Tuesday, March 19, 2019

So much money wasted

So much money wasted!


The news has been full of the scheme to spend millions of dollars to get kids into elite colleges for which they may or may not be qualified.   A great deal of money and a lot of conniving with sports’ coaches, college admission folks, and a crooked college admissions counselor.   Clearly these folks crossed the line, but many millions are spent every year in what is considered legitimate encouragement to enroll an offspring in a premier college or university.   It is okay to donate a building or two, perhaps a scholarship and don’t forget the totally legal test prep programs and advisors- all of which push hard for kids to go to college for their parents’ bragging rights if not their own.

Nationally we have the major academic push to prepare students for college and careers.  Truthfully, the careers part of that equation is a misnomer.   Schools are pushing kids to go to college and have a career after that.  In the meantime, there are very important high-paying jobs that are going unfilled BECAUSE they do not require a college degree.   For some reason we think a college degree opens the golden door to riches.  

We need to prepare students for the skilled trades!   Not only is our population aging but along with the general population are the people who build buildings, drive big trucks, install electric, repair plumbing- all of those things that not only literally build a nation but also repair a nation as homes and other buildings need attention.  If we do not attend to these builders, each of us may be doing a great more DIY or paying very high prices for a limited number of people with those skills.

Most kids starting college today take six years to do what the older generation did in four.  More importantly, 45% of students entering college never graduate.  What becomes of them?  They usually do not have a job skill.  Sometimes they have filled their schedule with light weight courses such as “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame”.   Yes, really, that is a 3-credit course.  And besides being unemployed, they may also still be straddled with student debt.

Why?   Whatever happened to good vocational training for students who are not interested in working behind a desk?  Some people are catching on.  In Massachusetts there is a waiting list for kids to get into the vocational technical high schools.  I wonder how many of those schools were closed or discouraged with the race to get into college.

College is not the best choice for everyone.  Even people who graduate are not necessarily winners. Fifty percent of law school grads do not get jobs practicing law even allowing for our country being the most lawsuit happy on earth.   Not going to college is NOT a consolation prize; nor does it mean the student was too dumb to go to college.   It might mean that the student and her family were not interested in wasting money on ego and decided to use the talent to build a better career.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Throwing Good Money After Bad

Throwing Good Money After Bad


Maryland teachers clogged the streets of Annapolis on March 11, 2019, trying to convince the legislature to throw good money after bad.   They were insisting that the legislature needed to increase funding for schools in Maryland so that the schools would get better.  They insisted on this position in spite of the fact that throwing money at schools has yet to improve them.  
In 2002, an earlier commission, the Thornton Commission, provided a huge boost to school funding in Maryland.  Yet less than 40 percent of Maryland high school graduates can read at a 10thgrade level.  The gap between Hispanic and African American students and their white peers persists.  
An analysis by the Maryland Public Policy Institute found that increased funding encouraged administrative bloat and higher teacher salaries. Neither of which did anything to improve instruction.  The response to these findings by advocates of the latest race for more education funds, the Kirwan Commission, insist that this time there will be a new state bureaucracy that will ensure accountability. Am I confused or does this look like  more administrative bloat that does not impact students.
Maryland is already spending more per student than almost every other state. In fact of the top five highest per pupil school districts in the country, two were in Maryland.  Baltimore City schools come in at #4 nationally and Howard County Schools come in at #5.   Baltimore City is spending $15,818 per typical student and not very many would argue the citizens are getting their money’s worth.
In the headlong rush to implement this “one chance in a century” to fix Maryland schools, we have failed to address the primary cost of an education in Maryland or any other state for that matter-it is salaries. The amount of money is finite unless taxes are dramatically raised.  Giving more money to education, takes it away from other programs that may be just as necessary to the well-being of citizens.   Over 80% of school money goes into salaries.  Of course, there is the very high administrative bloat salaries, where it is not unusual for school administrators to make well over $100,000 a year.  In fact, Maryland has some of the highest school administrative costs in the nation. Still the bulk of the salary money goes towards teachers and other non-administrative school-based staff. Until there is a system in place where quality educators are rewarded and people who are marginal in their jobs are either fired or reduced in salary, nothing will change.  We will continue to throw good money after bad, resulting in more highly paid incompetent teachers.  More money won’t make them better.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

