The Demise of Education or the Eclipse of Compassion? Exploring the Causes of Academic Underachievement
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Many stakeholders are concerned with the apparent failure of schools to facilitate children achieving at high levels. One explanation of the failure of schools takes a more narrowly focused educational view. In this perspective, the problem is one of inadequate standards and poor teachers. In a second, broadly societal view, the problem of student achievement seems to be a complex societal problem, not easily amendable to strictly educational solutions. The two positions are compared and contrasted. Examples of societal factors affecting student achievement are explored. It is suggested that the broadly societal view provides a better explanation of why students fail to succeed.