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Report cards for parents

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While the B.C. media is abuzz over the latest Foundation Skills Assessment results designed to track how well students are doing at school, Chicago mums and dads are in a flap over a school district scheme to rate parents.

The Chicago public school system has introduced a Parental Involvement Report Card.

According to the New York Times, this move comes in response to parental calls for tighter accountability, which has in turn placed schools under intense scrutiny and pressure to improve student performance.

The schools are pushing back.

As local school superintendent, Dr. Linda Rossler, recently pointed out at a Myrtle Philip PAC meeting, parental involvement is one of the keys to academic success. "There needs to be parental involvement," she said.

That kind of parental involvement helps students score higher on FSA scores.

While parents have sought to hold schools and teachers accountable for academic achievement, in Chicago the school system is coming up with a variety of ways to hold parents responsible as well.

The most controversial measure is teachers marking parents on involvement and handing out report cards.

Some parents reportedly find this helps them analyze their priorities but others, like Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, a Chicago group that trains parents to run for seats on local school councils, said parents are deeply insulted by the plan to grade them.

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