There are many reasons why there are low graduation rates in this country. It could be that the schools aren’t very good, and that the states funding them just don’t have the resources to devote to education. It could be that the kids themselves just don’t care as much, and would rather go off trying to become athletes or famous hip-hop moguls. It could even be the teachers just aren’t very good, and that they don’t have the training to teach kids the way that they need to be. It probably is a little of all of those, but it seems only the teachers get blamed.
I get it, and just like the coach typically gets fired when the team does bad, it usually is the teacher who is expected to prepare our students. It is much easier to fire one teacher then try to fire 30 students, and place the blame on them. The numbers simply say that if a student here or there struggles then it could be a fluke, but a whole class?
I don’t know if it is the fault of the teacher when a student doesn’t do well. I have a hard time believing that the teachers are really the ones to blame when a class full of students fails. Yes, the teacher should do all they can to make sure that the students are learning, but the student has to be able to learn the material as well. I see too many students who simply don’t care, and they don’t want to learn, and they aren’t going to even show up if they don’t have to.
I blame the parents of those children just as much as I blame the teachers. I am not saying that the parents don’t care as much as they should, but it is harder these days for teachers to teach. With the threat of lawsuits, and increasing pressure to teach kids as individuals, I can see why teachers have a hard job. It can be hard to be aggressive with problem students when the parents are calling your boss and demanding your job. Why risk it when you could just teach to a standardized test?
The state is almost as much to blame today as well. The Regents tests are a joke in my opinion, and I hated each and every one of them that I had to take. How does some suit at the state capital know me well enough to say what is good enough to graduate? Nobody is perfect in everything, there has to be some context to the educational standards. The No Child Left Behind Act is another grand failure of the government to regulate education as well.
Teachers are blamed simply because nobody takes the time to understand the pressures and demands they face. Sure, some teachers might not be good, but it is too simple to say that they bare the entire brunt of the blame. The state needs to either do a better job making rules or just stay out. The child, and the parents need to be invested in the process as well, and do all they can to make sure the child is learning what they need to succeed.