Parenting arms race article

Posted by: HowlerKarma

Parenting arms race article - 03/31/14 07:31 PM

In Mclean, a crusade to get people to back off in the parenting arms race.


Quote:

Bowers, trim, fashionable and fiercely determined, stands in her kitchen early one morning making breakfast and explains that she isn’t fighting to let kids off the hook. “This movement is not about mediocrity,” she says. It’s about what she calls “authentic success.”

“Yes, M.I.T. is looking for a kid who’s taken 10 AP classes. If you’re a kid who has a passion for those subjects and is doing well, then that’s great,” Bowers says. “But if the kid is sleeping three hours a night in order to do that? Or gets to an Ivy League school and then commits suicide because they get their first B? Then that’s not okay. Our whole premise is: Are we really helping our kids be successful by pushing them so hard?”



EXACTLY.



Quote:

In a darkened McLean auditorium in November, California psychologist Madeline Levine, the author of “The Price of Privilege” — who was invited to speak to parents by the Safe Community Coalition, which also works in the growing authentic-success movement — had harsh words for a packed house. “A majority of your children are average,” she said, pausing as a chorus of sharp inhalations drain the air out of the room. “And guess what? So are you.”

Accepting that, she said, is the first step to ending what she calls a “mass delusion” in many privileged communities that every child must be destined for Harvard to ensure success.

What matters, she told parents, is spending time connecting with children, not yipping about homework or doing it for them. “Lawn-mower parents” mowing down all obstacles to smooth their child’s way only make it harder for those children to fail and learn to recover on their own. “It’s not about lowering the bar. It’s lowering the expectation that they be terrific at everything,” Levine said. “We’re not straight-A parents. Why should we demand that they be perfect all the time?”


WOW.

I'd like to applaud her for saying so. Truly.





Some of the comments on the article are downright scathing or heartbreaking, though. frown


I do think that there is a significant backlash that we as parents of HG+ kids wind up getting caught in. I have other parents asking me all. the. time what our "secret" is... and at the same time, my DD also has peers (and not a few teachers!) sneering and making unfathomably transparent attempts to "show her" that she's "not so smart."

Ick.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 03/31/14 09:11 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
I do think that there is a significant backlash that we as parents of HG+ kids wind up getting caught in. I have other parents asking me all. the. time what our "secret" is...
This reminds me so much of Kindergarten, how many times I was asked by other parents how I taught my son to read so young.

Seems mostly a great article but it's hard to convince a lot of parents and students. I didn't even try to look at the comments. In my son's 6th grade classroom the "tables" in his room were labeled after different Ivy League schools. This was partially a joke/pun, but it still sets the tone.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Parenting arms race article - 03/31/14 09:15 PM

I hate to say it, but I definitely see this attitude trickling down to parents my son's age. DS2.25 is registered in one scheduled activity now-- a group music class (in the fall/winter, we also swam)-- and the rest of his time is free play, play dates with his buddy, and reading.

We live in an affluent neighbourhood, and about 7/8 of the children nearby have nannies (most of whom ignore their charges in public), attend a programmed activity or two daily , and are being forced into every possible advantage-earning preschool. One flustered mother actually asked me what kindergarten DS was going to attend in his class for 1 year olds last year. I was aghast.

Maybe I'm just laissez-faire by nature, but I'm confident in my mothering being good preparation for DS for life. The Mass Insecurity Complex that pervades the Desperate Social Climber Parents (herein "DSCP") is beyond my comprehension.

None of those DSCP would ever understand a child like DS, or the children of any other posters here. Tonight, DS decided we should spend an hour before bed using new rolls of toilet paper in all sorts of unorthodox applications, like making rain, bowling, building forts, balancing rolls on our heads, racing toilet paper cars, etc. This was after he talked my ear off about the role of the amygdala.

