely with my sons teachers, and like the author have never really been surprised by anything sent home. I respect my sons teachers immensely and I think the feeling is mutual.

As I previously said, a successful adult is not the result of one single person.
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Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting ElitestJen:


Quoting Momniscient:

When I was a public school teacher, I did not work for you. 

I attempted to work with you and if a parent was unwilling, unable or unknowing it was not my responsibility as I did not work for the parents. I was always willing to work WITH the parents though.

Had you come into my classroom and said that I worked for you, I would have politely disagreed with you and invited you to be a part of the classroom.


Who did you work for?  The Principal?  The School Board?  The State? 

All of them, save for the principal, are elected officials (also public servants). 

Working with parents is absolutely an ideal circumstance.  It works better for all parties involved....especially the kid.  Ultimately, though, its the parent's job to ensure quality education for their kid. 

I worked for the kids and their best interests. I did not care if the parents thought I worked for them as I found that those parents were the ones who were often undermining their childs education. So. I went about my daily curriculum, planning and teaching goals with the students in mind. If parents wanted to be involved they were absolutely welcome and encouraged to do so.

Ultimately it is the parents responsibility to ensure their child is getting a proper education, but they are usually not going to do that without a teacher who is a partner. Teachers are not parents employees and that kind of attitude serves to illustrate a real issue for kids when their parents unknowingly or selfishly undermine a partnership that should be productive not a power struggle.

Most teachers aren't interested in power struggles with parents and therefore will not engage in them.


katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM
5 moms liked this

I really am torn.  I mean I want parents to be more involved.

But at the same time what if it's a parent who is single, and has to work two, or even three jobs to stay afloat?  Or maybe is working and going to school, and really just can NOT be as involved as they want?

A report card like that would be really hard on them, because they likley already feel guilty for not being able to be really involved with their kids. 

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