What Pressure?

Source: Washington Post, Sep 2011

Much of the talk has been about the documentary “Race to Nowhere.” The film’s creator, Vicki Abeles, told me its popularity is proof of a “silent epidemic” of “pressure-cooker education” nationally.

How much academic stress do students feel? Hart Research Associates just asked them. The answer was: not a lot. Of a representative sample of the high school Class of 2010, 69 percent said the requirements for graduating, including tests and courses, were “easy” or “very easy.” And 47 percent said they totally or mainly wish they had worked harder in high school. An additional 16 percent partially feel that way.

My view is that although homework, tests and college admission can be too stressful for some students, the real failing of our high schools nationally is that they apply too little pressure, not too much.

… the average teenager, according to University of Michigan research, spends less daily time on homework than it takes to watch one episode of “Glee.”


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