Parental involvement in the education of their children is one of the most important factors in learning. But the existence of online grade books is turning out to be a mixed blessing (“The New Parental Obsession: Checking Kids’ Grades Online,” The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16).
Although online grade books allow parents to detect a problem while it is still correctable, it has also led to parents becoming compulsive. That creates anxiety because parents fixate on a particular grade rather than overall learning. I’m also not so sure that teachers like the idea, since it means they can become overwhelmed with queries from anxious parents. For example, some parents log in several times a day, which means teachers can expect to hear from worried parents. I don’t know how teachers find the time to respond.
When I was teaching English in the Los Angeles Unified School District, teacher-parent contact included phone calls home, progress reports and report cards that had to be signed by parents and after-school conferences. Online grade books provide greater continuity, but they also can become intrusive.
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