It's Easier to Pass the Bar

It’s Easier to Pass the Bar

It seems to be easier to pass the Bar exam to become an attorney than it is to pass the Praxis licensing exam to become a teacher.   More than half of aspiring teachers fail all or part of the Praxis exam required by eighteen states and optional in five others.
The data show that more than half of aspiring elementary school teachers fail all or part of the exam the first time.  In fact, only 38% of black candidates and 57% of Hispanic candidates ever pass the test at all, compared with 75% of white candidates.
This situation presents multiple problems.
First of all, why are the fail rates so high?  Do the reasons lie in the quality of the test or the quality of the preparation for black and Hispanic candidates?   The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) estimates that over 8,600 candidates of color are excluded from the classroom each year because of test failure.   Yet there is a huge push to increase diversity in the nation’s teaching pool.
There are 4 subtests to the Praxis (reading/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies).   Science and social studies have the highest fail rates.  Over a 3-year period reviewed by the NCTQ, over a quarter of the test takers did not pass.  Only certified public accountants have a lower pass rate on their exam.   Doctors, nuclear engineers and lawyers, all have higher pass rates on their licensing exams.
Let’s start with the test.   Is the Praxis testing what is relevant to being a successful teacher.  In testing terms, is the Praxis test valid, that is does it measure what it says it measures- predicting who will be a successful teacher.   No study has been done to see if high Praxis scores correlate with high quality teacher evaluations.  Additionally, unlike other professional licensing exams, there is nothing in the Praxis that relates to how to teach school.  The Bar exam measures an applicant’s knowledge on court proceedings and legal precedents.   Nothing in the Praxis quizzes applicants on learning theory or education practice.
Then there is the issue of preparation.   A review of the content of an undergraduate elementary school teacher’s course work shows that 3 out of 4 programs do not cover the breadth of knowledge of mathematics content required by the exam.  Two out of 3 programs do not require a single course aligned with any of the science topics on the exam.   Additionally, one-third of the programs do not require history or geography aligned with the exam content.
Given this information, why do states persist in using the Praxis exam as a gatekeeper for the teaching profession?
Advocates of the testing program will tell you that the test ensures that people entering the teaching profession will be of “high quality”.  But high quality in what!   Every other professional testing exam measures the knowledge and skill set for the profession.   None measures basic academic knowledge.  
If we are concerned about the basic knowledge set for elementary teachers why not push that requirement down into the teacher preparation programs.  If candidates need more academic preparation, that is the time to do it.   Once the student has completed his/her professional preparation, we should be measuring knowledge and skill set for the profession.   Otherwise it might be easier to become a lawyer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

We need to stop lying to our children

We need to stop lying to our children.

Last week a newspaper reported on the outcomes for its vocational training programs.   In the last ten years only 26% of the students enrolled in the programs actually earned trade certifications.   Meaning simply that the four years high school vocational training had not yielded those good paying jobs that were promised.  In some instances, certification requirements for the trade required eighth or ninth grade reading and mathematics levels which the students did not have.  Why did educators lie to the students and their families and lead them to believe that a lucrative career in plumbing, electrical work or as a technician awaited them at the end of four years of schooling?
Similar instances occur with children with disabilities.  A child is good at video games and tells his parents he wants to be a video game designer.  The parents do not want to dash their child’s dreams.  So, they agree with the child that he will be a video game designer.  The fact is that very few people get to do video game design for a living and those people receive a great deal of rejection before they finally succeed.  Just because a child is good compared to other kids with disabilities or even with other typical age mates, it does not mean that child is going to be among the 1 or 2% who make it in the industry.  Yet we continue to lead children down the primrose path allowing to believe that these aspirations have a prayer of coming true.
I am not suggesting that we dash kids’ dreams.  What I am suggesting is that we stop lying to children and encouraging them to chase after job choices that are not going to be there for them.  That isn’t dashing dreams it is building reality.  It is being honest with our children.  They have a right to have us honestly reflect with them about their futures.
Helping children chase after stars that are within reach makes those stars real.   It also allows children to use their time in school wisely learning the skills that they will need for the real world not some fantasy island.
Interviews with the graduates of the vocational programs the newspaper wrote about were very sad.  Graduates thought they were preparing for a real career, only to discover they had been lied to and cheated of their right to a valid vocational training program. It’s way past time for us to stop lying to our children.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rules & Reason

