Free-Range Kids

Bill Would Require Teachers to Grade Parents on Whether They're Attentive Enough

Mississippi state legislature gets too involved in parenting decisions.



Because there just isn't enough meddling in parents' lives, a bill headed to the Mississippi state Senate would require teachers to grade parents on how involved they are with their kids' education.

The so-called Parent Involvement and Accountability Act already passed the Mississippi House. If it passes the Senate, not only would parents be required to helicopter their kids' homework and assignments, they would also be required to cripple their kids' sense of confidence and self-reliance. After all, what message does a nattering, nagging, homework-obsessed parent send? To the teacher—and statehouse—I guess it will send an A+ under this law. But to the student it sends the message: I don't trust you to be smart or proactive enough to do your schooling on your own, you lazy slug. You need me, an adult, to constantly oversee and prod you.

According to

The legislation, by state Rep. Gregory Holloway (D-Hazlehurst), would mandate a section be added to each child's report card on which the parents are graded on their responsiveness to communication with teachers, the students' completion of homework and readiness for tests, and the frequency of absences and tardiness.

What's more, adds the Parent Herald, parents would also be required to volunteer—an oxymoron at best:

[P]arents will be required to participate in at least one supportive function for the school. This includes holding position in the Parent Teacher Association, working at concession stands during sports games or helping kids at bus stops.

While we're on the subject of the government telling people what to do with their ostensibly free time, the legislation would also mandate nightly writing assignments for students, and require them to read and write a book report on one book each month.

Look, I'd like kids to read more, too. But for the state house to mandate the way teachers teach and parents parent is a top-down idea that does nothing to foster a true love of learning. Instead, it turns reading into a chore, and parenting in policing.

As a government bonus: Parents get to ignore anything else they hoped to do with their family's free time and devote it to proving their worthiness to the state. Way to go, Mississippi.

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    1. I’m sure in their minds they’re being charitable.

    2. Of course, just remember that the state is *first* among equals, Citizen.

    3. Be happy they allow equal, comrade.

    4. Strong family engagement is central- not supplemental– to promoting children’s healthy development and wellness,

      And through public indoctrination, the State minimizes this positive benefit as much as possible.

      A warning to any who might think about home schooling. I was only somewhat against public schools before a decade of home schooling. Now, I really hate public indoctrination centers and despise my family members who are “teachers”. The lie of the whole system is exposed when you find out what educating children really requires.

      Truly, nothing more than Socialist evil. Thieves from the top to bottom. I cringe when I read on these pages that some self proclaimed “libertarian” works for a school system. As long as stealing from your neighbors to educate your children is standard practice for even “libertarians” there will be no libertarian moment, ever.

      1. Not everyone has the time or ability to homeschool. What would you suggest?

        1. It kills me when someone says this. I am not wealthy. I haven’t had a vacation in over a decade. I went several years with only one car in the family. It is called “personal sacrifice”.

          Of course, I also consider theft evil and understand that rationalizing it does not decrease it’s evil. Calling it “taxes” does not change it’s nature. I also believe that my children’s education is my responsibility, not my neighbor’s.

          Replace homeschool with feed, house, medicate, retire, regulate etc, etc. It is the call of the Socialist since Marx.

          1. That wasn’t a helpful answer to what seems to have been a legitimate question. I’m in the same fix; my wife and I both work full-time and cannot afford to go to one income. And we only own one car. We’d love to have enough extra to be in a position for sacrifice to be an option.

            Both my wife (a former teacher) and myself have thought about homeschooling our daughter, but we have neither the time nor the money at this point for either of us to stay home. The odds are not great that within the next few years when my daughter is old enough to start thinking about school that the money end of the equation will change, and definitely not the time part. The hope is that we’ll be making enough additional money to afford a private school. Given that we don’t have the luxury of stay-at-home parenting, that’s the best alternative.

            On a side-note, you might reconsider your tone in the future, and maybe leave your high horse in the stall. Plenty of well-meaning people disagree with you. Maybe they see taxation as a necessary evil; maybe they haven’t thought much about it. Regardless, if the PR strategy for “real” libertarians is to be self-righteous dicks, there will indeed never be a “libertarian moment”.

