Report Card from the Nanny State

This is a great idea (snark alert):

LAKELAND (FL)| State. Rep. Kelli Stargel wants to hold parents more accountable for their children by issuing them a grade for their child’s education.

Earlier this week she filed House Bill 255, called the Parent Involvement and Accountability in Public Schools bill.

“I’m assuming through this process that every parent wants the best for their kids,” Stargel said. “You can have the best teacher in the world in front of the classroom but if the child isn’t there, then they don’t learn.”

The bill states that each prekindergarten through third grade student’s report card will include a section in which the teacher grades the parental involvement as satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory.

I get that parental involvement is the most important factor in a child’s education. I also get that far too many parents don’t devote the time necessary to encourage their children to succeed. It’s a big problem—too big to be solved by a gimmick.

Besides, it’s not like schools don’t have ways to communicate with parents: like progress reports and parent-teacher conferences. I don’t see what assigning a grade to a parent accomplishes that these other means of communication don’t. After all, the parents that don’t bother to show up and talk to the teachers aren’t going to pay attention to a meaningless “grade.”

What I do see is a politician doing something just to be able to say she did something. And Republican no less—a member of the political party that decries the so-called “Nanny State.” I’d enjoy the irony if it wasn’t such a waste of time and money.

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