Irascible Professor prints a guest commentary by a high school English teacher who complains that her students’ parents keep pushing her to lower expectations and demands.
It’s not just the existence of homework that raises the ire of these parents; it’s anything that provides an academic challenge to their children. It’s as if the self-esteem movement has found full realization in the generation that is now parenting. All these parents want is that which is safe and comfortable for their children. This includes a curriculum where there are no real expectations of the students.
. . . What disturbs me most is that the real issue, student learning, is completely ignored. Is the student acquiring the skills needed in college? (Yes, most of these parents intend for their children to go to college, even while they do all they can to reduce the academic preparation being provided.) The problem that needs to be addressed is the student’s choice not to study.
Is it really that bad out there? My daughter and her classmates took very rigorous courses in high school to impress college admissions officials, if nothing else. They worked very hard. No Palo Alto parent would request transfer to a remedial English class. But the high-aspiring, pushy parents may have created that atmosphere, pulling along the esteem-happy parents who’d otherwise prefer a low-pressure environment.