Should parents be graded for their children’s academics? That’s a question that the Mississippi legislature is wrestling with as a bill has cleared the state’s house of representatives.
House Bill No. 4 would give parents a grade of satisfactory, in need of improvement or unsatisfactory for their involvement. Parents would be graded based their response to requests for conference or communication, the student’s completion of homework and preparation for tests the frequency of the student’s absence and tardiness and the student’s overall grade per nine week’s assessment.
A parent may appeal the report card through a process developed by local school boards.
The report card would be mandatory for schools in Mississippi’s lowest performing districts.
The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a 75-43 margin. The bill goes to the Senate.
"We shouldn't have to have bills like this to make parents get involved," Representative Kabri Karriem told The Dispatch. Karriem is one of the bill’s co-authors. "We do need this, especially in those C, D and F schools, where parental involvement is the first step in moving the school district's letter grade…
“Basically what this bill is saying is that it all starts at home,” he added. “We've got to get involved. It's easy to point fingers at the educational system, but we all have to take steps to make districts better and it starts with parental involvement. It's not a panacea for everything, but it's a start."
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk.Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.