            1. But smug claims of purity and denouncing others for not meeting those tests are what we do here!

              1. No, that is what the LP does. At least here we get SF slashfic and Warty.

        2. I think his point was that if you’re going to have kids you should be prepared to raise them properly, and not expect taxpayers to do it. Just as we shouldn’t expect taxpayers to feed, cloth or house our kids. But it was difficult to get his point through all the flaming rhetoric.

          1. Based on his response to Marshall his point seemed to go beyond that. Never mind.

        3. I think I’d say just about everyone has the time or ability, whats missing is a plan to make it happen.

          Absent unusual extenuating circumstances, people usually do find a way to afford what matters most to them.

          It may be as simple as pass on fancy new cars, drop subscription tv, forgo dining out, and giving up expensive hobbies.
          Or it might be a bit more drastic like moving from a high cost of living area to an area with a lower cost of living.

          In order to facilitate homeschooling (when it becomes necessary, kid just turned 3), and because generally speaking we really didn’t like where we lived, we opted to move.

  1. Oh Lenore, why do you hate children?

    1. She started out trying to get rid of children *by Natural Selection* and when their resiliency tired her, she thought, ‘Well, I’ll profit from those little leeches in spite those pesky child labor laws and start a political column.’ Like most of us: we hate our employers, but we recognize where the money comes from.

  2. The scheme that Uber uses for people to grade teachers and vice versa might be a better system, if enacted and used voluntarily.

    1. Apparently parents aren’t attentive enough to get off their arses and do that without the prompting of Big State.

    2. Dang, I applauded your sentiment too soon – I misread that last word as “violently”.

  3. [P]arents will be required to participate in at least one supportive function for the school. This includes holding position in the Parent Teacher Association, working at concession stands during sports games or helping kids at bus stops.

    Fucking 13th Amendment! How does it work?

    1. The 13th was repealed by the 16th, homie.

    2. Aaaaand, how were they planning on enforcing the parent grading or the mandatory volunteering.

      “Honey, the school gave you an F on your job of helicoptering parenting Johnny.”

      “Good! Not my job to do his homework for him.”

      “Honey, the school requires you to volunteer for something.”

      “I volunteer to require them to bite my shiny metal ass.”

      1. I appreciate the random Futurama reference. After all, when things get this ridiculous, only Bender can properly respond to them.

  4. [P]arents will be required to participate in at least one supportive function for the school. This includes holding position in the Parent Teacher Association, working at concession stands during sports games or helping kids at bus stops.

    Fucking 13th Amendment! How does it work?

    1. Fucking skwerlz! Fuck them, too!

  5. And here I thought teachers were hired help.

    1. That was true until the Union flipped the system. Now the parents are tax chattel.

      1. *The only reason I don’t go into long debates about the issue of pubsec unions is the deathgrip the Teachers have on the localities. I can see the problem, even if PEF is a joke.

  6. [P]arents will be required to participate in at least one supportive function for the school. This includes holding position in the Parent Teacher Association, working at concession stands during sports games or helping kids at bus stops.

    This is what it’s really about. the PTA–or Parent Teacher Student Association, nowadays–wants/need volunteers and is using the force of government to get them. Because, lack of parental support for their activities can only come from laziness.

  7. I don’t think the proposed bill goes far enough.
    We need webcams in every household so the public school teachers can monitor student/parent interactions. CPS should also be involved for weekly, preventative visits.
    Parents who receive a failing grade will get community service and have their children placed in State custody for protection.
    Do not fight against us.
    We are the State and your childrunz is ours.

    1. All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

      1. It takes a village to properly indoctrinate a child.

  8. What part of compulsory don’t you understand in compulsory education? Education is a right! And when you are properly educated, you are a Progressive.

  9. Graded by the same teachers who scream and tear their hair if anyone suggests that they be graded themselves.

  10. PIAA – it’s like they’re not even trying anymore

  11. When are you idiots going to understand?!
    Zee CHILDRUNZ is better off with zee State, yah???
    Maybe we start creating them in laboratories, no??? Sterilize you mouth breathers and allow zee State to Father all zee CHILDRUNZ!

