Should teachers be mandated to make house calls?
To help struggling black male students, a state council is recommending that teachers and principals be required to make quarterly home visits and weekly phone calls.
The suggestion is one of many in the just released 2008 report of the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, a group whose creation in 2006 was strongly backed by then St. Petersburg state representative and now Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Frank Peterman. The education section begins on page 51.
The report notes that 80 percent of black males in Florida high schools are scoring below grade level on the FCAT, and that by one measure, only about one-third of them are graduating on schedule. The home-visit recommendation specifically targets the "parents of students who are earning less than a C average or are clearly underperforming even if their grades are on average a C or better."
Among other council recommendations:
- Better tracking of student disciplinary actions.
- Hiring more black teachers.
- And the creation of voluntary orientation programs for the parents of black male students entering high school.
Ron Matus, State Education Reporter