If Mississippi has its way, students won’t be the only ones dreading report cards. The Parent Involvement and Accountability Act, or House Bill 4, would require teachers to grade parents’ involvement with their children’s education.
As the bill states, parental involvement is most effective when it is comprehensive and continuous. Without proper parental involvement in all aspects of a child’s life, the child’s prospects to be a useful member of society are greatly diminished. That’s why a bill passed by the Mississippi State House of Representatives would mandate a parent responsiveness section on the report card of their children.
The legislation, introduced by Democratic Rep. Gregory Holloway, would require teachers to grade parents on three metrics.
Section 3(2) of the bill states:
Each report card for students in kindergarten through Grade 12 shall include a section in which the teacher grades parental involvement as satisfactory, in need of improvement or unsatisfactory on each of the following criteria:
(a) Parental response to requests for conferences or communication;
(b) The student’s completion of homework and preparation for tests;
(c) The frequency of the student’s absence and tardiness; and
(d) The student’s overall grade per nine (9) week’s assessment.
The bill is not without its opponents. Mary Clare Reim, a research associate on education at the Heritage Foundation—a conservative think tank—believes the bill is the wrong way to encourage parents to participate in the education of their children. “My initial reaction is, this is absurd,” Reim said. “Parents should be grading teachers on their performance.” Putting grades on parental involvement from the top down is not the way this should work.” However, Reim did not comment on how parents—not in the classroom—would be able to grade teachers.