Should teachers be able to grade the parents of their students?
Florida state rep. Kelli Stargel (R) thinks so. She’s working on a bill that would give elementary school teachers that power.
“We have student accountability, we have teacher accountability, and we have administration accountability,” Stargel told CNN in January. “This was the missing link, which was, look at the parent and making sure the parents are held accountable.”
As Stargel envisions it, parents of K-3 kids would be graded on three criteria:
- A child should be at school on time, prepared to learn after a good night’s sleep, and have eaten a meal.
- A child should have the homework done and be prepared for examinations.
- There should be regular communication between the parent and teacher.
Educators interviewed by CNN had mixed reactions to the idea. Sharon Francis, a first-grade teacher, didn’t think it would have any effect on the parents who need the most help. “It’s not going to faze them,” she said, “whether you put ‘unsatisfactory.'”
CNN education contributor Steve Perry pointed out another possible glitch: “There is nothing in any teacher’s training that would put them in a position to be able to effectively judge the parenting of one their student’s parents.”
But kindergarten teacher Teresa Hill likes the idea: “This is the real world. You don’t always get a superior rating if you’re not doing a superior job. That’s life…. We grade our children based on their performance. Why should the parents be any different?”
Writing in the Orange County Register, Mark Uyemura wonders how a teacher could really know what kind of meal or how much sleep a child is getting. Also, he writes, “Sometimes it goes much deeper than just a lack of parental caring. Many kids just don’t have a loving and positive support system in place to put it all together. They come from broken homes, are affected by poverty, exposed to crime, and surrounded by negative role models; how would you perform if you had one or all of these odds stacked against you as a child?”
The bill is still under revision, but what do you think?
Have a better idea for how to achieve the goal of alert, prepared, well-rested, and well-fed students?
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