In a capitalistic society, we pay for performance, not effort. Teachers demand responsibility from their students and should be held accountable for their performance as well. While there are certain factors outside of their control, we cannot excuse them from the final product any more than we do in private enterprise.
In fact, they are the very people who quantitatively test their students and assign scores that ultimately affect the future of those very students, despite uncontrollable factors with which those students must deal. How can you test students and assign grades when teachers themselves are unwilling to be evaluated and scored accordingly?
Our investment per student is at an all-time high, yet student performance continues to slide. End tenure and demand accountability for performance and results in our teachers, and we will finally begin to see improvement in public education.