Education

Parent Involvement Unwelcome

By Stacey Decker — August 15, 2007 1 min read

Christmas comes early for vocal parents concerned about what’s happening in their children’s schools. The Washington Post is running a series that takes an in-depth look at “interesting cases in which parents feel school officials froze them out of the process of dealing with their children’s teachers.”

The first column in the series concerns Soon-Ja Kim, a teacher of 20 years from Montgomery County, Md., who was fired for “incompetence.” Kim agreed to have her file opened, giving outsiders a rare opportunity to follow the dismissal process that began when her principal recommended she be fired. The Peer Assistance and Review panel finalized the principal’s decision. They also declined to consider the more than one hundred supportive letters from parents, which called Kim “a phenomenal role model.” Notwithstanding the Maryland Board of Education’s recent parent involvement initiative, the review panel defended their decision to dismiss Kim. The panel’s co-chair, Doug Prouty, told the Post that the parent letters and student test scores were considered “secondary data sources.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.