The state of Mississippi is trying to pass a law, which will allow public school teachers in districts statewide to give grades to students and their parents.
According to MississippiWatchdog.org, Mississippi state legislators have drafted House Bill 4, which is also known as the Parent Involvement and Accountability Act. The bill proposes mandatory parental involvement in the lives of school children who rely on the state’s public school services.
This piece of legislation has been championed by State Representative Bill Holloway, a Democrat who wants to mandate that a section of each child’s grade card contains an area where the child’s parent is graded on certain issues.
These issues include how parents respond to teacher communications, homework completion, parental test preparation, and the amount of times students are absent or tardy, which are responsibilities that fall primarily on parents.
Mary Claire Reim, a research associate at Heritage Foundation opposes the bill and said it is unscrupulous to make partially parents responsible for the academic success of their children in public school.
Reim said the following in her statement of opposition:
“My initial reaction is ‘this is absurd.’ The concept that parents should be graded by teachers on their involvement is a reversal of what the education system should look like. Parents should be grading teachers on their performance. Putting grades on parental performance from the top down is not how this should work.” (Mississippi Watchdog Online)
If it is passed into law, this new bill would definitely affect 88 out the 151 school districts across the state of Mississippi. Mississippi’s state legislature is primarily in Republican control. The Mississippi House of Representative passed a measure in favor of this bill in a 75-43 vote.
House Bill 4 contains what is called a “reverse repealer.” This legislative component is designed to force the bill into a Senate conference committee so that the bill cannot be killed past the deadline for further legislative movement.
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