Associated Press
Patti Karr checks Justin Kramer's spelling words in her 4th grade classroom at Franklin Northeast Elementary School in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 6, 2012.

Jody Murphy was correct regarding the comparison of our students to the world ("Apples to oranges" Dec. 3).

However, parents are our real problem. True, there are occasional miscreants among teachers, but my eight children graduated high school and college in the same classrooms in California as the failures and dropouts. How come? Because like my mom, I taught my kids that failure was not an option. My mom said, "You will graduate, do your homework and cease complaining, or you'll find my size six you know where."

My wife teaches here in Utah. One student in sixth grade still counts numbers on her fingers; a handful read between a second- and fourth-grade level. One misbehaved, so my wife called her parents. The response? "I don't call you on the weekends, don't call me during the week. Deal with it." No wonder the school system's a mess — we're a mess!

Please, stop with the comparisons; with my kid is your problem; with my kid is a saint; with it's too hard.

Start with getting involved. A teacher has your child for 7 percent of his/her life. Where is he/she the other 93 percent? Where are you?

Jim Brady