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The state House of Mississippi has passed a bill requiring teachers to grade parents’ involvement in their children’s education.
The House Bill 4, known more commonly as the Parent Involvement and Accountability Act, wants to grade parents with A, B, C, D or F marks in categories like their responsiveness to communication with teachers, completion of student’s homework, attendance and test preparation.
State Rep. Gregory Holloway, a Democrat who proposed the state bill stated the act will improve students’ chances of doing well.
"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 said. "I think it's a reality check."
If the bill is approved, schools with accreditation ratings of C, D or F will be required to mark parents as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” in the parental section of the report cards, from kindergarten to 12th grade.
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But not everyone is in favor of the idea.
“My initial reaction is, this is absurd," stated 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."
But this isn’t the first time the idea of a parents’ report card has come up. In Florida, a similar bill was passed in 2011 but was doomed to failure.
The state of Tennessee approved legislation in 2012 for kindergarten through grade 3 where parents’ assessment was voluntary.
Chicago Public Schools also required 30 schools to send parents a report card in 2000, as part of an experiment to prod parents into being more involved in their children’s education.
Holloway said he didn’t emulate his bill on any project but got the idea to start such an experiment after noticing high-achievers also had strong parent involvement.