The first reason was probably the least significant. In fact I'd say it's more of an excuse. Especially after reading this article. Which leads to reason...
NUMBER TWO: Apparently our students are behind as soon as they begin. We are playing catch up. In the above article there were studies comparing individual states with each other and trying to take diversity and wealth into consideration. Our top state at the time, Massachusetts, still fell short compared to other countries.
In my school district foreign languages are being introduced in first grade now. Great! And it looks like they are trying to get more math and reading started earlier. But our teachers need to gain more knowledge to spread more knowledge. The requirements are going up, but we are still behind because the rest of the world is always a step ahead.
It's a shame when some parents can't or won't put in the time and effort it takes to make their kids study and work and go farther. Kids who lack attention at home seek it at school. And at the other end of the spectrum I've seen a trend where kids are pampered and feel entitled. Self esteem is important, but they need to make mistakes to figure things out. You can't do everything for them.
I believe the majority of parents care and want their kids to succeed. Looking at these survey results gives me mixed emotions. To sum it up: Parents will pay for improvements and better teachers that are paid according to performance and wouldn't mind if their kids became teachers. Great. But how do you rate a good teacher? Not with test scores or grades. New teachers are usually given more challenging classes. You can't force students to succeed. There's only so much a teacher can do. How do you judge how hard a teacher is trying and how much they care about their students? I wouldn't mind being graded by my students - as long as they didn't know they could affect my pay! (revenge!)
Kids are a reflection of their parents. Famous Mom Curse: "I hope your kids are just like YOU!"