Rules and Reason

Rules are a good thing.   They give structure to life and keep us all in our proper lanes.   Rules let us know what to expect and give guidance on how to behave.  Rules are fine and make life more predictable, except when they make no sense at all and we insist on keeping them and holding people accountable for them.
Our school is a school for children with learning challenges.   We serve 16 of the 24 school jurisdictions in the State of Maryland.   We also serve the District of Columbia schools which include DC public schools and numerous charter schools that are within the political confines of the District of Columbia.
Our school does a graduate survey ever year.   We check to see how many graduates are working, in post-secondary education or both.  We have been doing this for over 20 years.   We go back to our very first graduating class.  Every single year, well over 90% of our graduates are working, in post-secondary education or both.   These results are quoted not only to show off but to show that we know what we are doing in preparing our students for life after our school.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) - even though there is no state,  has decided to limit referrals because we refuse to offer a course in the history of the District of Columbia and two-years of a foreign language.  We have never done this because it is the view of the school that the time of a student with disabilities would be better spent on improving English language skills, learning to write a coherent letter or email, deciphering credit applications, understanding the latest and greatest news and other important life skills that we each need to survive.  Our graduate survey supports the notion that our kids are successful post-high school.   We have a solid minority of our grads who have completed 4-year college degrees. Even the rep who came to visit us acknowledged that her two years of high school foreign language had been of no use to her whatsoever.
In past years, the District of Columbia representative has allowed its students to earn a Maryland private school diploma that is accredited by the Maryland State Board of Education and does not require DC history or the foreign language.  
Now there is a new “sheriff “ in town.   He is not willing to take the path less travelled regardless of the benefit to DC students.   He insists, in spite of documentary evidence to the contrary, that DC reps never allowed this work-around in the past.   
Rules are rules, he says; to which I respond, reason is reason and there is no cure for stupid.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Unfair & Uneven

Unfair and Uneven

Local school districts are at the beginning stages of preparing their FY 20 budgets.   So are the non-public Maryland State Board of Education accredited special education centers. The two processes are both unfair and uneven when it comes to the non-public special education sector.  There are similarities and differences between these two processes.
The Maryland accredited non-public special education schools are neither private nor public.  They are private in that they can hire and terminate staff without regard to union rules and regulations.  They are public in that each of those staff members must meet the same certification qualifications as public school personnel, even though they are paid dramatically less.  These schools are also required to follow specific MSDE regulations.
But the public schools have privilege that the non-public schools do not have.   The local school districts can put as much money into the education of their students as the county councils and county executives will allow.  It is not unusual for public school systems to increase an annual budget by 3-5%.   Whereas, the non-public schools are given an annual budget inflator cap each year. For FY 20 that cap is 1.9%, well below increases in public school budgets.   As a result, even though non-public staff need to meet identical certification standards, they are paid as much as 15-20 thousand dollars less after about five years of service.  Add that discrepancy to the fact that children are only sent to non-public schools when the public schools acknowledge they cannot provide an appropriate education to meet the learning challenges of the children they refer.
So staff in non-public schools meet the needs of the most challenging learners at a dramatically reduced salary.  What’s fair about that?
The inflator rate offered to non-public schools is supposed to equal the Cost-of-Living Index for Urban Areas (COL-U).   However the increase in funding offered to local public school districts by the state for the upcoming school year is well above this number.  Definitely an uneven playing field.
There are lots of other inequities.   Public schools may high substitute teachers with only a high school education.  Non-public schools are required to only use people with a college degree.   MSDE monitors non-public schools very closely. Monitoring teams are sent in every 3-5 years and for several days they examine every aspect of the school’s operation.   The sheer size of public school systems prevents that kind of drilled down monitoring.  In many instances public schools monitor themselves.
No one really cares except the people who work in a non-public school and the students in non-public schools and their families; they are getting a first-rate education even if the staff are paying for it with reduced salaries. The playing field is unequal and uneven but we keep playing because we do really care about the kids.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Maryland Among the Biggest Losers

