Archived: Editorial: Parents Should Share Blame for Student Failure

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In reporter Gloria Angelina Castillo’s story on local school achievement report cards in this issue, there are some startling results on the achievement scores for East and Northeast area schools.

Disappointing is the least offensive word we could think of when it comes to assessing the School Report Cards for schools in many of Los Angeles Unified schools. No, we aren’t talking about the schools up for an advisory vote this week under the Public School Choice Resolution, but the schools that are not and should be.

For generations, parents and community residents have complained about the lack of progress by students in areas such as El Sereno.

But once you allow for overcrowding in these schools, inexperienced teachers and a lack of supplies, you have to look at perhaps the most important group that continues to shirk responsibility for students’ failure to achieve: Parents.

What are the differences that have allowed students of Multnomah Elementary to succeed while students at Farmdale fall so far behind?  Both of these schools have similar student populations, yet the students of Multnomah have shown significant achievement improvement, while those at Farmdale continue to do poorly.

How can a math achievement average score of 38 percent and 30 percent in language arts be explained, much less tolerated? Are the teachers at Farmdale to be blamed for these low scores? We don’t believe so. At least not completely. Is LAUSD solely to blame, budget cuts from the state? Perhaps in part, but it is time to face the fact that many parents are also to blame for their children’s failure to succeed, much less excel in school.

How can parents of these very low-performing students not know what to do about these low scores? Perhaps they could start by contacting the teachers and administrators at their schools to demand a plan for helping their child improve, and then following through on the plan, not just at school, but at home as well. If we want our children to achieve we must start having higher expectations for them.

We expect to hear the usual complaints about how we are blaming the victims, but we believe the students are the victims and it is the responsibility of the parents to work with children as a way to have them improve in school. Parents need to be involved, know what is going on, and not accept that what they are getting is good enough, either from the school or the student. Demand that your child complete homework, show you graded papers, and talk to you about how things are going at school. And yes, tell them you expect them to graduate from high school.

We believe its time to stop the blaming of everyone and everything for our children’s low scores and assess some of the blame to parents in these communities for some of the lack of support our schools receive.

Interest and caring can make up for a lack of resources, look around, it happens everyday.

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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1 Comment


  1. As a teacher at Lincoln High School, I agree with this editorial. Many students lie to their parents about homework and take advantage of the language barriers that prevent teachers and parents from communicating. Last Fall, I had 9 parents show up to back to school night out of 155 students. In the Spring, I had 28 parents show up. Teachers need more support from parents if they are to get students to engage in their education.

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