Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And You Thought Your Report Card Days Were Over

A school board member in Connecticut has proposed that the district write up report cards on the parents, grading them in such subject areas as Feeding Your Child Breakfast and Dressing Your Child Appropriately For The Weather (as subject I would fail, as my children usually determine their own attire).

Other subject areas include Making Sure Your Child Has Done His Homework, Getting Your Child To Class On Time and Meeting With Your Child's Teacher Twice A Year.

Edwards [the school board member], who has been talking about implementing the reverse report cards for the past year, said his policy isn't nearly as far-reaching as Chicago's — which graded moms and dads on things like how much quality time they spent with their children. His plan, he said, aims to help parents who need it the most.

"This becomes a way of identifying who needs extra help and using resources to reach out to these parents," he said. "It's not meant to be punitive in any way." (emphasis added)

Uh huh. What then is the point? Parents who already take care of their children's needs don't need feedback from other people, especially elected government officials, on how they are doing as parents. Parents who are not meeting their children's basic needs, well . . . are these folks really going to say upon receiving their Parent Report Cards, "Oh gosh, gee, I didn't know Junior needed an adequate breakfast or to get to school on time! Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I'll get right on that!" I'm doubtful.

The article doesn't say what the consequences for getting a failing grade would be. Will they come to your house and make sure your kid eats some scrambled eggs or cereal? Would they like to argue with my child about whether or not his jacket is necessary? What happens if you get stuck in traffic--will they then give you a wake up call the next morning to ensure that you budget plenty of time to get your kid to school?

I know from my look at the NEA's Resolutions that they at least want to be involved in a student's life from BIRTH. They recommend parenting classes (guess who they want to teach them?). From page 27 of the latest list of resolutions (emphasis added):

The Association believes that programs should be established for both students and parents/guardians and supported at all educational levels. . . .

Fortunately for the parents in this Connecticut school district, it looks like such a Parent Report Card Scheme Program is bound to fail, as similar actions have failed in other districts around the country. I certainly hope so.


Monica said...

Oh. My. Word.

Rational Jenn said...

I read things like this and I'm glad that the right to homeschool or go to private school is still protected. I would not be a very cooperative parent in situations like these.

My right to homeschool is still protected, but it's not guaranteed to stay that way, which is why I keep tabs on my state lawmakers when they fiddle with education laws, why I get concerned when state and federal legislators use phrases like "universal preschool," and when the largest teacher's union wants to get a hold of children from birth.