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Chicago to Introduce Report Cards for Parents

Share Recognizing the important role of parents in a child's education, Chicago's public schools are moving ahead with a plan to send home report cards for parents! Are these report cards a useful tool that will help students achieve, or are they a waste of time?

If all goes according to plan, students aren't the only ones in Chicago who will get report cards next year. Chicago schools plan to issue report cards every five weeks to parents too!

Show and Tell

This Education World news story reports on a plan that Chicago school officials say will help improve student achievement. What do you think of the plan to rate parents? How do you think your students' parents would react to such a report card? Would a parent report card benefit the students in your school?

Share your reactions to the plan on today's message board.

The parent report cards, according to school officials, will aid parents-- especially first-time parents and single parents-- in helping their children do better in school. The report cards will remind parents on a regular basis of the roles they play in ensuring their children's success.

The checklist report will detail whether the child is attending school regularly, completing homework assignments, coming to class prepared, and dressing appropriately, among other behaviors-- all things a parent should know and can exercise some control over.

"This is one more tool to involve parents," said Dr. Sandra Lewis, principal at Chicago's Harold Washington Elementary School, where a similar report card to the one proposed has been used since 1993.

"Our parents take the report cards very seriously," said Lewis, who solicited parent input when the form was first developed. "'We need this' is what I heard from parents. I had more trouble convincing teachers."

What Do You Think?

Schools in Chicago are planning to send home report cards to parents this fall.

Do you support the idea of teachers grading parents on their abilities to send students to school prepared to learn?


Friday June 9, 2000
Don't stop voting yet -- we're still interested in hearing how you feel about Chicago's parent report card plan! But we thought we'd report the results to date so you could see how the vote is going...

I support the idea  89%
I don't support the idea  11%

The teachers support the report card now, Lewis told Education World. "The report card is not about failing parents, it's about letting them know where they stand in the scheme of things-- reminding them of their responsibilities before their kids walk out that door in the morning."

The citywide Chicago parent report card plan, however, has many critics.

"We support improved communication," said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), of the proposed report card. "But such communication tools need to promote two-way communication. They need to involve parents and teachers in their development too."

Woestehoff suggests schools develop a parent compact, a tool recommended by Title I officials, to establish an agreement about responsibilities between parents, teachers, and students. "Many schools use another tool, a school-home journal that promotes two-way communication," Woestehoff told Education World.

What do you think about the plan to issue parent report cards in Chicago? Would it be helpful to parents in your school? Share your reactions on today's message board!


Read more about the Chicago plan for parent report cards:

Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 2000 Education World

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