PARENT REPORT CARDS?
Lynn M. Stuter
February 12, 2003
"USA Today" carried an article on February 6, 2003, stating that parents in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, may be among the first in the nation to receive a report card from their child's school on "how involved they are in their child's education."
What does the school mean by this? Does the school mean how active is the parent in overseeing the education of his or her child? It would not appear so. Further on in the article, school district superintendent, Marianne Bartley, is quoted as saying "the goal is to make sure parents are sending their kids to school ready to learn and keeping on top of their academic progress."
There's that nebulous term again: ready-to-learn. How is that defined? According to the article, one parent stated, "if you take care of your kids, it'll show up in the report."
So, if you take care of your kids, they will be ready-to-learn? Think again. It becomes obvious, in reading the article, that it isn't the parent defining the terms, setting the standards, deciding what constitutes ready-to-learn, it is the school. Likewise, it isn't the parent doing the grading; it is the school. So actually, what we are talking about here, with parent report cards, is parents being accountable to the school.
Remember when the "partnership" concept was pushed: parents in partnership with the school? So, is this how "partnership" is defined: the school sending home a report card on how well parents are doing in providing to the school a child deemed by the school to be ready-to-learn? It would appear so. Doesn't this, then, make the parent the junior or silent partner in this partnership? It would appear so. Isn't this the very concept that Joseph Fields presented in his book, "Total Quality for Schools" when he wrote, "Parents learn that they must provide the best ready-to-learn student possible"...? Oh dear you say? Oh dear, indeed!
When parents objected to the "partnership" concept years ago, at the beginning of education reform, their concerns were dismissed as the paranoid ravings of the "religious right." Guess concerned parents were not so paranoid after all; guess they had good reason to be concerned. How short our memory; how quickly we forget that parents were lied to, made fun of, ridiculed.
Should parents be "anxious" about these report cards, as the article suggested some might be? "Anxious" doesn't come anywhere close to describing what parental reaction to this should be. Parents should be very concerned and very outraged. Why?
A child that is deemed not ready-to-learn is considered to be "at risk for failure." Under Goals 2000 and its peripheral legislation, a child at risk for failure must be given the help he or she needs to alleviate the at risk for failure factors. If it is deemed the parent is the problem, is obstructing or refuses to do what the school deems is necessary "in the interests of the child," then intervention by social and health services, even child protective servies, is indicated. Either of these agencies can remove a child from a home without cause, without warrant, without due process. This is already happening.
The long and short of this is that the schools have gained the authority they need to force parents to do what they want in the raising and education of the child.
Parents should be outraged. Capital switchboards should be jammed with calls from angry parents. Parents should be marching in the streets. This is nothing short of the communist polytechnical system of education in which the child is a ward of the state.
The parental right to oversee the upbringing and education of the child is an inherent, God given right. That means no legislature under our constitution has the authority, directly or indirectly, to infringe on that right.
While the "USA Today" article tries to downplay the authority the school has been given over the parent, the implications are very clear:
"... parents who do not live up to any of their responsibilities would be contacted by an outreach worker who would try to help them become more involved. And parents who cannot or will not cooperate would have an 'adult mentor' assigned to their child." The adult mentor is there in the interests of the school, not the parent. As such, it is obvious that an adult mentor will cause alienation of child and parent.
The article goes on to quote Superintendent Bartley as saying, "If they're just really resistant, they say, 'Get out of my home, go away,' we still have a responsibility for that child." That responsibility includes reporting the parents to social and health services or child protective services.
But this won't happen to you? Don't bet on it. The list of what constitutes "at risk for failure" covers the imaginable as well as much that is not.
The parents in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, whose daughters were given genital exams by the government school never thought what happened would happen either. The genital exams were also the outreach of Goals 2000 and readiness-to-learn. The school was checking the girls to make sure they were not at risk for failure by having been molested by an adult or parent. It didn't matter that there was no indication that these girls had been molested. It didn't matter that the parents were not notified of the exams, did not give permission, were not present when the exams were done. The school was merely acting on the authority given it to ensure nothing stood in the way of the school producing "a world class workforce."
That's outrageous? Yes, that's outrageous. Certainly, it's outrageous! But parents and citizens need to understand that in dealing with the government schools, they are dealing with a system that sees the child as a "resource" or "human resource" to be conditioned to the perceived environment of the "created future"--the sustainable global environment. If the parent gets in the way, the child will simply be removed to an environment more conducive to the conditioning process.
Associated Press; "School district eyes 'parent report card';" USA Today; February 6, 2003.
Fields, Joseph; "Total Quality for Schools; A Suggestion for American Education;" Milwaukee: ASQC; 1993.
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nation-wide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: http://www.icehouse.net/lmstuter E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org