Letter: Too many students shirk responsibility

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One major group has been left out of the blame game. Almost no one blames the student for his failure to progress. Having been in schools for about 40 years, I can tell you that it is very difficult to get EVERY student to do anywhere near his best. When you assign homework, it is not done, but the student can tell you what went on during the “Late Show.” A teacher should not be blamed if a student has not done his part in preparing. Information must be internalized to be learned.

No one is blameless. Yes, we have a few bad teachers and administrators but only a few. And those who are fussing need to spend time in a school building to see what’s going on. Don’t complain unless you know more than comes through the media. No Child Left Behind is another of George Bush’s failed policies. In last week’s Post, it was stated that only three systems out of 115 made their goals, so maybe the system is also at fault.

We have taken away much of the ability to discipline students. And the attitude of too many “educators” is that a student’s self esteem is hurt if he gets a failing grade. Students are passed from grade to grade without learning the basics, and then we are amazed when they can’t continue to progress when the work becomes more difficult. There are guidelines set for students to not proceed, but then the school is criticized if too many students are held back. Principals can override the guidelines and do so most of the time.

Every child does not learn at the same rate so it is impossible for EVERY student to progress in the same 180 days. Maybe some need more time.

— Ralph Walton