Law to Grade Parents Can Only Fail
February 21, 2012
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As test scores continue to lag, Florida lawmaker Kelli Stargel is proposing bill HB 255, which would allow teachers to grade the parents of their students.
However, evaluation systems for parents could only serve to further our nation’s gratuitous obsession with grades and standardized tests. There are certain qualities and circumstances that you can’t merely assign a grade towards and expect results.
In the instance of teachers grading parents, a system like this could only strengthen animosity between the two groups. While there are always certain parents that could become more involved in their children’s education, receiving grades that admonish their lack of participation would be offensive, at the very least. Most parents do the best they can while juggling work and family; meanwhile, the ones who truly do not put the effort and deserve the bad score are probably not going to be affected by receiving a low grade. We have a catch-22: only the parents who are already involved would actually care about the grade, while the ones who do need improvement are the least likely to care. Additionally, a majority of teachers would feel uncomfortable with the act of assigning grades on parent participation because they too consider it obtrusive and uncalled-for. In the end, this system would create uncomfortable situations for all those involved, inciting tension without providing results.
Despite the importance of parent accountability, in the end, grades and test scores are usually arbitrary measures of true success, and assigning more of them outside the classroom is only destined for failure.