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Report Card Bill: Parents Grading Themselves

Tennessee has created a new measure proposing that parents of students evaluate themselves on report cards. According to the Associated Press, the bill, which has not yet been signed by Governor Bill Haslam, will initially apply to two struggling schools in the state. Parents who sign up for the voluntary four-year pilot program will be given a blank report card to grade themselves on their involvement in their kids' school activities.

While a few states, including Tennessee, have already passed laws that call for parents to help with homework or attend teacher conferences, Tennessee is the first to pass a "report card bill," though Louisiana may follow suit as well.

Tennessee Rep. Antonio Parkinson told the Associated Press:

What we're hoping will happen with the parents grading themselves is that they will, at a minimum, become aware of either the good job that they're doing in regards to children's education, or possibly become aware of some areas where they may be able to make some improvements.

Teacher and president of the Tennessee Education Association Gera Summerford supports the measure, explaining that in her 30-year career, she has encountered many uninvolved parents in need of guidelines on how to become more involved in their child's school life. A parent in Nashville also expressed her approval of the report card proposal. A doctor with a busy schedule, she told the AP that she and her husband spend at least three hours every day helping their kids with homework.

"I think it's of the utmost importance because I don't think children can be consistently successful without parental involvement," said Christi Witherspoon.

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