If you feel like your child's teacher is judging you and not just your child, well truth is, they probably are. But just how far should that judgment be allowed to go? Should parents be held accountable for their child's poor grades and absences? (See New State Laws Punish Parents for their Children's Academic Failures)
A growing number of school districts in states across the country are enacting laws to punish parents for their children's poor performance at school. In Florida, lawmakers introduced a bill earlier this year that requires elementary school teachers to grade parents based on their children's completion of homework, on their preparedness for class, and on the child's absentee and tardiness track record, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"Teachers were telling us: ‘We can only do so much in the classroom. We have no control over what happens with these kids at home,' " State Representative Kelli Stargel, told the newspaper.
Parent Participation Bills
Lawmakers are dubbing this wave of parental grading "parent participation bills" and they are popping up in states from Indiana to California, the Times reports. The idea is to identify parents who aren't doing all they should to intervene when their kids are absent or performing poorly.
The lawmakers are in good company: many Circle of Moms members say that parents should indeed be held more accountable. "There are so many parents out there who do not parent," says Jen B., a mom who also does child developmental research at the elementary and preschool levels. And she says she sees this firsthand in the classroom, where parental neglect manifests in the form of bad behavior as well as poor grades and absenteeism. "That's why there are so many teachers who have to deal with rude children and children with behavioral issues,"says Jen B. "Most of the children I deal with are well behaved, but I do come across some difficult children that you can tell probably aren't disciplined at home." She adds that she has been told "countless times" how parents think it is the school's responsibility to handle the kids.
Not only are parents not stepping in to help their children with aren't doing well in school, some even reward them when they fail, sending a dangerous message. As Circle of Moms member Leslie has observed, "They will buy their kid a new Mustang and the kid is failing school (I know of someone who just did this). If he keeps failing school he won't be able to afford to live that kind of lifestyle. I just don't understand why parents are not more involved in ways that matter, such as knowing who their friends are and having a set time to be home and do their school work."
How do you feel about getting graded on your child's academic performance and absence record?
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