About a month ago, Deidra Hewitt, who lives in Denver, North Carolina, where she has two children in a public elementary school, wrote about how the school required her to sign off on her children’s homework more than 400 times a year. Today, she writes about what happened after she wrote to the school Superintendent to tell him about the policy. Read the background here.
Advocacy Can Make a Difference
by Deidra Hewitt
I emailed a letter to the school Superintendent and the Board of Education, regarding the “sign or your child will be punished” policies, that I find so offensive. The Superintendent contacted me for a meeting. I was really pleased with the outcome of this encounter. The Superintendent of Schools completely agreed with me, about parent signatures being voluntary. He was against children being held accountable for parent behavior. He indicated that changes were in the works. Starting at the county level, he advised me that the “accountability agreements” were being phased out, and that they will be gone next year. He stated that he is actively searching for ways to engage parents of disadvantaged students. He agrees that countless signatures do not accomplish this goal. He is prepared to investigate the objectives of requests for parent signatures, and certify that signatures are voluntary.
In an interesting side note, the Superintendent informed me of a parent committee, that meets with him, once a month, regarding parent issues. There is, apparently, a parent representative, from every school. I am a parent who does my research, and I was shocked that such a committee existed! It seems that the parent rep. is chosen, by the Principal. The Superintendent printed me a schedule, and advised me that the meetings are open, and I am welcome to attend. I will, most assuredly, be there!
My advice to everyone is to never give up! If you cannot get satisfaction, from teachers or principals, utilize the resources of Superintendents and School Boards. They are not just there for educators, they are there for parents, too!