Rep. Kelli Stargel's controversial plan to grade parents

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A Florida legislator is proposing a new law looking to hold parents responsible for their child’s performance in class, reports Caitlin Williams of MyFoxTampaBay.com

Lakeland Republican Kelli Stargel believes that schools need to go beyond just teacher accountability.

“I feel like the missing link was the parent. We need to somehow engage the parent in this process,” Stargel said.

The lawmaker plans on getting parents involved with the help of a parent report card that will be distributed four times a year. For parents with children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, the card would be included with their child’s report card.

Parents will be given one of three grades:

  • Satisfactory
  • Needs Improvement
  • Unsatisfactory

The grades will be based on the parents’ performance in three areas:

  • Attendance [of child]
  • Preparation [of child for class]
  • Communication [between parent and teacher]

The concept of the parent report card has both supporters and critics.

“I think it’s a good idea. I feel like I would get a pretty good grade,” said parent Rai Smith.

Critics, however, are concerned that parents might take offense, and as a result do even less.

“Parents have a very tough job. I’m a parent. I’m not sure unsolicited [that] I want someone to send something home and say we don’t think you’re a very good communicator,” said teacher Jock Willers.

The proposed law would allow for parents to appeal any grade they disagree with.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.