I have to be a bit of a devil's advocate here. Why is it that teachers are expected to do what parents here are saying they can't do?I actually have an answer to this question!
That is, parents can't get one or two children to, say, do homework and study at home for a bit, whereas a teacher who has them for 45-50 minutes a day (or twice that every other day if block scheduled) is not only supposed to teach but also supposed to motivate them enough to do the homework and studying?
A few of them.
FIRST: Kids are often much more cooperative with other adults than with their own parents. That's why so many parents I know, parents who were trying to reteach content at home, finally gave up and hired tutors.
C. is your classic cooperative kid, and when he was in 8th grade, as I recall, we reached the point where I was shouting so much something had to give. That was when I discovered Karen Pryor's work. I remember, going into Christmas break, devouring Pryor, having a major heart to heart with myself, and vowing to do a 180 as soon as the new semester began, which I more or less did. The household was pretty close to being in crisis, and C. is a mild-mannered kid! (If Susan S is around, she'll vouch for me on that one - )
I used to think: what would be happening around here if C. weren't a mild-mannered kid?
Meanwhile, C. was having precisely zero problems at school. I think he had one - no, two - detentions in his entire 3 years at middle school, and one of the 2 was a group detention most of his math class (math again) served for being disrespectful to a substitute teacher.
SECOND: Parents really, truly don't have the training we need to deal with a lot of the stuff we deal with. Not that parents should have to have training! I'm not suggesting anything of the kind. I'm just saying that, for instance, using the principles of positive reinforcement to deal with a challenging autistic child (or a completely non challenging nonautistic child you're trying to reteach math to) does not come naturally to anyone, as far as I can tell.
Of course, teachers don't get a lot of training in behavior management, either, but schools do seem to have school psychologists these days, and at least some of them have had some real training and experience.
Good teachers do acquire an extremely impressive set of skills where classroom management is concerned, something I'm still working on. A behaviorist I know told me that classroom discipline is THE issue every new teacher faces, and that includes a new teacher who has just served a tour of duty as a Marine.
THIRD: Even if the parent is highly skilled at maintaining law and order inside the home, the parent is not inside the classroom. I can't tell you how often I've heard about school personnel assuming that parents can magically, from miles away, directly influence their children's behavior inside the classroom.
My own funniest story on this score concerns Andrew, who, a few years ago, was being very difficult on the bus. Now Andrew, as I think a fair number of you know, is autistic and nonverbal. He doesn't talk. We can talk to him, but it's not clear how much he understands.
(Andrew is also weirdly smart - this is something the teachers and aides say, btw, not just a parent fantasy .... Andrew is sui generis. I need to say that out of loyalty and also out of honesty. btw, Susan can probably attest to that one, too. Susan watched Andrew during my mother's funeral, and afterwards said to me, "I think he ordered something from Amazon.")
Anyway, Andrew was being difficult on the bus, and the head of transportation called to discuss the situation. He wanted me to make Andrew stop. Somehow I, as the parent, was supposed to be able to change my autistic child's autistic behavior on a bus. When I expressed skepticism that I would be able to influence Andrew's behavior from afar, the transportation director asked me: Can you have a talk with Andrew?
I said: Andrew doesn't talk.
The thing is: the transportation director knew Andrew doesn't talk. And yet he was on the phone asking me to 'have a talk' with my nonverbal son.
That's an extreme example, but I've seen the same thing with ADHD kids: I've seen school personnel assume that a parent can affect an ADHD child's behavior without being present to do so.
That's not how ADHD works. In fact, it is pretty much the opposite of how ADHD works. I know a family that has done a fantastic job with their very ADHD son: meds, therapy, very strong behavioral boundaries, lots of love, authoritative parenting --- a fantastic job. Their son is a very good kid.
Nevertheless, as far as I know he was quite disruptive in classrooms through all of through middle school (not sure about high school). The classroom disruption problem in his case was really, truly a "school problem" in the sense that it was taking place inside the school. His parents had his behavior well under control at home; I saw it. They had also taught him terrific manners; I saw those, too. But keeping his classroom behavior under control inside a classroom without being inside the classroom themselves was not possible.
With disorders like autism and ADHD, if the school doesn't deal with the problem, it doesn't get dealt with.
FOURTH: This brings me to my final answer, which is that when a teacher can't manage a student in his or her classroom, other arrangements need to be made by the school.
This isn't just my personal opinion; it's pretty much the law. By law, a student who can't function inside a regular classroom must be evaluated, must be given an IEP (if that's what's called for), and must be educated -- by the school.
That said, I know this is an area where schools often miss the boat. The horror stories I've heard .... I think the phrase "radical inclusion" (not my term) captures it. When school administrators decide that full inclusion (what is it called now - collaborative classrooms?) is the way of the world come what may, when
Also: full inclusion for all is a decision the school has made, not the parents. The school has a responsibility to provide a calm and safe learning environment for all children.
That is my opinion; general education children have no entitlement to nondisrupted classrooms, sad to say.