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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Odd educational news item

FREMONT — Usually about 2½ months into the school year, parents make plans to meet with their child's teacher and discuss how the student is progressing. But because of budget cuts, no formal parent conference days were scheduled in Fremont this year.

Instead, by the end of today, many parents will have received only their child's report card.
The elimination of the one-to-one face time has put some parents at odds with teachers or the school district, but others say they understand the constraints educators are under and feel for their plight.
Meanwhile, both school district officials and the teachers union maintain that parents whose kids are struggling will continue to hear from teachers — by phone or e-mail, at the very least, if not in person.

The district issued a statement to parents earlier this year that "teachers take their professional responsibility seriously and understand the critical importance of ongoing communication with parents. ... As always, teachers are willing to confer with parents when needs arise."

Steve Betando, assistant superintendent of human resources, said, "My expectation is that if a parent requests a conference, the teacher would meet. It might be difficult to find a time, but the expectation is they'll still meet."

While a number of parents reported that their children's teachers were willing to meet with them upon request, a greater number of parents who contacted Bay Area News Group said they were denied conferences when they requested in-person meetings because their children aren't exhibiting problems in school.

read more here:

I am not entirely sure, but I would bet that there is some strange agreement between the District and the Union at work here. 

I wouldn't be surprised if it were some gerrymandered decision to make up for other shortfalls. I also imagine that most teachers will be meeting with the parents on their own time anyway. Most teachers I know want the communication with the families to be consistent and helpful. This is especially true for families of struggling students, to be sure, but it would be a very hardened teacher who would follow the rules to the "t" and not meet with parents who request a meeting. 

What I can imagine, though, is that there will be less outreach from the teachers to try and make these meetings happen if the family does not follow through.

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