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So the kids suing California for their unequal education don’t think they or their parents had any role in the result?

If your doctor diagnosed you with an illness and prescribed medication for you and warned you to change your lifestyle, but you decided not to take the prescription or the advice, is that a bad doctor?

How about if you waited so long to take your car to the mechanic that the engine was blown and needed to be replaced for the car to work properly, is that a bad mechanic?

I agree, teachers have a job to do and they should do it.

But our job depends so much on what other people do that it’s difficult to determine how much a teacher is at fault. For example, if a student fails a class, is it because the teacher is bad? Perhaps. But what about students who were able to pass that class? How were they able to pass if the teacher was completely ineffective? Dare I say that students also have some responsibility?

And since students are generally minors, aren’t their parents also responsible for their children’s well-being? If a child consistently ditches school, the parent is legally responsible for the child’s truancy. If a child damages property with graffiti, the parent is liable for those damages.

We’re in a partnership and we all have a job to do. Let’s do it!


About celinatinsley

Ms. Tinsley is a high school English teacher, who has been in the classroom for 20 years. She has worked as an Instructional Coach and Assistant Principal, but she returned to the classroom to continue being with the students she adores. She has published a book entitled, "Teachers Talk Smack," available through She has garnered much critical praise with this original work full of charming illustrations and humorous anecdotes about the joys of teaching. Well, she has garnered one review from her best friend at work on And the book really is the opposite of the joys of teaching. She is currently working on her second book about teaching. By "working," I mean roughly brainstorming in her head.

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