I have parents. I am a parent. I love parents. So, don’t get me wrong, but what’s up with the rash of stupid ideas on parent involvement in education?
When I was teaching in Utah, one legislator, one of our friends, one of our champions, someone who had fought beside teachers for class size reduction, school computers and reimbursements for supplies that teachers bought out of their own pockets, this guy I adored and respected developed a idea for a state law that would fine parents $5 for missing a parent-teacher conference.
He was surprised at my reaction. He thought I’d be high-fiving him. He said, “Well, every time I talk to a teacher, they complain about how few parents show to parent-teacher conferences. We need to hold parents accountable. This will give them an incentive to show up and get involved, and we’ll empower teachers if they can fine parents.”
That I know of, this man does not take drugs or drink heavily. So, let’s assume he’s serious and not delusional. I did talk him out of having a bill produced, but just barely. (more…)