Great pieceon the state of parenting today, and the public school system. We are extremely fortunate that we have the means to send the little Duper to a fantasic private school in our area. Even in that accelerated environment, we see some of the same issues that the author of the linked piece experienced with her kids.
We are very "hands on" with her school and teachers, and still have some battles getting extra work assigned, and reading-level appropriate books given to her. Our system (Public and Private) definitely teaches to the middle, focusing more on the 80% of the kids in the pack, and less on the top and bottom 10%.
If you haven't had kids in the school system lately, you'd be surprised how much it has changed since our school days. Even in the private school sector, it's amazing how the fundamentals are back-burnered, and the embracing of technology is front and center.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's important (and super cool!) for young kids to get their hands on computers to add to their overall education experience, but it shouldn't take away from the basic skills of how to find library books, to write complete (and legible!) sentences, to critically think, to comprehend what they are reading.
Computers and technology are great tools, but should compliment the skills, not overshadow them. It doesn't surprise me that the kids in NYC that made headlines this past week can't read and write at grade level. Society has made education less important. Minority kids are teased for "acting white" if they get good grades. We are inundated by people in respectable public positions not using proper English (the word "at" used improperly is a big one in our house), and saying things like "thinkin'", instead of "thinking". You see it all the time, from the local news, to the White House.
We as a Country need to take a long, hard look in the mirror, and decide what We want to be, and what's important to us.
Until we decide that making a viral video on YouTube, or somehow getting onto a reality TV show isn't as important as knowing basic History, Math, Reading Comprehension, and English, we are setting ourselves up for failure in the future.
I listen to Adam Carolla's podcast when I exercise, and he is spot on with his views on bringing back Dignity, with a healthy dose of Shaming mixed in. Society needs to stop allowing people not to take responsibility-responsibility for your personal health, education, work ethic, etc.
How sad that we went from the Country that defeated Hitler and defended the World, then led the way in innovation and Big Achievement; to the Age of Teen Mom and Real Housewives in about 70 years.
It only took about 5 years to build the Hoover Dam in the 1930's (and completed 2 years ahead of schedule!), with none of the tools, technology, and materials we have available today. And yet somehow, 12+ years later, the World Trade Center project is still not finished.
I wish the people in this Country could stop arguing about stupid petty differences, and focus our attention on Big Picture Items. JFK united the Country in a goal of putting the first people on the moon in less than 10 years. We rallied around that goal, and shared collectively in achieving it.
Today, I make a comment on Twitter on how the weather forecasters suck at their jobs (last week calling for 10" of snow, we got 4"; saying that a storm last night would miss us completely, we got about 6"), and that there is no accountability for poor performance. Piker spent the better part of 30 minutes telling me how I was wrong, and how weather forecasting isn't an exact science, how if I think I could do better, I should apply for the job, how we should eliminate weather prediction, etc.
When we can't even agree that people who suck at their jobs, suck at their jobs, and somehow turn that into a "since-you-took-a-position-therefore-I-have-to-take-the-opposite-position-no-matter-what-the-topic-is" dialogue, we are doomed long-term as a society.
Sorry for the rant.