Parenting quandary(s) Need input

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Depends on where you live. We sent our kids to private school in California to make sure they were adequately challenged. There may be other groups that do so, but in my experience asian, jewish, and engineer parents will generally find a way to put their kids into the most demanding program available that their kids can handle, with a view to getting them into the best college possible. But I was living in NY, Boston, San Jose, and the culture may be different. In those areas, among the "top 10%" kids, the competition is quite intense and stressful.
     
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I guess that is sort of my point, I don't see that we really have a major problem with kids being over-stresses in general.....I think you can find some rigorous programs here and there where kids will have to work and work hard, but I don't much of average school this phenomenon of the majority students at the average school being bombarded with increasingly copious amounts of work..and, as regards the really rigorous schools, I know that at least in the case of my kids, there was a a lot of advanced warning about what they could expect...because frankly, the school didn't want them enrolling if they were prepared for what was coming next
     
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    This. DS goes to a Texas Exemplary school. There are very stringent requirements for the exemplary schools in terms of standardized test scores, dropout rates, completion rate, etc. This is how I chose where to live. When we lived in Florida, DS was in a private school that also had stringent requirements. Providing DS an excellent education has been a priority from day one. Top 10% in his current school is no small feat. Whether that constitutes overwork or not may be a different question.

    But, to tt's point, the quality of education and rigorousness of educational programs can vary dramatically from place to place, based on my own observation of having lived in several different places in the US.
     
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yea, I get that it varies from reigion to region...I am simply stating that I don't think stressed out overworked kids is some sort of wide spread problem ...I had to work hard to find a place for my kids to be stressed :)
     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    While I think it would be very hard to make an accurate blanket statement about the state of schools in the US, I agree with what tt said earlier. There's a wide and widening gap between the haves and have-nots. I think that overwork, while not universal, can be very common among the haves, at least if DS's friends and the children of my friends are anything to go by. These kids are busier by far than anything I would ever have dreamed of, at their age. In a lot of cases, they're expected to have that je ne sais quoi that sami is looking for PLUS stellar credentials.

    Take DS's BFF as an example. He got "off track" in middle school by taking on-level math. So, during 8th grade, he taught himself algebra, took an equivalency exam over the summer to get credit for HS algebra. (He wants to get through Calc II in HS.) Now all of his major classes are pre-AP classes. He volunteers at the local hospital. He designs video games and builds computers for fun in his "spare" time. He has an 4.0 GPA. Is he overworked? Only time will tell. It's possible he may be just fine. It's also possible he may burn out at some point. Who knows? What I do know is that, when your kid is surrounded by kids like that, there is peer pressure on them and on you as a parent to make sure that they're keeping up, whatever that means.

    Overworked? I dunno. The one thing I would contend, overall, is that kids in public schools are too often working hard on the wrong things. Too often, IMV, they're working on test-taking which is not the same thing as just plain learning.
     
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Definitely true. It's those few who have the potential to drive significant social and systemic change, though. It just takes enough to value the changes to get them cranking. Eventually, more will hop on the bandwagon as more "different ones" are born.

    For example, someone like Petite ChaCha might find the possibility of availing herself of such alternative educational offerings...and her friends...and their friends.

    At my place of work, I see both. From the European side, I see much stricter definitions and dramatically keener respect for advanced degrees (slobbering over multiple PhDs, for example, even if that person can't troubleshoot himself out of a paper bag). And the culture is still very male-dominant. When I was over there a few months ago, I was the only woman, except for administrative & project management staff. Very low ceiling for the likes of myself, and probably also my boss, who is of similar ilk, which is surely why she hired me.

    But here in the states, my boss is a power-achiever, and brilliant, and solution & service oriented -- she couldn't give a rats patootie for someone's degree or field of study if that person has demonstrated capability in the way she defines it. And falsely inflaming one's reputation to appear more capable and important than one really is is BS that has no place in our local culture. So kudos to her own boss in making that culture possible.

    Still, I see a Euro someone of the former type fomenting smokescreens and a less-than-truthful image, and inexplicably making ridiculous progress because he is an insider. And that kind of culture doesn't change until it's overtaken from within, or simply dismissed by new external power structures.

    Someone like your son, Pyg, could be the sort who is called to make those kinds of choices & changes down the road. He may ultimately call shenanigans on the system and band with other similar young people to do things differently. :)
     
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  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Hah. That's nice to hear. But not the case here, alas.
     
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. I sure hope your optimism is on target, too. I spent a couple years working as a "formal" change agent in a former life, so I think I get where you're coming from. It's a bunch of small changes from people who don't accept the status quo that ultimately leads to systemic change. Kind of like an avalanche. At some point, one more snowball and down comes the mountain. I just wonder if there are enough people of like mind for that kind of change in our society to reach critical mass in our lifetime.


    I saw the same thing when I worked on teams with Europeans, as well. *shrug* My thought, though, is that a lot of organizations in the US, male dominated or not, operate the same way.

