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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 (31-40):
Tanya93
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM
1 mom liked this

That's life.   It doesn't make it less real because they are busy.

Quoting katzmeow726:

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. 


LoveMyDog
by Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM
3 moms liked this

So the state of FL has all its other BS figured out and has time on its hands to make this a law?  Not just a district policy or and test case on a new idea, but the state legistlator feels the need to dictate here?  I think they have other things they need to be working on.  Trayvon Martin come to mind?  Casey Anthony?  Or how about the time they had a missing girl and dredged the lake and found the body of another missing girl.  Or their oxycodone clinics.  Since they can't fix any real problems they decided to micromanage the school-family communications?  Because after all mature adults need the help of a nanny state!

ElitestJen
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM


Quoting Momniscient:

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.

Ok....so working for the kids and their best interests is ideally the best situation.  This article is not about partnership....its about a power struggle.  Anytime you "grade" someone, you're placing yourself in a position to do.  Teachers are in no position to do so.

There doesn't have to a be a power struggle.  There can be and are mutually benefical relationships between clients and those who service them.  It happens ALL the time. 

For example, if I need a picture framed.  I go to a framing shop and ask advice about frames, etc.  I'm the customer.  Without me (and others) that frame shop goes out of business.  The frame shop owner "works" for me.  It serves his best interest to service me to the best of his ability.  It serves my best interest to work with him and weigh his advice. 

With teachers, its no different.  I can't imagine a parent interested in a power struggle with a teacher unless that parent feels like the teacher is undermining her.  Which I've seen plenty.

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM
3 moms liked this


Quoting ElitestJen:


Quoting Momniscient:

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.

Ok....so working for the kids and their best interests is ideally the best situation.  This article is not about partnership....its about a power struggle.  Anytime you "grade" someone, you're placing yourself in a position to do.  Teachers are in no position to do so.

There doesn't have to a be a power struggle.  There can be and are mutually benefical relationships between clients and those who service them.  It happens ALL the time. 

For example, if I need a picture framed.  I go to a framing shop and ask advice about frames, etc.  I'm the customer.  Without me (and others) that frame shop goes out of business.  The frame shop owner "works" for me.  It serves his best interest to service me to the best of his ability.  It serves my best interest to work with him and weigh his advice. 

With teachers, its no different.  I can't imagine a parent interested in a power struggle with a teacher unless that parent feels like the teacher is undermining her.  Which I've seen plenty.

Yeah. I'm getting power struggle out of your need to insist that teachers work for you.

Good luck with that.


Tanya93
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:11 PM
2 moms liked this

Be a teacher and get back to me about saying parents are not interested in power struggles and undermining you.

Quoting ElitestJen:


Quoting Momniscient:

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.

Ok....so working for the kids and their best interests is ideally the best situation.  This article is not about partnership....its about a power struggle.  Anytime you "grade" someone, you're placing yourself in a position to do.  Teachers are in no position to do so.

There doesn't have to a be a power struggle.  There can be and are mutually benefical relationships between clients and those who service them.  It happens ALL the time. 

For example, if I need a picture framed.  I go to a framing shop and ask advice about frames, etc.  I'm the customer.  Without me (and others) that frame shop goes out of business.  The frame shop owner "works" for me.  It serves his best interest to service me to the best of his ability.  It serves my best interest to work with him and weigh his advice. 

With teachers, its no different.  I can't imagine a parent interested in a power struggle with a teacher unless that parent feels like the teacher is undermining her.  Which I've seen plenty.


katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:13 PM
3 moms liked this
That doesn't make it any less hurtful because its life. I Swear its damned if you do, damned with you don't with you people.

If you work only one job and use pa, you are lazy. If you work a bunch of job to avoid pa, you are a poor parent and get a report card saying so.

But obviously the feelings of poor people don't matter to you


Quoting Tanya93:

That's life.   It doesn't make it less real because they are busy.


Quoting katzmeow726:

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. 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
gotnothinonme
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM
6 moms liked this

I have to say this one bothers me- I respect teachers and believe parents need to set the tone at home about the priority that school and education is, but frankly they need to TEACH the children and not spend time and energy grading parents- the fact is, it isn't going to matter, the shitty parents will still be shitty parents, the only parents who will care about their "grade" are the ones who cared to begin with. And I'm in FL, believe me there is a TON these teachers could be doing with their limited time tht would be much more beneficial to the children- AND finally it will only cause discord between the parents and teachers- a parent that has been found lackluster and called such in a report from the teacher probably isn't going to become magically cooperative and is likely going to harbor resentment towards the teacher over it. The state grading parents period seems a bit too controlling to me- some schools offer perks for parental involvement to encourage it, that's great, some private schools REQUIRE so many hours of parental involvement and that's fine too, but when we begin to discuss the teachers grading parents it starts to cross a line I think- teachers are people too- and some of them are wonderful and some are assholes, just like the rest of the population, they shouldn't be grading anyone and if they do it should be RECIPRICAL.

ElitestJen
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM


Quoting Tanya93:

Be a teacher and get back to me about saying parents are not interested in power struggles and undermining you.


I didn't say it doesn't happen, I said I couldn't imagine it.  There's unreasonable people everywhere.  Including the teaching profession.

Tanya93
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I'm not insulting poor people.   But kids do better with active parents.   Even if you are working 2 jobs, then sacrifce 30 minutes of sleep or skip a shower so you can help with their work.




Quoting katzmeow726:

That doesn't make it any less hurtful because its life. I Swear its damned if you do, damned with you don't with you people.

If you work only one job and use pa, you are lazy. If you work a bunch of job to avoid pa, you are a poor parent and get a report card saying so.

But obviously the feelings of poor people don't matter to you


Quoting Tanya93:

That's life.   It doesn't make it less real because they are busy.


Quoting katzmeow726:

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. 



ElitestJen
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM


Quoting Momniscient:

Yeah. I'm getting power struggle out of your need to insist that teachers work for you.

Good luck with that.

Couldn't the reverse be true regarding your position?

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