Too Much of the WRONG Information at School….

http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/05/31/digital.helicopter.parent/index.html

The article puts forth one aspect of our data driven society.  The article misses what additional data should really be collected, monitored and pointed out to parents.  Parents need THEIR behavior noted and this includes everything from showing up to parent conferences (on time), attending back to school night, PTA meetings, special events at the school, volunteering at the school and how often the parent meets with the teachers and administration.

In my ‘perfect little world’ parents need to be held accountable before and during holding a child accountable. An example of this includes the following: (1)How many times per day did mom and/or dad check a grade by a particular class? This could be done by counting clicks and post it in the right hand corner. We know that more than once a day is excessive and less than once a week is insufficient if the parent is not having the student contact the teacher for resolution of a problem which is not lack of studying/preparation. (2) Parent count in a box – what % is the parent engaged at school….a list of all possible activities the parent should be attending at the school and a click if they attend. Having a parent click on something at school, similar to the electronic way we check kids in for lunch.  A parent who is 85% engaged, most likely need not be checking grades every 10 minutes as they know what is going on. (3) An accounting of parent/teacher and parent administrator contact. In this instance, numbers of contacts and minutes spent would be valueable. Again, a parent who is 85% engaged is going to use far less teacher and administration time as they are already in the loop. Parents who have extra time on their hands to check grades but not be involved or are using valuable time with teachers and administration instead of volunteering at the school need to be called on their behavior.

We have RFID tags to do all of this data collection. The problem is the will and determination of education to look past blaming teachers for everything and having HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTS.

It is a CHOICE for parents to be engaged appropriately and effectively. A child’s success at school correlates very well with parental involvement and there is data which can demonstrate these relationships. Allowing parents to helicopter without accountability is the real problem.

I take the side that by middle school, students need to be responsible to take notice of their grades. They should have to check in at least once a week to view their own grades, follow up with the teacher if there is a problem and get it solved. Expecting mom and dad to do their battles is setting the stage for mom and dad to do their ‘job’ when the student graduates college and goes off to work in the very real world.

There does need to be balance, unfortunately, until will show parents their behavior, we allow them to ACT OUT, the very thing we are trying to stop.

I keep trying to imagine a world where the very people who went through the steps to get pregnant, allow the fetus to grow and then raise the baby to school age would manage to continue parenting.

A follow up thought:  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/jtaylor/index

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