Putting Education Reform To The Test

Lawmaker Proposes Grading Florida’s Parents

Florida House of Representatives

Rep. Kelli Stargel's bill would require teachers to evaluate their students' parents.

Florida law requires grades for students, teachers, schools and districts. So why not parents as well?

Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, has introduced a bill — HB 543 — to do just that.

Fort Myers News-Press columnist Sam Cook thinks the proposed grades are a bad idea and unlikely to improve the relationship between teachers, parents and students.

“The bill will incite acrimony,” Cook writes. “Both sides will get defensive. Arguments will erupt. HB 543 won’t bring together parents and teachers. It will tear them apart.”

One thing is clear from reading the bill: It will create more work for teachers.

It’s also not clear whether the bill would just treat the symptoms of disinterested parents, or actually deal with the underlying causes.

Teachers would have to issue grades in three categories: The frequency with which a student is late or absent; the parent’s response to requests for conferences or communication; and the thoroughness and accuracy of a student’s records, including immunization records, phone numbers and emergency contacts.

The teacher would have to issue a grade in each category of “satisfactory,” “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory.”

Each school board would set the exact requirements for their district’s reports.

The bill would also allow parents to appeal their evaluation and require school districts to gather the data and submit a report to the Florida Department of Education.

What do you think parents and teachers? Is this a waste of time? Will this help get parents to pay more attention?


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