Parents Want Teachers to Play Larger Role

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A poll conducted by the Michigan Education Association and EPIC-MRA researchers shows parents all over the state want teachers to play a more significant role in their children's lives.

According to a statewide poll surveying 700 adults, 85 percent believed teachers should help students learn how to be a good citizen, responsible and trustworthy in addition to the basic math, reading and writing they teach in school.

Eighty-three percent of adults surveyed said teachers should also be involved in teaching kids the difference between right and wrong. A majority of the polled adults said providing discipline and teaching the importance of hard work is part of a teacher's job.

"We understand and accept that the schools must pick up many traditional roles previously done by parents," Michigan Education Association president, Lu Battaglieri said. "But we cannot forget that teaching academics is our primary job. We are judged, compared and ranked on how well we do that task."

Battaglieri said schools are judged on their MEAP scores, which indicate how well students perform in fundamental subjects, but he said schools take on so many more responsibilities beyond what can be evaluated with an exam.