    A lot of the time, IMO, people are inside or out. Where I work now, for example, I decided to get involved in one of the Women's advocacy groups. I went to the annual planning meeting at which one of the highest ranked women in the company stood in front of all of us "women in leadership," and congratulated herself that, in the next year, one of the group's goals was to include women at all levels, "even the women in the field." What the!?!? Women in the field (at "lower" levels) get career development AFTER women who are not in the field? And this is at a company that prides itself on and has won many awards for its diversity efforts. I quit the women's group that day. I don't want to be part of the leadership of a group where women "in the field" are considered less than.

    That "I'm inside and you're not" mentality is incredibly pervasive and very seductive to the ego. My view only.
     
  9. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    I'm actually only optimistic about different educational opportunities emerging...that will happen because it is already emerging. But for other types of systemic change I would wish to see occur...not optimistic at all at the moment that I will see those things in my lifetime.:rolleyes:

    Yep, you are right.

    True. I also don't think a true insider would deign to refer to or admit such a thing.


    Hey, on a completely unrelated note...I just saw the cute little tongue emoticon is back! :p:D:p:D
     
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  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Just ftr, I like the old tongue emoticon better. [​IMG]

    Just a couple more things. One Even though alternate educational opportunities ARE becoming more widely available, they have to be accepted as legitimate (by employers, other educational institutions, etc.) to be of value. Two: Like it or not, a college education is big money from both sides -- not just the parent side. Schools also have skin in the game.

    I posted yesterday that Dartmouth is phasing out its acceptance of AP courses. The school spokesman said that this is because AP classes really aren't equivalent to traditional college classes. But the students who were interviewed were dismayed because of money. One student said that her taking AP courses saved her family $15,000 in tuition.

    I'm not suggesting that Dartmouth made this decision for financial reasons. I don't know enough to speculate.

    What I am suggesting is that alternate opportunities won't happen in a vacuum. There could well be push-back.
     
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Some schools have not been accepting AP for credit for a very long time. All an AP meant when I was in college was that I could skip a level in Math and Physics. The survey courses represented by US and World History, and English, did not have equivalents they could replace in my school. Requirements were not X number of credits, it was a requirement to take specific classes in specific areas, and a certain set of courses in the major.

    The reason is not financial, it's that they want to have more quality control over the student that graduates.
     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    There are a lot more AP courses now than there were when I was in college. I'm pretty sure that first level English and History are now offered, among other things. I'll check.

    ETA Yep. A bunch of AP classes and exams are now offered.

    http://www.collegeboard dot com/student/testing/ap/subjects.html


    And yes. Quality control may well be the reason. I don't know. But, if perceived lack of quality is the real reason, that supports my point. Alternative educational approaches have to be accepted as legitimate to be of value in the marketplace.

    There was a tangentially-related news item back last summer or early fall about the current US federal government taking steps to hold post-secondary vocational schools accountable for results. Some of these places are charging more than an accredited state university. $10,000 - $12,000 annual tuition are the figures I think I remember hearing for some schools. Some of these so-called "career" schools position themselves as giving students the skills to get into the workplace quickly, but many of those schools have a very low placement rate -- low enough to prompt an investigation. (I'll have to google to see what the follow-up was, if any.)

    Anyway. My bottom line is that it behooves post-secondary students to look into their educational choices, to make sure that the education they're pursuing can help them reach their goals. If your goal is to make yourself employable, do your best to make sure that your education makes you employable.
     
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

  14. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

     
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You say lecherous like it's a bad thing. :D
     
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  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Sounds like common sense, except that common sense doesn't seem very common. ;)
     
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  17. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Hah, ain't that the truth. :)
     
  18. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    If you want to be truly scared about how crazy things are for even 4-5 year olds in NYC, check out either of these documentaries:


    -Getting In...Kindergarten. (Originally aired on TLC in 2007.)
    Part I:


    Trailer:


    Btw, though a few of the parents in these documentaries seem uptight and way too concerned with getting their kids into the "right," high-status school, there are many pretty normal people who get sucked into this rat race as well. Two of my closest friends live in Manhattan and have children 5 or under. One of the kids just started kindergarten this year, so they were going through the craziness last year. If you are otherwise looking at going to an unacceptable school (not safe, not producing competent students), what choice do you have but to compete for selective public schools or private schools?
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting, ccm. It's funny. I can see how crazy it all is at the same time that I can relate.
     
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    One thing that popped into my head (another tangent but hey. I've gotta be me.) When we moved to Florida, our friends with kids who were moving at the same time ALL chose houses based on the schools. The Florida public school system had a relatively poor reputation at the time, so people chose neighborhoods based on the quality of individual schools. A lot of friends ended up in (obviously much less expensive) houses in the development where Tiger Woods and Shaquille O'Neal used to live. (I don't know. Maybe they still live there.) Anyway. Higher property taxes. Excellent public schools.

    It was perceived that parents had two choices. One: Buy an expensive house and get great schools. Two: Buy a less expensive house and pay for private school. Nobody ever considered sending their kids to "average" public schools. I didn't have a kid at the time, so the whole conversation went over my head, but now I understand.

    As the lady in ccm's Getting In Kindergarten video says, "You'd do anything for your kids."

    Very true.
     

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