When I was working on my masters I read about this research project done in New Zealand where they interviewed parents, teachers, and students and asked who is responsible for learning. While individual responses varied across a wide spectrum, there was a general trend towards finger pointing at others when something goes wrong. This article really influenced me to think more about the cliche "it takes a village" mantra. I think that cliche is totally true and it is the duty of each stakeholder to accept responsibility. I wonder if being more upfront with this to parents and students during conferences would generate more positive outcomes.
Instead of starting the blame game during conferences, having a frank discussion about goals and how to get there could make conferences moving in the right direction.