W.R. Eberhardt: Low-achieving parents

November 18, 2013 

The authors of the Nov. 15 Point of View “Poverty biggest factor for lack of success” drew a strong statistical correlation between the economic status of students and their academic achievement and conclude that lower economic class is responsible for poor performance. In reaching this conclusion, the authors fail to distinguish between cause and effect.

Our children are not like an alcoholic with a bad liver – eliminate the alcohol and avoid cirrhosis. There is no logical cause-and-effect connection between economic status and academic performance. There is no evidence that improving the economic status of poor students would improve their performance. The fact is that the economic status of the family reflects parenting behavior which affects student performance, and parenting behavior is the underlying problem with low-achieving students.

Parents who take no interest in school and fail to read to, interact with and provide basic home educational training to their children are the problem. It should not be the responsibility of the state to assume the obligations of parenting.

Perhaps if greater effort were made teaching high school students how to be good parents, less time and money would be required to address the educational needs of their children.

W.R. Eberhardt


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