Parents need to be held accountable

March 27, 2010

I am so glad to see an educator address the most pressing problem in education, the parents ("The 'accountability' myth," March 26). I am a parent and grandparent who has done some substitute teaching and attained my teaching certificate. I have always believed that parents are the first teachers. If they encourage reading, word games and other educational venues early on, this provides the foundation for learning. And further, a parent wants their teachers to nuture the learning curiosity developed early. I do not want my teachers spending 90 percent of their time with a few children who do not want to learn.

I understand that it may not be the chidren's fault if they grew up in an atmosphere of absentee parents, watching constant TV with no redeeming value, never getting help at home, not having parents who can make fun times educational. But why are we holding teachers responsible for fixing the void created by parents? Why do I never hear accountability for parents?

My children and grandchildren have all been raised with educational encouragement. They have had many different teachers and have always thrived (even with teachers they may not have liked). Three of my children have graduated from college, one of the three has a masters degree, two others have completed certificate programs from college, another is a registered nurse, and my two oldest grandchildren will graduate from college next year and in 2013. We were no more than the average middle class. I did not have the money to pay for their college, but they found a way to do because they wanted to further their education.

Certainly teachers should be held accountable. But, I for one, am tired of hearing only about teachers being held accountable for every issue in education. Parents are as responsible as the teachers, and all of society has some responsibility in education.

Chuck Henneman, New Freedom, Pa.

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