To the DSCP, none of that would be valuable because, a) it can't go on a prep school application, b) it doesn't make them look good, and c) they don't actually want to interact with their children, they just want to display them. The child is reduced to commodity status by DSCP, which is why the whole parental arms race is such a tragedy. When it comes time for university, is it any surprise that the child is subsumed by the DSCP's external locus of control and misplaced self-concept? I swear, the DSCP's mantra is, "every time your child outdoes mine, I haemmhorage a little in my brain."
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:49 AM

From the article:

Quote:
In a darkened McLean auditorium in November, California psychologist Madeline Levine, the author of “The Price of Privilege” — who was invited to speak to parents by the Safe Community Coalition, which also works in the growing authentic-success movement — had harsh words for a packed house. “A majority of your children are average,” she said, pausing as a chorus of sharp inhalations drain the air out of the room. “And guess what? So are you.”

She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.

An honest way to discourage a parenting arms race is to point out that excluding abusive or neglectful parents, it is difficult to find substantial correlations between parenting behaviors and child outcomes.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 06:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


That's a pretty low I.Q.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 06:25 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


That's a pretty low I.Q.


For the purposes of this forum, absolutely. That's the IQ of a typical high-achiever that gets shoehorned into the gifted program by a Tiger parent. And since there are more of them than there are of the truly gifted, the school's gifted program no longer serves gifted kids, it serves high-achieving tiger cubs.

But Mom and Dad's precious little status symbols MUST be the truly gifted, because they went to Ivies.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 06:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


That's a pretty low I.Q.


For the purposes of this forum, absolutely.


I was referring to my worldview, but sure, I guess that applies to this forum too.

I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 06:42 AM

I see nothing wrong when parents try hard to give their kids an edge. And I like it very much that parents believe that an edge can be gained through hard work (both in the parent's part and in the kid's part). We all want to give our kids "the best"--what is the definition of "best", though, varies depending on who you ask. But I do understand what these parents try to do for their kids, just like I do understand what the parents on this forum do for their kids.

It's obviously too bad that some parents' effort to help their children gain an edge actually harms the children. But it is hard to put the blame on these parents alone when the society (which includes all of us) has a culture of valuing "status", instead of personal happiness, rewarding careers, efforts to make the society a better place, etc.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
It's obviously too bad that some parents' effort to help their children gain an edge actually harms the children. But it is hard to put the blame on these parents alone when the society (which includes all of us) has a culture of valuing "status", instead of personal happiness, rewarding careers, efforts to make the society a better place, etc.


Because status = resources = survival.
Posted by: KathrynH

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:07 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw

I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.


Why? There are many people my heart aches for - people with chronic illnesses, people who have lost children, people who have lost sources of income. But people with an average to above-average IQ? I feel like I'm missing something.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:31 AM

Originally Posted By: KathrynH
Originally Posted By: JonLaw

I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.


Why? There are many people my heart aches for - people with chronic illnesses, people who have lost children, people who have lost sources of income. But people with an average to above-average IQ? I feel like I'm missing something.


Don't worry, I feel worse for people with chronic illnesses.

Particularly MS and brittle diabetics.

And anyone who has to breathe polluted Chinese air.
Posted by: momoftwins

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:35 AM

Isn't an IQ of 120 about 90%? An IQ that high is probably high enough to get good grades without trying very hard and do well in AP courses with studying, but avoid many of the downfalls that the gifted children run into in school. It is high enough that children with that IQ should be able to pursue almost any path they want, if they are willing to work.

But the article isn't about gifted children versus non-gifted, just the fact that the parents are pushing their children to succeed.

Parents do push too much these days, but they are doing it because they are trying to help their children succeed with the end result being a "good" job and a lifestyle similar to the one they had growing up, if that is what the child wants.

The problem is that the world has changed dramatically since most of the parents went to college, and the path to sucess is much more difficult than it used to be. There are fewer white collar jobs, and it is much harder to get hired. Many of the parents have learned this the hard way during the recession, or have seen what happens to their friend's children as they try to enter the workforce.

It has definitely gotten out of control. Unfortunately, I do understand not wanting to have one's child be the "test case" to see if "pulling back" and taking fewer honors classes, going to a less well-known school or college, etc. makes a difference in the outcome of their life.