Maryland Among the Biggest Losers


Quality Counts is a system that grades all 50 states on the Chance-for-Success Index.   It is supposed to give a snapshot of a person’s prospects for successful outcomes over a lifetime from early childhood to adulthood and the working world.
States are scored on 13 separate indicators.  Four of them deal with conditions in early childhood experiences that are big predictors of success in formal schooling.  Six of the indicators focus on formal education from pre-school to college.  The final three try to look at a snapshot of adulthood.  States are graded on an A-F scale.  For a number of years Maryland ranked number 1 or number 2 in the nation, often switching places back and forth with Massachusetts.  Massachusetts is still number 1 but Maryland has dropped to 8thplace.   Its score has had the second largest drop in the country, second only to Vermont.   Interestingly, the District of Columbia has made the greatest gains.
While the Kirwan Commission has spent two years developing a plan to improve Maryland’s education, important components of the state’s educational program have slipped.  Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the nation based on per-capita income.  It has the second highest percentage of adults (following Iowa) in the percentage of adults working full time in the workforce.  Maryland adults are well-educated.   The big issue seems to be the performance of its children on the National Assessment of Educational Performance test.   Unlike the more successful states, well under half of Maryland’s 4thand 8thgraders are proficient in these basic achievement tests.  Four the last 4 years, Maryland’s governor has bragged that he has invested more money in education than any other governor.  That is a truthful statement.  What is not mentioned is that the amount of money invested is the bare minimum required by Maryland law through its maintenance of effort requirement for both local school districts and the state.  The National Educational Assessment of Educational Performance is a consistent measure that does not vary as educators chase the next guaranteed to improve education.  Many educators believe that the popular Common Core curriculum is ineffective because it is inconsistent with the neurological development of children.  It would seem to make sense that before we throw billions of dollars toward the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, we carefully examine the factors that are sending one of the richest states in the country and one that had the best educational rating into free fall.  Why is Maryland the second biggest loser in the chase for the best educational system.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How Bad is it?

How Bad Is It?

The death of a single child at the hands of an intruder is one very much too many.  Something must be done, but what?  And can what needs to be done, be done in proportion to the extent of the problem.
In 2018, Education Week reports that 35 people were killed in school shootings, 28 of that number were students.  Of the 35 people killed, all but 8 were killed in two mass shootings: the February 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida and a May 18 massacre at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe Texas. Thirteen of the incidents happened in a school building and during school hours.  Ten of the schools involved HAD police officers/SRO’s assigned to the building.  At Marjory Stoneman, the SRO’s and sheriff deputies on site hung back from the conflict and did not intervene.  Students on the third floor of the building heard a fire alarm and staff guided them to evacuate down the stairs into the range of the shooter.  There was lots of mishandling to go around.
Florida courts has recently ruled that schools are not legally liable for the deaths and injuries done by invaders to students and staff.
As a nation, we are beating our rattle on the highchair and demanding more school security.  We want more SRO’s, even though the SRO’s that have been present have not been able to thwart the shooter.  We want to arm teachers, even though some teachers don’t want to be armed and we have no evidence that teachers will be better defenders than the trained SRO’s.
There is no profile of a shooter, although they are overwhelmingly boys and are much more likely to occur in a high school.  For the 2018 calendar year, 50.7 million children attended public schools k-12 in the US.  That means a child in our country had .000055% chance of being killed in a public school.  One child is entirely too many.  But are we responsibly allocating resources by spending millions of dollars in every state and creating a school security industry for a problem that is horrendous when it does happen but is really (thankfully) not particularly widespread.  Some schools are beginning to resemble prisons.   Shelby schools are spending $400,000 dollars on security and at the same time paying teachers barely $43,000 a year.
We do not have money for school counselors and social workers to help all children.  We do not have money for remedial math and reading teachers to help most children. We do not have money for more teachers to reduce class size that will give all children access to greater learning opportunities.   But we do have tons of money for training teachers to use firearms even if the teachers don’t want to be trained.  We do have money for camera systems that often do not work.  We do have money for alarmed doors and special detectors at school doors.   Just how bad is this problem when we have money to prevent something terrible but we can’t find money to promote the learning environment to serve all kids and foster something great.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Looking for ways to serve children or save money

