Transparency, Participation, and Collaboration in Programs


I am very happy to see the President's statement on an "open government". I am a mother of 4 children. I continue to have problems with the school system and openness. I am currently trying to work with my children's middle school. There is a teacher that refused to let me see my child's quizzes and tests last year. According to the teacher, all the child's work belongs to him. In writing he told me that I may have all my child's work when he retires, but no sooner. My child's work belongs to him. If I want to see them, my husband and I have to take off work and make an appointment each week with the teacher to come in and see our child's work. This is a public school system. Our son had an A in this class the entire year, but still, we were not allowed to see is work. The teacher has argued that he uses the same work each year for students, therefore it can't come home for fear of hurting future students. I have tried to work with the teacher and was able to get no where. I have tried to work with the principal and got no where. I am now trying to work with the superintendant and board of education. At this point, they are telling me that there is nothing they can do. The teacher has every right to withhold my child's work from me, because there is no code that says he has to let me see it or have it. Is this how our public schools are supposed to be run? As parents, we should be able to see our child's work for several reasons. First, what if the teacher graded something wrong. We will never know because we were not allowed to see it. Second, how are we supposed to work with our child at home, on the items that he got wrong, to make sure he understands it for the future? Pushing parents out of the classroom just doesn't make sense. I have been trying for several years now to deal with these issues and get no where. My second son will have this teacher next year. What happened to common sense in schools? Sorry to vent, but I am a very frustrated parent. I have contacted my state board of education and got no help either. They tell me the school and I have to work it out.