From the Wall Street Journal's Letters section in response to some teachers who blame poor performance on the children:
The problem is the system segregates children by age instead of ability. When we learn to accept the fact that people learn at different rates and that your AGE shouldn't be a determining factor in your progress through the system we'll be able to focus on the needs of students instead of their time in seat.
Still, [teacher] Ms. Wuller is on to something with her suggestion about returning "inferior raw materials to their place of origin." If sixth-grade teachers find their students aren't adequately prepared for sixth-grade work, they should return them to their place of origin -- the fifth-grade or earlier classroom they came from. Instead of blaming social conditions for student failure, let's just ask teachers to do their job: Educate students.
George A. Clowes
Senior Fellow for Education Policy
The Heartland Institute