Comments: I've been sitting on this...

I think the success of a student is THE responsibility of the student. If they have a poor teacher, tutoring, internet support classes, etc are available. There is no reason NOT to succeed, unless by choice.

Enough said.

Posted by Dana at March 9, 2006 02:04 PM

The article correctly divides the responsibility between the parent and child. However we expect children to make poor judgements and bad choices. It is the job of the parents to guide them through these years and set an example of proper behavior. Thus I place most of the rsponsibilty on the parents.

At some point in time, our nation's parents began to endulge their children, and shifted their loyalties from the school and teacher to the child. In my generation (I'm 40) the parent almost always sided with the school, and reinforced the school's message. The parents of my students (I teach seventh grade) side with the students and undermine my authority.

I just held student led conferences, and had half a dozen or parents approach me and try to blame me for the fact that their child did no homework and so received an "F'. ( Even after I sent home two failing progress reports informing them of this)

Posted by gahrie at March 9, 2006 03:46 PM

That happened here too! Spectacularly

Posted by caltechgirl at March 9, 2006 03:51 PM

Good article.. I'll try and link to you later and comment about it.

Posted by vw bug at March 9, 2006 04:15 PM

I agree, by and large, but I also don't think TC Williams is a particularly great example to use. At least when I was in highschool around here, TC was the school that parents from other schools didn't let their kids go to for football games (which are heavily attended by police) etc. etc. It was heavily gang ridden etc. I'm surprised the author feels there are any students there from "affluent households" - unless something major has changed about that area of Alexandria, which last time I drove through, it hadn't.

That said, the motivation of students is something that I noticed as lacking incredibly when I was teaching (in various other locales) and I have to wonder what the root cause is. Is motivation something parents teach? I can't recall ever not being motivated - but is that because my parents taught it at a young age? They're both certainly big believers in personal motivation/work ethic etc, so that's very possible. Whatever it is, we need to recapture it. That's for certain.

Posted by beth at March 9, 2006 05:56 PM

There's a lot here, lady.

Complacency, laziness, lack of supervision and interest from parents, just to name a few, are all factors here.

The Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, and more all place much higher value and expectation on school, studying, and academic performance.

As a whole, despite being one of the countries with the fewest number of vacation days taken per worker, the American work-ethic sucks.

It is all well on its way to biting us on the a$$.

I would like to say the answer begins at home; however, I see it in the classroom, too, where high achievement is often scorned (because it causes too much work the teacher) and standardized tests "dummed" down to avoid discrimination of any kind.

Oh, geez. If I think too long on it, I make myself ill.

Notwithstanding, I'm pleased to see you draw attention to it.

Posted by Christina at March 9, 2006 07:53 PM

My daughter was a teacher for twelve years even having been a teacher of the year in two states Florida and South Carolina. She quit teaching last year out of frustration not necessarily with the students although there were problems but mainly with parents. Parents are no longer the motivating force behind a student. A teacher simply cannot do it all. We are dumbly downing the system to meet these lower expectations at the expense of true education.

I am sixty years old and can still remember my school years – never once did my parents come down on a teacher. If they came down on anyone, it was most likely my backside. In the “Political Correct” world we now live in it is America’s backsliding in education that is now showing.

Posted by Edd at March 9, 2006 09:26 PM

I have to agree with the article. I will concede that a teacher who can make a subject matter interesting and 'fun' to learn may ( but not always ) get better results than the teacher who presents the subject matter in a take it or leave it manner. But no matter, learning is the responsibility of the student. Sometimes it involves that little four letter word that too many students avoid-WORK

Posted by GUYK at March 10, 2006 01:37 PM