Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blame game

I have to agree with the Buffalo Common Council on this one. They voted unanimously to condemn the federal government's approach to failing schools. The federal government denied Buffalo a $42 million grant until they fired three principals at Riverside, School #45, and Burgard High School.

University Council Member Bonnie E. Russell said part of the problem is that many parents are not spending the time with their children needed for the kids to do well in school. A lot of parents are used to teachers “taking care” of their children, she added.

“What’s lacking is parents taking more responsibility,” Russell said. “They’re not making [their children] read. They’re not taking away their [XBox and Game Boy] game set. They’re not in PTAs.”

Russell is 100% correct. This stipulation was probably made up by some bureaucrat with little or no classroom experience. Anyone will tell you there is no substitute for a great principal. However, the problems at these schools are not caused by the teachers. They are caused by the parents of the students. They're the ones sending them to Kindergarten unprepared. Don't blame the high school principals. By the time they get to high school, it's too late for many of these students. It's time to stop this war on teachers and start pointing the finger where it belongs-at the parents. Start giving them some consequences for their bad parenting. Bringing in new principals is only going to make it harder for these schools to turn things around. It's not their fault.


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