Schools Expert Opposes Parent Participation Plan

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school books Schools Expert Opposes Parent Participation PlanA local schools consultant says he’s opposed to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s threat to jail some parents who fail to attend parent-teacher conferences.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is pushing a proposed statewide law that could jail parents for up to three days for repeatedly missing parent-teacher conferences.

Miguel Thornton thinks communities should focus their attention on educating parents about the benefits of getting involved in their children’s education.

“We have given too much of our parenting to the schools. We need to become better parents, grandparents and that… But, to help the schools, we need to be there. The kids need to see us there. Especially black men,” Thornton said.

Thornton says he believes educating parents is a better way to go.

“I think we have to get to the parents that they understand what education is all about and they feel good about coming to the schools. The more involved the parents are, the better the educational process for the kids. And a good example of that is — look at the elementary schools. When they first start, the parents are there all the time. Look at the high school — when are the parents there?” he said.

Worthy’s plan would require parents to attend at least one conference per year or face jail. Parents of students excelling in school, those whose health issues make travel difficult and parents actively engaged with teachers through e-mail, phone calls or letters would be exempt.

Worthy presented her plan before the Detroit City Council earlier this week, saying she prefers a statewide law, but would start with a city or countywide ordinance.

No legislation is pending.

(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio.  All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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