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Readers' Views: Don't just blame schools for public education crisis

Posted 7/30/13



I wish to take issue with Kerri Briggs’ article about the suburban school crisis that was printed in the July 24 issue of the Press And Journal (“What we can do to solve our suburban school crisis,’’ Viewpoints).

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Readers' Views: Don't just blame schools for public education crisis


Public education is, and always has been, a partnership between the schools, the parents and the students. Even the best schools cannot succeed in cases where the students are unmotivated and the parents fail to do their job in making students toe the line with regular attendance, classroom participation, preparation for tests and regular completion of homework. 

One of the major reasons why even the best U.S. school districts compare so poorly to those in other countries in overall academic achievement is that, unlike those in our country, parents and students in other countries recognize the value of education and of working hard to attain a good one.

Too many students in this country see school as nothing more than something to be endured; and too many parents in this country don’t want to be bothered with shouldering their basic parental responsibilities where their children’s educations are concerned.

I don’t doubt that there are school districts in this country where improvement is needed, but that’s probably true in other countries as well. We keep throwing more and more money at education in this country with no real improvement in outcomes. Why is that?

It’s very easy to blame the schools for the problems, but that’s simplistic. The schools are only one-third of the equation and the problem goes much deeper than that.

Students who don’t want to learn and parents who don’t want to be parents are at least two-thirds of the problem. Both of those entities must be held accountable to basic educational standards just as the schools must. That’s the only hope of fixing what’s wrong with our educational system.

                                                                                                                     Larry Smith
                                                                                                                     Middletown{jcomments on}