The educational system in America does not live in a vacuum containing only schools, teachers and students; it requires the support of a strong foundation of individual parents, extended family, culture, society, the economy, government, corporations, textbook publishers, health care, and politics. Therefore, when the educational system falls short of a passing grade, focusing solely on "fixing" schools by "holding teachers accountable" will not solve the problem, although it does provide a convenient scapegoat. All components of the foundation must be addressed and strengthened if we want our nation's children, teachers and schools to be high achieving. Children learn what they live while growing up in the world village, whose entire population is responsible for providing exceptional life experiences and education to its children. Finally, and most importantly, the children themselves must also be held accountable by the entire village to work hard, behave and learn in school.
What follows is my response to someone who commented on Facebook that students, who can't count/make change/face money or read/write in cursive, learn all they know from their stupid teachers. So this comment was about the apple from the teacher: Unfortunately, apples don't fall far from the tree, and when the trees don't value or support education, neither will their apples. Apples learn what they live, and many trees often spend little time with their apples, getting them ready for kindergarten and teaching their little apples the manners and life skills they need to acquire even an adequate education. The trees sit apples in front of tv's and video games, don't provide experiental learning opportunities for them, or teach them manners or respect. The cute little apples come to school years behind in both intellectual and social development, and the trees expect "stupid" teachers to make up the difference in care, teaching and responsible parenting that was sole responsibility of the trees. If trees expected their apples to be successful in school and life, they'd actively parent their apples and set high expectations for their apples to work hard, behave in school, and take responsibility for their own learning.
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