Florida: Johnny Can't Read? Mommy Gets An "F"

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Johnny_Cant_Read_Mommy_Gets_An_F_138129643.html

    Teachers would grade not just students but the students' parents, under a bill that cleared its first House committee Wednesday on a party line vote.

    The measure, which gained national attention when it was filed last year, would have teachers of students up through grade 5 evaluate each parent's involvement in their kids' education, and require districts to report on parental involvement to the state.

    "Studies have shown that the most important thing in the life of a child is the parent," bill sponsor Rep. Kelli Stargel said. "We've done a lot in education to focus on making sure we have quality and high standards. But all of those things are only going to be as successful as the input and the involvement of the parent."

    The Lakeland Republican said shes gotten feedback from many teachers who like the idea of being able to grade parents.

    Florida has been assigning schools and districts letter grades for more than a decade. Last year, legislators approved a new law linking teacher pay in part to how students perform on tests.

    But during that debate over merit pay, many teachers complained that often a student's performance is helped or hindered more by their parents than by anything the teacher does.


    More at link...
     
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  3. ~n/t~

    ~n/t~ New Member

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    I have two. One had no problem with school and got excellent grades and the other struggled. It had nothing to do with parenting.

    I wonder how they would grade me. I can see them all sitting around a conference table deciding what grades to give parents. How utterly ridiculous! :innocent:
     
  4. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Right...that is my question...what are the standards and requirements that a teacher would use to determine the "input and the involvement of the parent", how would the state use this information and what are the consequences of a negative grade?

    What is the state going to do to those parents graded as not participating enough? As you say, some children respond and some don't.

    Now to me, THIS is big brotherish....
     
  5. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    BBM. From the link:

    It appears the grading standards are objective (and none too stringent at that).

    There seems to be great and growing support for the idea of "grading" teachers and denying them raises based on poor grades. But the teachers with the most difficult jobs: teaching kids from the inner city or poor, rural areas will thereby get the lowest pay.

    If nothing else, grading the parents may help to shed light on the problem.
     
  6. doubt

    doubt Former Member

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    based on (hb 543) as nova mentioned, this sounds like a joke.

    i've never had teachers request meetings and i'm always the one to initiate contact. i'd be shocked to get a communication from a teacher that wasn't a response to a concern or question i had. i'd be impressed, but i'd be shocked.

    another thing....i don't see how the parameters they plan to grade parents on will have any impact on a child's school success whatsoever. did a parent sign the emergency card? where i'm from, if you don't turn that in they don't let your child stay in school. did a parent sign off on hw assignments? shoot.....kids have been forging signatures since the dawn of creation.

    i guess i fail to see the point on this one.
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I'm only speculating, but I think the targets here are the worst of the worst: those parents who have so little involvement in their kid's schooling that they don't even know he has a form to be signed.
     
  8. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    At first glance this sounds horrible, but I also know there is another side of the coin. One of my best friends, with whom I went through all of my education classes and team teaching, is a 5th grade teacher in Dade County, FL.

    She routinely tells horror stories of trying to contact parents for conferences, behavior issues, social concerns, etc. and getting no response. One child was in so much trouble academically that they eventually had to send a registered letter. The parent still wouldn't come in for a conference, or even call them back. What is a teacher supposed to do in that situation? The child just appears at the bus stop, comes to school, and then no one can reach Mom or Dad. How do you fix that? DFCS was even called but couldn't be bothered since the child was reasonably clean, fed, and unhurt.

    Of course, this is the parent who wouldn't notice or care that they had an unsatisfactory rating, so I doubt it would fix anything. But it might help the teacher challenge a poor review based on the performance of his/her students.

    Some classes are real doozies, and the teacher who can handle those situations is often given the toughest cases. Should that teacher be penalized for having a higher percentage of kids with crappy parents? If we are going to "grade" teachers and schools on performance, let's make sure we're accurately assessing the situation.

    It doesn't sound like it is going to be based at all on the child's ability, but instead focus on the parents' response to communication from the school. Those things do matter, kids know whose parents are always late and forget stuff, and the attitude that school is either important or not rubs off on them at a very young age.

    As long as the parents' grades do not affect the kids' grades, I don't think it's a big deal.

     
  9. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    my mom, who was a teacher btw, raised seven of us and I was the worst student by far

    so would she have gotten passing grades for my siblings and a failing one for me?

    what a ridiculous waste of time, resources & taxpayer money
     
  10. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    If you read the posts before yours, you'll find nothing that suggests that parents are to be graded based on the performance of their children. The parents will be graded based on whether they do the things PARENTS are required to do, such as show up for teacher/parent conferences.

    I'm sure your mother would have done just fine.
     
  11. Shelby2

    Shelby2 New Member

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    I know there are neglectful parents out there, I am not one but I'm sure the teacher would fail me. My son has a lot or anxiety due to his past, and has been showing all the signs of school avoidance. I sent an email to the school suggesting a meeting between my son, he teachers, the social worker and I because I wanted to nip the problem in the bud before things got worse. Their answer was, no meeting, but to give him half days, every day. I have asked the teacher in the spec Ed class to call me with any behavioral problems, I have yet to recieve a call, even though he has been sent to the office many times and made to sit in a small room. Today he was in that room for 3 hours because he was laughing in class. He's 14 with special needs. Anyway, they didn't feel it necessary to have a meeting to get to the bottom of what was going on, and give him a list of clear expectations. Instead, last week I get called in for a meeting with the counselor, a police officer, vice principal, social worker and 3 other people, and my son, to tell us that if he was late or absent one more time they would be filing a CHINS with the court.:banghead::banghead::banghead:
     
  12. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    Oh wow, I had to go back and reread your post carefully to see if you were my good friend. Her son is 13 and has major anxiety issues, and she was at the school today too after he was calling her crying from the bathroom and texting her "help me!" while he had a panic attack.

