Monday, March 05, 2012

Random Thought of the Day:

Random thought of the day: Every time I visit a No Excuses school, I see slogans like "climbing the mountain to college".  I have never seen anything like this at my daughters' school (a private school on the Upper East Side) nor have I ever discussed with my daughters (in 10th, 7th and 4th grades) my expectation that they will go to (and of course earn a four-year degree from) an elite college.  Why not?  Am I being negligent in not clearly setting this expectation?  I think not.  Just as I don't tell my 4th grader that I expect her to go be in 7th grade in two-and-a-half years – "no duh, daddy!" – I don't need to tell my 10thgrader that I expect that she'll be starting college at the same time.  From the day they were born, virtually every adult they've ever met has a four-year degree – most from a highly competitive college, and most have an advanced degree as well.  In short, it's simply in the air they breathe.


But the vast majority of children aren't as lucky as mine.  Exceptionally high academic achievement is NOT in the air they breathe.  In fact, for many children, the academic air they breathe is polluted with low achievement and expectations.  For these children, it's imperative that their SCHOOLS step in and surround them with high expectations – and, of course, the commitment, high-quality teachers and curriculum, etc. to help every child make it to the top of that mountain...

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