There is nothing so wasteful of time as a "Student-Led" Parent/Teacher Conference. Especially in the elementary grades where report card grades are assigned without any data to support them. As a parent, I am not interested in having my child go through a rehearsed "show and tell" of the menial bits of projects they have been doing after just a couple of months back at school. I want the teachers feedback- the good, the bad and the UGLY. In fact, I expect and look forward to the "ugly." How else am I supposed to know what I need to be working on with my kid at home?
Without real and meaninful conversations with their children's educators, parents have been completely left in the dark about how they can better support their child's education. Contrary to popular opinion, MANY parents are capable of supporting the learning that is taking place in schools. Not only are they capable of doing this, many WANT to do this. The few, "bad apple parents" who abuse the system by expecting our teachers to be the SOLE provider of our children's education should not force the rest of us in to these silly conferences that end up being more of a cheerleading session than anything.