Parents May Get 'Unsatisfactory' Grade in One State

Gregory Holloway pushes for change in Mississippi
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2016 2:00 PM CDT
Lawmakers: We Want Teachers to Grade Parents
In this Jan. 4, 2016 photo, Renee Fry, right, stands next to her daughter, Samantha Bourne, center, and fellow fourth grader Hadley Forsen, at a school board meeting.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Parents in Mississippi, take note: The state House has passed a bill requiring some teachers to grade parents' involvement in their child's education, KSN-TV reports. Gregory Holloway, a Democrat, says he proposed the Parental Involvement and Accountability Act to improve kids' chances of doing well in school. "What we wanted to do is try to shock parents back into reality to say, 'If your kid is failing, then you are failing your kid,'" Holloway tells Education Week. "I think it's a reality check." If his bill becomes law, some teachers will have to grade parents as "unsatisfactory," "in need of improvement," or "satisfactory" on report cards from kindergarten through 12th grade. Only schools with accreditation ratings of C, D, or F, will have to do it; those with A or B could do it by choice.

The report cards would grade parents on how well they communicate with teachers, how well students prepare for tests and complete homework, and how often the students are tardy or absent, Mississippi Watchdog reports. But not everyone loves the idea: "My initial reaction is, this is absurd," says Mary Clare Reim, a research associate at the Heritage Foundation. "Parents should be grading teachers on their performance. Putting grades on parental involvement from the top down is not the way this should work." Holloway says he got the idea after seeing high parental involvement in high-achieving schools. Tennessee and Chicago have tried somewhat similar programs, and Florida lawmakers voted against one in 2011. Holloway's bill will next to go the House Education Committee. (More education stories.)

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