Aug 3, 2013

Students Tell Me Who Is At Fault For School Failure (or Success)

I have given my students a survey for years now.  However, this was the first time I had them submit it electronically, which makes it very easy to share.  We had some technical issues with the computers we were using so only about 30 or so students were able to complete it.  I plan on having the rest complete it at some point, but I found the responses just fascinating and had to share.

The survey was given to me by a teacher friend who received it from another teacher.  I do not know the original author to give credit, but here is the text (this is different than the original version in only that I removed an example portion):
Percent at fault
As you may know, there is a lot of attention focused on how well schools perform.  The performance of a school is measured mostly by how well the students perform in their classes.  So assign a “% at fault” for how well a student does in school. Feel free to add rows of additional parties if you think someone else is responsible too. Remember your total needs to be 100%
Below are the response as copied from the Google form spreadsheet.  I sorted the spreadsheet by the teacher category to show those that gave the greatest blame to teachers, first.  I have bolded the responses that I think are most interesting.


AdministratorsTeachersParentsStudentsOther(s)Care to explain your reasoning?
0%40%30%30%Parents put a lot of pressure on kids and some teachers can be just plain horrible
5%35%50%10%Parents are the first ones that influence their children whether its in a good or bad way. They are with them the most and have the most impact on their lives. Teachers are also a big part because they teach the material needed for success, if the wrong material is taught, that is their fault.
15%35%10%40%Administrators should be held accountable for making decisions that will be in the students' best interest. Teachers should be held largely responsible for the failing of their students because they should be teaching their students in a way that ensures each individual understands the material. If the student is not understanding the way the teacher has taught something, the teacher should attempt to provide a better way of learning that is more specific to the student's learning style. Parents are also partly responsible for their child's grade in a class. A parent should do their best to know what's going on in their child's school and social life so that they can make sure their child is making responsible decisions involving schoolwork. The parent should also try to provide a sufficient learning and working environment at home and to try their best to give their child whatever help they may need. And finally, the person most responsible for the child failing is the student themselves. In the end, not matter what anyone else tries to do to affect the student's education, it is always their decision to fail. They can choose to seek help if needed, choose to do their assignments, and choose to follow directions in class. It is the student's fault that they are failing up until the point where they are seeking help, are turning in assignments, and are listening in class and still not understanding the material. That is where it begins to be the administrators, teachers, and parents that are at fault because they are not supplying the student with what they need to succeed.
20%30%20%30%Sometimes it depends on how well the teachers actually explain the subjects to students, other times, it depends on how much effort the students want to put in.
15%30%5%50%The administration only regulates the rules, and is uninvolved in the learning process. the teachers are helpful, but ultimately it is the job of the student to apply themselves and to learn. in my experience, my parents haven't needed to help me at all.
5%25%20%50%I think that the student is 50% responsible because it's up to them to put in the effort and do the work. The teachers are the next highest because it is there job to teach the student and to help them when they are having troubles. There's only a 5% difference between parents and teachers, because I think that parents are just as responsible for making sure their child does well in school. Including helping them study for tests and making sure their homework is completed. The administrators really do nothing to help the students. They get involved when there's major conflicts with students, but they don't help in the learning process at all. They're basically there to make it look like someone's running the show, and so parents can complain to the. That's why they're only 5%. The success of the students is what makes the schools look good. You can have the best administrators, but if the students are flunking major tests and doin horrible, the school still won't get recognized.
25%25%25%25%i feel it is evenlydistributed between the four parties each is just as much at fault as the other
25%25%25%25%All parties are equally responsible for the well-being of this school. In order for this school to function as it should, then all four parties should work together to create a safe and fun learning environment.
30%25%15%30%The administrators are responsible for setting material and giving the standards of what need to be the taught, but the students also have to be willing to cooperate to achieve their fullest potential. Teachers attribute by their attitude towards teacher and how well it is executed. Parents do not contribute a lot but should be there as a support to their children as well as disciplining them as to reach the high standards set to us by FC.
0%25%25%50%it is mostly the student because effort if not as commmon as it should be
10%25%5%60%Teachers do not explain lessons as well.
25%20%20%35%Some students in school do not even attempt to try in school which will knock down the score of the school.
5%10%25%60%I think none of the kids care because their parents don't. You can't blame it all on parents though, the students are going to have to clean up the mess they made in the future, after high school! In some situations you can blame it on teachers if they are not good ones. They sit at their desk and tell you what to do instead of teach and interact with the students. The administrators don't have as much of a chance to change anything.
2%8%15%75%students' attitude, parental involvement, quality of teaching.
I have some very thoughtful students this year.  I am very excited to work with them.


  1. Is this the only place that's taking the place of IPS BS? If there's another blog please let me know. Thanks!

  2. Probably. I've been teaching @ Ivy Tech, part-time since 01/2010 and I can honestly say I have not seen any improvement and if anything, a continual downward spiral. There are numerous problems, of which the primary factors include money, lack of guidance for the students and lack of communication and engagement in pursuing and retaining qualified personnel to provide the necessary dedication, knowledge and SME to the students. Students have figured out the financial aid game and take full advantage of it, even with the various "controls" initiated and implemented. The "powers" that are in place, within the various schools and campuses have no clue about a subject area, in which they dictate change with a pass or fail mentality and make no effort to standardize or create uniformity among the same subjects/courses, taught at various campuses or even on the same campus! I fully plan on running away from Ivy Tech, after this spring semester.


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