Every once in a while I threaten to write my Congressman suggesting the need for a Parent Accountability Act that would help give NCLB more teeth in helping schools meet Federal objectives. Basically, this law would help schools force parents to become more involved in their child's education, and hopefully produce better students. Of course that would never sit well with voters so it must remain a fantasy.
However, a New Jersey English teacher has come up with an interesting way to motivate parents into getting more involved with their child's education: he assigns parents mandatory homework. According to The New York Times, Damion Frye, an English teacher at Montclair High School, assigns parents the same reading list he gives his students and asks parents to write responses on a blog he setup. Students whose parents don't do their homework could have points taken off their grade. The idea is for parents to share in what is going on in class.
Some parents like the dialog it has created with their children and participate enthusiastically. Other parents don't like the idea of having homework but do it anyway or have creative excuses for not getting it done. Of course there are some parents who refuse to do the homework at all (I wonder what their child's grades, especially homework, are like). Only one child in three years has been docked points for parents not doing an assignment. This is because the parent did not communicate at all with Mr. Frye but it did not affect the student's overall grade.
Is Mr. Frye on the right track? How much would you like to see parents become involved in class?