Failure at home

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I don’t understand how the Allegheny Institute can conclude (“Absent in Pittsburgh,” March 23, Cutting Edge) that due to high absenteeism rates “the future prospects of thousands of Pittsburgh’s children are being wrecked by the abject failure of public schools.”

I never missed a day of high school, but I don’t recall my math teacher waking me up to go to school. My biology teacher didn’t see that I got on the bus, and the principal didn’t make sure I entered the school instead of going elsewhere. No, it was those people called parents who determined that I and my classmates did those things.

School attendance was and still is a parental responsibility. To fault the Pittsburgh city schools on this issue is as wrong as to praise, for example, the Mt. Lebanon schools for a better record. Much of what happens in education, especially attendance, is due to what happens in the home.

I don’t know much about those at the Allegheny Institute, but I suspect they were absent when it came to common-sense class.

Bethel Park

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