A report cards for parents?

Imagine this: Your child proudly brings home an impressive report card. You look at it, remarking on each accomplishment. Then you see a new section that says “needs improvement.” Concerned, you start to ask your child about it. Then you realize this category relates to you. It’s rating the quality of work you are doing in relation to your child’s education.

This idea may soon become a reality in some Florida public schools, should Rep. Kelli Stargel’s bill pass. The bill would require teachers to evaluate their students’ parents on report cards.

As many educators would tell you, parents play a very important role in whether or not a child succeeds in school. Teachers cannot follow students home to make sure their homework is done. They can’t make sure children are watching only age-appropriate television and spending reasonable amounts of time playing computer or video games. Teachers cannot make sure children eat nutritious meals and go to bed on time. These responsibilities belong to parents.

And yet all of these things have an impact on how children perform in the classroom. If kids are staying up late at night, they may be too tired to participate in class — or may even fall asleep at their desks. A good breakfast each morning can improve a child’s energy and ability to concentrate.

According to the proposed bill, parents would be evaluated on how their child comes to school every morning. Teachers expect students to be there on time, after a good night’s sleep and a healthy morning meal. Parents also would be expected to ensure that homework has been completed and that students are studying for upcoming tests.

While there aren’t any measures like this pending in Arizona, it could still be time to sit down and think about whether or not you, as a parent, would be able to pass the first grade. — Veronica Jones

>>Read more about the Florida bill at CNN.com

>>Helping kids with homework doesn’t mean doing their homework. Read more about how to appropriately provide support in RAK staff writer/photographer (and former teacher) Dan Friedman’s post, “Homework is the student’s job.”

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