    If your son does not have an IEP, you need to get one put in place. I have watched my friend fight every step of the way for her child, and it is still a battle, but every time the school does something stupid like this she points to the IEP and the very clearly spelled out steps that they must take.

    Document, document, document!

    (BTW, I think this is the exact reason for this type of law. Teachers want to document when a parent is not responding to requests for a conference so that their merit pay or whatever you want to call it is not affected by a bad situation.)
     
  13. Shelby2

    Shelby2 New Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks for your post. Yes, he is on an IEP. It's always a fight which isn't the teacher's fault, the school is always getting their budget cut, unfortunately.
    I do know parents who don't even know what the inside of the school looks like-I think in the UK they have actually jailed parents of truants, for not making their children attend school.
     
  14. Reality Orlando

    Reality Orlando Verified Aquaculturalist

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    How do we take steps to help the children living in poverty so they have the same educational advantages of other children? How do we assure that every parent is doing whatever they can to assure their children succeed? How do we break the ongoing generational poverty that is so pervasive in many areas? Sure there are kids who have ongoing problems that need to be dealt with on a different level, but the biggest hurdle, IMO and having worked with 10's of thousands of middle school kids is parental involvement.

    Get the parent on the same page with an educational plan and I'd bet 80% of the kids who are failing would improve drastically. Empower parents who, in many cases, can barely read themselves, and you not only improve the child's life but that of the parent as well. Programs have been in place for years to try to improve the lowest performing schools. It's time for a new approach.

    On a separate note: I've mentored kids/parents in reading on and off for years and what a difference you can make in their lives. If you have a few hours a week of free time, check with your school district or local library to sign up to tutor a child or adult in reading or math. It's a very fulfilling use of time and goes a long way towards improving that person's outlook on life and future in school.
     
  15. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Again, at least according to the link provided, parents will NOT be graded based on their kids' performance or behavior.

    Parents will only be graded on whether they the parents participate in addressing such problems.

    In a case such as Shelby's, she shouldn't be judged "unsatisfactory" since she is obviously trying to do whatever she can to help her son. But if she were marked down for his behavior, it would prove the perfect opportunity to show up at the school and raise holy hell!
     
  16. starry eyes

    starry eyes New Member

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    BBM- This is also a concern of the teachers who will be graded based on these same kids who may or may not respond, even after endless interventions. Especially those of us who teach special education students in rough schools without enough administrative support.
     
  17. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    well then I guess the thread title is misleading
     
  18. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    The title comes from the title of the article and just checked and it's still the same. Here are some more quotes that may help:

    Florida has been assigning schools and districts letter grades for more than a decade. Last year, legislators approved a new law linking teacher pay in part to how students perform on tests.

    But during that debate over merit pay, many teachers complained that often a student's performance is helped or hindered more by their parents than by anything the teacher does. Essentially, many said, lawmakers were making it so that teachers' could be limited in their ability to get pay raises by the bad, or indifferent, parenting of the students they teach while making higher pay available to teachers who happen to teach kids with good parents.

    Under the proposal (HB 543), a teacher would be able to rate a parent on a scale of satisfactory to unsatisfactory, based on a child's attendance, whether or not the parent has signed all of the emergency contact forms and whether the parent has responded to requests for meetings or communications. Only the parents of elementary school students would receive the rating, and it would be given to parents along with their child's report cards.

    "Its a difficult situation, because we have free public education, and we cant demand too terribly much of our parents," said Stargel, whose five children have gone to public schools. "That's why there are no repercussions in the bill. And I cant punish a parent for not doing something."



    I think someone above was correct in saying this proposed bill has a lot to do with the teacher's pay raises...it seems it is a way for the teacher to justify not being able to reach a student who is unable to meet the learning requirements (such as reading level) for their grade.
     
  19. butwhatif?

    butwhatif? New Member

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    So this is essentially about extra pay for teachers? How does that help the kids whose parents don't give a damn?
     
  20. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    Maybe I see this one a little differently. My oldest son has been in school since he was 22 months old. At that age, you have to attend with them. Twice a week, two hours a day, we attended with him. He's five now, and the most advanced reader in his class.

    My four year is reading on the same level as he is.

    My two year old knows her numbers through 100. She can recognize her numbers and most of the letter sounds. She should be actively reading within the next three months. All it takes is about an hour day, and a little creativity. Some kids won't respond as well as others, and for those that don't respond, parents need to involved in other ways, pushing for advocacy and exploring why their children aren't involved.

    I have seen over and over again where kids are not improving because what their teachers are trying to instill in them is not the same thing that is being instilled in them at home. Parents aren't providing with clean, quiet places to do their homework, let alone making them sit down and do it. The teachers are noticing problems that parents won't acknowledge, and the kids are suffering for it.

    Educating your child is the single most important thing that you can do for them, and it starts the minute they are born. Some parents need to be pushed to make it happen. In most schools, the educators and administrators are responsible for the child 8-10 hours a day (including transport times), and the parents are responsible for them the rest of the time. if these two groups of people aren't working together, then the kids are going to continue to be the ones that suffer for it.

    Of course, this isn't going to apply to every child, but it will seperate those that are just desperate for attention from those with bona fide learning disabilities and behavioral issues that need to be addressed by both parents and schools.
     
  21. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    I see the importance of the parents being more active but I am a bit concerned that some parents whose activity is graded low wouldn't take it as an incentive to improve their performance, but they would get snippy and adopt an even more negative attitude toward the teacher's efforts.
     

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