Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel and Walgreens are partnering up to increase parental involvement in 70 Chicago Public Schools. They hope to encourage more parents to be more involved in their children’s education by offering them $25 Walgreens’ gift card for attending parent-teacher conferences and picking up report cards.
“The success of a student is supported by three pillars: a principal who is held accountable for that success, a teacher who is committed to that success, and, most importantly, a parent who is involved at home,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Well, that’s certainly true. It’s just terribly sad that schools have resorted to giving parents money for doing what they’re supposed to want to do as parents. In essence, it’s like treating these parents like the children they’re supposed to be raising. We’ve all seen students who were always rewarded for doing their homework or behaving well in class, to the point where they found no pleasure in learning for learning’s sake and being obedient just so they wouldn’t disrupt anyone else. We hope the same doesn’t happen with these parents. That as soon as they stop getting paid for doing what a parent should do, they’ll slack off once again.
But on the other hand, I appreciate the fact that Emanuel and his staff are trying to think of new ways to close this essential gap. Maybe this will encourage parents who often have to work in lieu of attending their child’s school functions to take time off for their little ones. Perhaps, they’ll come to understand how important their presence can be to the emotional and academic success of their students. Emanuel has stated that the city plans expanding this program to other schools in the city.
What do you think, is this a good way to get parents involved? Can you think of a better incentive?