Parents: Do you make the grade?
On Jan. 26, CNN reported on new legislation being proposed in Florida that would allow teachers to assess parents on the level of their involvement in their children's academic career. The full text of the bill appears here.
The parental advocacy group ParentRights.org is circulating a petition to kill the bill. "The whole idea of setting up public schools as overseers of parents is one more sign that American parental rights are in danger."
Now, studies and articles like this one show a direct correlation between high student achievement and consistent parental involvement. As a parent of two special-needs children, I chose their school partly because of its reputation for giving parents ample opportunity to participate.
But what about the parents who, for any number of reasons (both parents working, single parenting, custody limitations, etc.) are either unwilling or unable to do lunch duty or help with science fair? And what about parents whose own education left something to be desired? In reality it is these children who are most at risk, and whose parents are perhaps most in need of concrete information about how to better support their child's educational goals.
Of course, there will always be parents at either end of the "involvement" spectrum — those who "hover" and those who simply don't care. But this middle group — parents who want their children to do well, but aren't giving them the support they need most — might benefit from a gentle prodding.
What do you think?