That being said, we are trying very hard to keep from falling into that trap.



Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:37 AM

Originally Posted By: KathrynH
Originally Posted By: JonLaw

I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.


Why? There are many people my heart aches for - people with chronic illnesses, people who have lost children, people who have lost sources of income. But people with an average to above-average IQ? I feel like I'm missing something.

I must be too. I have family members whose IQ I do not estimate to be higher than 120 but who have lived full lives and are not pitiable. My middle child had a WPPSI IQ measured in the 110s by the school. I do think he is less likely than his older brother to become (say) a professor, but he is a lovable and energetic boy that no one need feel sorry for.
Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:53 AM

To me an IQ of 120's is really the sweet spot. You are bright enough to do whatever you want to do in terms of work and school and you are much less likely to experience anxiety, depression etc, which is typical for HG children. You are also more likely to be well liked and get along well with peers. I certainly would not think of this group at one to be pitied:).
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:00 AM

Can't agree more!! I think this group of people are very likely to be able to fully use the resources and adjust well in the society.

Plus, a person's IQ is largely something one is born with. No need to feel emotional about it in positive or negative ways--it's not something that we chose or worked for, and honestly, I don't see it affecting the qualify of life that much.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:03 AM

Originally Posted By: psychland
To me an IQ of 120's is really the sweet spot. You are bright enough to do whatever you want to do in terms of work and school and you are much less likely to experience anxiety, depression etc, which is typical for HG children. You are also more likely to be well liked and get along well with peers. I certainly would not think of this group at one to be pitied:).


I envy them in many ways, actually.


Alternatively, I resent the fact that they don't have much understanding of what it means to be "way brighter" than themselves, since they enjoy their advantages over the mean so very well. Grr. "Relax! Just ENJOYYYYY it all" they say. mad They don't appreciate having it pointed out that life happens to fit them straight off the rack, and they ought to shut up when we complain about the price of tailoring these days.


Honestly, I don't see this article's thrust as being directed in ANY way shape or form to HG+ kids or their parents. Our kids are the ones that IB programs, multiple AP classes, dual enrollment, and the like are actually intended to serve well. Er-- or originally they were, anyway, before growth mindset ate the bell curve.

The problem is that parents of kids who are 110-125 THINK that they can make their kids HG by working them a little harder.

Posted by: blackcat

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:25 AM

This made me think of a friend of mine who is here in the U.S. (she and her husband) on a work visa from India. They've been trying to get green cards for years and had children here. The mom rants and raves about how apathetic parents are here about academics and all people care about is sports. She does a LOT at home in terms of academics and I'm sure I look like a major slacker to her, while other people (like DS's old teacher) would view me as a tiger mother, since I after-school my kids to some extent.
It makes me think of Asians in general and the culture of pushing academics or performance in various activities. Found this article which I thought was interesting. Strangely, the mom complains about the sports culture here, but she has had her DD in gymnastics, swim team, dance, etc. Although she doesn't seem too competitive with any of the sports, the academics seem much more important. I would love to learn more about Asian cultures and the impact the "pushy" parenting has on kids. How is it the same and different from the U.S.?
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/artic...ard-doesnt-work
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:26 AM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
Plus, a person's IQ is largely something one is born with. No need to feel emotional about it in positive or negative ways--it's not something that we chose or worked for, and honestly, I don't see it affecting the qualify of life that much.


These statements depend on certain metaphysical assumptions that may or may not be actually true.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:33 AM

Originally Posted By: blackcat
It makes me think of Asians in general and the culture of pushing academics or performance in various activities. Found this article which I thought was interesting. Strangely, the mom complains about the sports culture here, but she has had her DD in gymnastics, swim team, dance, etc. Although she doesn't seem too competitive with any of the sports, the academics seem much more important. I would love to learn more about Asian cultures and the impact the "pushy" parenting has on kids. How is it the same and different from the U.S.?
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/artic...ard-doesnt-work


Um, this is German too, even after they've been in the U.S. for a few generations.

