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Report cards that grade parents

IN Chicago, parents, as well as pupils, are graded by schools on their performance.

Parental Involvement Report Cards are being sent out, rating parents from A to D on everything from whether they checked their children's homework to getting them to class on time. Parents rated poorly receive home visits from school officials.

Some parents call it an insult. But Juan Rangel, director of an Hispanic community group that backed the idea, said it was a natural development of educational reform.

At 210 elementary schools in Chicago, parents were told how teachers rated them in 23 categories, includig whether their child arrived on time, had been fully immunised, was suitably dressed, had completed his or her homework, and whether the parent had supported school rules and attended school functions. The parents' checklists are official school system reports, but are voluntary.

Margaret Morrisey, spokeswoman for the National Confederation of Parents and Teachers, said Britain had already made a step in the same direction with the introduction of home-school agreements.

But she could foresee problems if teachers started turning up at pupils' homes to discuss their parents' shortcomings.

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