Looking for ways to serve children or save money

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA sets the goal- and the requirement- that schools provide a free and appropriate education for ALL children with disabilities.  This appropriate education includes related services such as speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy and clinical services if needed by the child to access his/her education.   This is  an expensive operation.
So we should not be surprised that as soon as this entitlement became the law of the land, those tasked with its implementation set about putting barriers and cost saving measures into place .  The first was to avoid identifying the children. And once identified, systems tried to keep the amount of service to an absolute minimum.   The law requires that a school district have an operation known as Child Find.   Once the kids are identified school systems have to provide services.  Some states, such as Texas, actually put a cap on the number of children that could be identified.   If we don’t identify the children we cannot be expected to serve them.   Hence, IEP committees started denying that children had a disability that interfered with that child receiving an education.   Families are often denied the identification of their child’s disability.   Sometimes they even have hired outside evaluators to make sure the child received the needed services.  Families fight over with the IEP Committees over how many related services a child needs. Families have hired advocates to defend their child’s needs at the meetings when theoretically everyone at the meeting is there for the child’s benefit.
The second major effort by school systems was how to save money. This effort took two major forms.  First, a child was to remain in what is called the “least restrictive environment”.   In translation, that means to the maximum extent appropriate a child with disability is to be educated with plain kids.   Most systems just simply chose to ignore that pesky word “appropriate” and pushed to have all children with disabilities fully included with plain kids.  Being fully included became a mantra.  The so-called advantage of being with plain kids became a smoke screen for how much money was saved by not providing special education services by a specially trained teacher.   Today the vast majority of children with disabilities are co-taught in classes with a general ed teacher and a special education teacher.  The problem is those classes often have well over 25 children in them so it is hard for either teacher to do what needs to be done.  General education teachers are not trained to teach kids with disabilities.  Many of them, at best, have had one three credit class in either introduction to special education or full inclusion.   However well-intentioned these general ed teachers might be, they do not have the necessary skills.   Content gets covered, but it does not necessarily get learned by learners with challenges.  Pacing guides to satisfy the standardized testing make the situation even worse.
President Ford doubted we could ever meet the expectations of educating all children with disabilities, but I don’t think he envisioned that our energies would be on saving money not serving kids.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Bastardization of IDEA

The Bastardization of IDEA

Long ago and far away, 1975 to be exact, President Ford signed the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EHA), the precursor of IDEA.   At the signing, the President said it felt it was unlikely to achieve its goals and probably impossible to do so.
Turns out he may have been prescient in his remarks.   About 44 years later we still aren’t there.   What is even more troubling is that rather than look for better ways to help children, we have become skilled at playing a shell game to make it look like kids are being served when they are not.
There are truly egregious issues, such as Texas that had a rule that only a certain number of children could have disabilities in the state.  They were finally caught after many years and are now crying they don’t have the money- or the teachers- to catch up and help children.
But there are many more less blatant efforts to prevent students from receiving services.  Most of these lie in the use of artificial rules that are established.   For example, many school districts do not offer speech and language services to children in high school.   The excuse is that by high school the children have either resolved the speech and language issues or they are too old to be helped.   I find that very curious since these same kids needed the service in June at the end of middle school but somehow, after what could only be called an amazing summer, they no longer need these services.
One of the biggest push backs from EHA and IDEA is the addition of occupational therapy as a school service.  School systems resisted that right from the git-go.  Today the resistance has taken another form.  In order to receive OT as a school service, the assistance needs to be needed so that the child can access a free and appropriate pubic education.  Again, school districts are saying that once in high school these services are no longer needed.   One of the major goals of special education is for the students to be able to live independently and to be prepared for a career or college.   Everyone agrees with that objective.   Yet when an OT says that a high school student needs OT to be taught to shave himself, or for a girl to manage feminine hygiene issues, suddenly those skills are not related to living independently or being prepared for a job or college?   The reasoning for those conclusions escapes me except for one reason totally unrelated to the child’s right to OT.  The school districts want to save money.
And the truth is that from day 1, EHA/IDEA has never received the federal funding that was authorized in the original bill.  Laws “authorize” Congress to appropriate money to get something done.  That is the hitch.  That which is authorized most often does not get appropriated- as in put the money in the real budget. So while the authorization looks good, the real money never reaches the real beneficiaries.   In this case, children with disabilities are the ones deprived.
In fact, from day one, school districts have put most of their effort into the optics of looking good while obeying the law with the least amount of money. And that is how what looked like a beautiful child has become a bastard.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Let’s Blame the Teachers


