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October 31, 2007

What grade would you give your parents?

A Connecticut school board member wants parents to be evaluated on criteria including: whether their children have done homework and eaten a good breakfast.

Needless to say he has caused quite a stir.

Steven Edwards, a Republican member of the Manchester Board of Education, wants teachers and school administrators give the parents a pass or fail check during parent-teacher conferences.

Read more about the story here.

Is it time that the tables are turned on the parents? With all the pressures that educators have to deal with, should parents also get a grade?

Posted by John-John Williams IV at 9:17 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Around the Nation, Parents, Trends


Like so many other places, every school is going to have its "good" parents and its "bad" parents.

Ultimately you don't have any real effect on the bad ones, and the good ones are the ones who get the press because they're completely insulted by the idea. If you have a parent who's uninvolved, who doesn't belong to the PTA, who doesn't come to parent-teacher conferences, who sent the kid to school hungry, are they really going to care what their child's teacher thinks about their parenting skills? That's a piece of paper that's going into the trash faster than most others.

I see the necessity of evaluating families somehow in the name of identifying people who may be in need of assistance, and who aren't taking advantage of existing programs, but this is not the way to do it.

Claude's right; the bad parents aren't likely to change based on bad grades (unless there are some other penalties that come with the grade beyond stigma).

Additionally, I doubt that educators will welcome the scrutiny placed on them by the good parents who feel that one good turn deserves another.

BUT, it'd be nice to have some focus put on the fact that these kids come to school without eating or sleeping and are held to the same standards as children with a more stable home.

Hopkins should do a study on THAT.

My uber-liberal side really hates to say this, but unfortunately the world doesn't really judge people on a different standard according to parental involvement? It's much more harsh than that. No study needed; an uneasy number of kids in Baltimore City live in a home with uninvolved parents/guardians/caregivers.

BUT, we know this. We know an unfortunate number of students do not have the support that they need at home (granted I think the "public" discounts the true efforts that many parents and guardians DO make in urban school districts). And to some degree, there are parents out there that do want to be more involved but they honestly do not know what it takes to do so. This is not an excuse and never should be taken as one. But, we have to accept that we know these facts to be true. BUT THEN, we can move forward with that assumption in mind. There are plenty of schools that service students of un-invested parents that are doing incredibly great things. It can be done. It just takes a paradigm shift. We can't blame parents, and we can't blame teachers. We have to blame the actions we have taken based on past assumptions. With a new paradigm we can model the the successful schools in the city that are truly educating students in the skills that will be valuable in our new market economy.

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