My mom, a former educator (that's like saying a former human being. She's still teaching, and I think she will continue to teach) passed along a forward to an opinion piece from USA Today called "For once blame the students". She asked me to pass it along to my wife (also an educator) but I think everyone needs to give this a gander and realise that no matter how good the teacher, or how well funded the district, it's up to the students to learn the material. I don't care if you're Bill Freakin' Nye, if students aren't willing to learn, the material isn't going to stick.
So, students: we're on to you. We know you've been coasting. We know you can do better. We've upped our standards, so up yours.