We hear so much about teacher evaluations based in part on student test scores ["Teacher eval 'momentum,' " News, Sept. 20]. I have served as a junior and senior high school teacher, department chair and assistant principal. I have seen many things affect a student's progress. A student can be unprepared, tired, have mild learning disabilities or just have a difficult home life.

If we are going to evaluate teachers and students, we should also evaluate parents. After 30 years in education, I have seen students not perform well because there are divorce proceedings in the home, or drug or alcohol abuse.

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Criteria that could be used to evaluate parents are, do they regularly attend teacher conferences? Do parents return calls from the school? Do they check and sign homework? Do parents train the child to respect other students and not become bullies?

The parent bears the first responsibility to prepare a child for success in school.

Linda Donato, Smithtown