Your View: Dont let students off the hook for poor performance


To the editor:

In the August 18 edition of the Times a weekly poll asked who was to blame for the achievement gap between white and minority students. Three possible answers were teachers, parents or school administration. Why did you not include the most obvious answer: students?
The teachers, parents and administrators are merely conduits of information and skills to the students. If the students refuse to partake of the bounty offered to them, how are the others to be held liable?
Consider that many students intend to play sports on a professional level which doesn’t require a high school diploma. Consider that in many areas a student who achieves good grades is “acting white” and may be subject to social or physical retaliation. Consider that selling drugs does not require a high school diploma and pays better than many honest jobs. Consider that the student may live in an environment where no one in his family has graduated from high school and they are surviving nicely on the public dole. Consider that high school pregnancies may interfere with academic excellence. Consider that a student with very low scholastic achievement may be considered disabled, thereby allowing his family to receive payments from the government.

Why is there not more attention given to the student population and its attitude toward academic achievement? The focus is almost purely on teachers and administrators. Maybe it is time to look at the product itself   the students.