  12. Um, it is bad for a parent to make sure their kid keeps up with their schoolwork?

    That being said, a micromanging law mandating actions on the parents is about wrongheaded as you can get. Only someone as fundamentally stupid as a politician would think this solves anything.

    1. Um, did anyone say it was bad?

  13. I suppose it’s an improvement on earlier Progressive ideas like sterilization of certain social classes and races (who couldn’t help it because of their race). But it’s pretty much in the same vein. Social engineers are gonna social engineer.

    1. If only there were some way to weed them out of the population.

  14. Whoda thunk that Mississippi is the up-and-coming hotbed of Progressive policymaking?

    On a more serious note, my wife taught 3rd grade in public schools for ten years before her survival instincts kicked in and she left. She taught in an area with a lot of families you’d consider “economically disadvantaged”, to use the government’s charming terminology. Teachers used to complain about parents not being involved enough, but she’d point out that a third of the parents don’t even speak a lick of English. And more than half are single parents with a bunch of kids, and/or working two jobs, etc. And sure, a sizeable number are just degenerate trash who leave their kids alone all night while they go to the club.

    So you can pass any law you want, but it’s almost never the case that parents aren’t as involved as the school wants them to be because it just never occurred to them. If I’m at home six hours a day because I’m working the rest of the time, or I’m not baking cookies for some stupid PTA bake sale because I’m on food stamps eatin’ tuna out of the can, no law is going to change that.

    Besides, I double-dog-dare someone to try to force me to work a concession stand at a high school football game on my day off.

    1. Yeah, about that concession stand. I’m sure it would be easy to find a few health code violations, inadequate safety equipment, etc. Plus, you haven’t been trained; not your fault all those folks got foodborne illness. Many, many ways to make them back off of this.

  15. “[P]arents will be required to participate in at least one supportive function for the school. This includes holding position in the Parent Teacher Association, working at concession stands during sports games or helping kids at bus stops.”

    So it’s not enough to force me to pay for your pointless, boring, non-Lucha-Libre sports, but you also want to enslave me to work at your sports facilities??

  16. Although I suspect this is a progressive initiative, it could backfire on them in a way beneficial to us. If parents litigate the mandatory involvement on 13th Amendment grounds it would be a good teachable moment for how the rest of us feel about being taxed to pay for their childrens’ schooling. The state will lose on this, which is always a good thing. This should also re-ignite the debate about rating teachers, which is also a good thing. And ever parent who yanks their kids out of public schools because of this is also a win.

    1. My experience is that the vast majority of people have no issue forcing me to pay for the education of their kids. It won’t be a teachable moment for that – only for inscription of parents.

      1. My experience is that the vast majority of people have no issue forcing me to pay for the education of their kids.

        Indded. Free babysitting beats freedom every time…

  17. Do I get an Irony Trophy if I volunteer to read 1984 in high school English class with the students?

  18. No one has pointed out the irony of any sort of educational program being proposed in Mississippi? Seriously, I think the state motto is “at least we’re not Arkansas!”

    And no apologies to the commentariat in either of those states, beyond “sorry you have to live there.”

  19. I usually ike Skenazy’s viewpoints, but I actually think this article is a misfire.

    “Grading someone” is free speech. There is nothing wrong with grading or commenting on anything you want. It’s perfectly libertarian.

    No libertarian would claim that a private school couldn’t have their teachers do this, for example (even while many might say they would not send their children to such a school).

    “not only would parents be required to helicopter their kids’ homework and assignments” No, they wouldn’t, and this representation of the bill is kind of embarrassing. Parents aren’t *required* to do shit. All it says is that teachers may grade them on what they do, but unless there’s some clause Skenazy didn’t include here, the only consequence that would result is that teachers may give them a different “mark” on their report card. A parent who doesn’t care can just ignore that.

    “[P]arents will be required to … working at concession stands during sports games or helping kids at bus stops.” Again, without describing the threats that the State is making against parents who don’t do these things, this is an empty and incomplete statement that may be entirely within libertarian constraints (modulo, again, state schools int he first place). There are private schools for example that “require” parent volunteering: the consequence for not doing so is the threat that they will not take your child back in the next year. Perfectly libertarian.

  20. Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States..

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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