We all know it is the teacher’s fault when kids don’t learn.  That is why there is the strong push to link teacher pay to achievement test scores of kids.   If teachers did a better job of teaching, students would do a better job of learning.  But what if there are other factors besides how well the teacher teachers.
The single highest corollary for achievement by children is the quality of the partnership between home and school.  Teachers sometimes think that partnership only goes one way, parents need to be nice to teachers and do as teachers ask.

But let’s look at it from another perspective.  Teaching is the teachers’ job.  They get paid a decent salary with good benefits and great vacation time off to do that job.  Yet consistently teachers complain to parents that the child is not learning.  A teacher will contact home and inform the parent that the child is not paying attention at school.  Just exactly does the teacher want the parent to do?   It is the teacher’s job to make school sufficiently interesting that the child will pay attention.  The teacher needs to look at the level of the work being offered the child and methodology being used.  That is not the parent’s job.

Teachers often complain to parents about things they see as being wrong with the child.   Parents live with their children.   They are more than aware of what challenges their children have.   They do not need a teacher to appraise them of the difficulty.

Teachers have a very bad habit of contacting parents with only bad news. So when a teacher’s name pops up in email or on a phone screen, the parent’s stomach will clutch and the parent will not want to respond.   Teachers need to send good news home, even more often than they send bad news.  Teachers say they don’t have the time to send home good news but yet, they always make the time to send home bad news or requests about how parents can make the teacher’s job easier.   That is not a parent’s job.  Parents have their own work to do and teachers who are also parents should be well aware of that.

It is easy to blame the teachers.  After all they make the big bucks.  But if we want kids to succeed, we need to stop blaming each other. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Let's Blame the Parents

Let’s Blame the Parents

The evidence is very clear.   The major variable that predicts a child’s success in school is parent involvement and support.   Parent involvement beats socio economic status, parent education level and single vs. 2-parent homes.   So now if those pesky parents would just do what they need to do, most assuredly test scores will go up.   So why don’t they?

The main reason is probably because many parents don’t know what we as educators really need them to do.  Remember that old advice we gave to young children, “to have a friend you need to be a friend”.  Problem was most kids without friends didn’t know HOW to be a friend, which probably explained why they didn’t have any.

Back to parents.   First of all, parents need to present a united front with the school.   It needs to be clear to children that both teachers and parents want children to succeed in school.  It is also easy for kids to figure out that they can pit parents and teachers against each other.  Parents need to resist that.   If parents have an issue with what a teacher is doing, that issue needs to be strictly between educators and parents. From the child’s point-of-view, the school team and the home team are one.  Sort of like not allowing kids to attempt splitting between parents.

Secondly, school needs to be seen as a value.  That means school is NOT a place where kids go when families need babysitting or when there isn’t a nice vacation set up.  School needs to be seen as the first priority for the child. School is the child’s job. Children should not miss school for any reason that would not be a good reason for a parent to miss work.  Most states have clear reasons that are acceptable for an excused absence.  School is serious business and parents need to act as if it is.

Good educators make a difference in a child's life.  But they aren't going to make the child into something he or she is not.  And it is not fair for parents to expect that a child with limited ability in any area is going to become exceptional in that area, if only the child had the the right teacher.

School requirements need to be part of a family’s schedule.  That means homework is done at a particular time and a particular place.   School forms need to be completed and returned to school.  School is important and our behaviors need to show that.

In today’s economy, it is unrealistic to expect parents to have lots of time to volunteer at school during the school day.   But parents can attend evening meetings and provide input via email and notes to the school.

As educators we need to educate parents on what they can do to help their child succeed, not just blame the parents for not doing enough.  Having said that, teachers aren’t off the hook either.   Next week let’s blame the teachers.