Hey You! Yes, You With The Kids!
Some kids are smarter than others. Because we are in a generous mood, we will allow that your kids are in that group (of course, our kids are the mental equivalent of Lance Armstrong, and the best you can hope for is that your kids will finish the race- but we digress).
One of the legendary pillars of the 'Why can't we all get along' people is the belief that school age children must be promoted each year, irrespective of their (lack of) academic achievement. Social promotion, they call it.
In a world where self worth and identity are increasingly measured by selfish pursuits and material acquisition, parents are less likely to actually parent, in their search for self fulfillment. Thus, we should not be surprised that for the hour or two a day these parents have to deal with their children, they follow the path of least resistance. Give the child what he/she wants, when he wants and refer to the lack of parental participation as allowing the child to 'self express'. That the 'self expression' takes the form of sexual promiscuity, lack of academic achievement and inappropriate behavior. Those kind of parents are the ones who will defend their child when caught cheating and will schools and teachers.
In one of the best arguments in the 'nature versus nurture debate, there seems to be little question that the legions of under age sociopaths have been the creation of self centered, self absorbed and irresponsible parents. If there were ever a serious case for mandatory sterilization to be made, a quick survey of of public schools would prove to be serious argument, indeed.
Little Johnny and slutty Mary are promoted to the next grade, despite their marked mediocrity and failure as students. Many teachers are only too happy to move the miscreants along to get them out of their hair, and justify their decisions because in 9 months of tutelage, they have managed to teach their charges the name John Kennedy (good), Richard Nixon (bad) and the reason they can't learn is the result of a chemical/psychological/cultural/societal/racial or astrological disorder.
Mamacita, our favorite teacher (who is a lot smarter than you and knows your kids a lot better than you do) has dared to do the unthinkable: She is proposing that kids (yours included) actually be held accountable for their education achievement. In a post, Actually, No. Some Children Should Be Left Behind, Mamacita tells it like it is.
Read her post. She links to a must read article.
We are smarter than you. We could use bigger words, but we do not with to overtax you (and make you feel bad). Go read Mamacita's post and be sure to read the article she refers to. Spend some time on her blog as it will arm you with the ammunition you need to sound more well read than you actually are (Mamacita is like Harvard- now accessible, even to you).
You too, can end up as smart as us. Not really, but maybe almost as smart as us.