At a recent teacher’s convention in Florida, Peter Cunningham, the U.S. DOE’s Assistant Secretary for the Communications and Outreach office, said he gets a lot of requests from teachers to increase not just the accountability of administrators, but also that of parents. His response: “I don’t really have a good answer for how to do that...to force them to do what they’re supposed to do,” according to the Washington Post.
As one teacher points out in a letter to the Post, though, there are ways to do this and Cunningham’s boss, Arne Duncan, is aware of them. Prior to becoming Education Secretary, Duncan was the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, where at least one school had “parent report cards.”
According to Time magazine, Harold Washington Elementary School issued report cards to families every five weeks, grading their parenting skills. They were rated on their abilities to give their children adequate sleep and get them to school on time, dressed in appropriate clothing, among other things. If parents didn’t perform well, they risked receiving house calls from district volunteers or invitations to “how to” lessons on raising kids. (Think anyone may have been insulted?)
It is unclear how effective this was in improving student performance.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.