So-called "protestant work ethic".
Posted by: blackcat

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:42 AM

My family background is 100 percent German and I personally haven't seen this, not in terms of academics at least. Everyone was into farming until the mid twentieth century and there may have been a work ethic there, but not in terms of excelling in school, going to elite colleges, etc.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
For the purposes of this forum, absolutely. That's the IQ of a typical high-achiever that gets shoehorned into the gifted program by a Tiger parent. And since there are more of them than there are of the truly gifted, the school's gifted program no longer serves gifted kids, it serves high-achieving tiger cubs.
This is exactly the problem I've had with my districts gifted program. It's more designed for the "highly motivated" child than the truly gifted ones. Even though they have more than average amount of HG & PG kids. They ignore the fact that gifted kids can have their quirks and aren't as self motivated in all subjects.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:50 AM

Originally Posted By: blackcat
My family background is 100 percent German and I personally haven't seen this, not in terms of academics at least. Everyone was into farming until the mid twentieth century and there may have been a work ethic there, but not in terms of excelling in school, going to elite colleges, etc.


It's more profession with what I've seen in my family and others.

Engineering, medical school, oral surgeon, etc.

Achieve or fail.

These were also Germans who were most decidedly *not* into farming, but rather they were burghers, for lack of a better word.

One side of my family came from the plain people. There was *no* academic interest there. And the farm was just sold three years ago or so.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: bluemagic
Originally Posted By: Dude
For the purposes of this forum, absolutely. That's the IQ of a typical high-achiever that gets shoehorned into the gifted program by a Tiger parent. And since there are more of them than there are of the truly gifted, the school's gifted program no longer serves gifted kids, it serves high-achieving tiger cubs.
This is exactly the problem I've had with my districts gifted program. It's more designed for the "highly motivated" child than the truly gifted ones. Even though they have more than average amount of HG & PG kids. They ignore the fact that gifted kids can have their quirks and aren't as self motivated in all subjects.


I keep trying to tell people that this is the new college prep track.

Gifted = College prep.

It has nothing to do with what "gifted" means on this board.

In fact, I'm trying to get my kids into the gifted program.

I don't even know what their I.Q.'s are.

Granted, I don't think I want to know.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 09:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
That's the IQ of a typical high-achiever that gets shoehorned into the gifted program by a Tiger parent. And since there are more of them than there are of the truly gifted, the school's gifted program no longer serves gifted kids, it serves high-achieving tiger cubs.


I know a guy who has admitted out loud that he's trying to coach an extra ten points into his precious little snowflake so that the kid will meet the requirement for the local gifted program. This poor kid gets a lot of helicopter tigering from the parental units. But they are molding him into an Achiever (tm). There is definitely parental ego involved in this process.

Given that so few teachers have serious training in giftedness and LOGs, it's hardly surprising that they don't believe parents of HG+ kids when we tell them that differentiation isn't enough or that a single-grade acceleration in subject x isn't enough.

While it's reasonable for parents to want to help their kids do well, it isn't reasonable when their methods cause other children to be deprived of an appropriate education. This is precisely what happens when the uber-preppers in places like New York and elsewhere coach their kids so that they can stretch their toes onto the magic cutoff line. The result of this approach, as we all know, is that either 1) there are lotteries to get into these schools, and the students who get in aren't all gifted or 2) everyone who meets the minimum gets in, but the student body has a lot of kids who aren't truly gifted.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 09:26 AM

Yes-- and while I don't live in MacLean, one can quite readily find the same basic ethos at work in pretty much EVERY small college town in America these days.

Everyone in academia has seen faculty brats that have had this kind of thing done to them for at least the past generation-- it's truly a 'thing' for them.

And yeah, there's a LOT of parental ego at work.


Which ironically makes HG+ kids in that cohort even more extremely persona non grata when you get right down to it. We make the Tiger Cubs look bad. We should go away so that they can feel better about themselves.

eek

At least that is the sense that we've always gotten from others living where we do. Parents BRAG about their kids getting into the "GT" program here. They admit (openly, as Val says) that they doctor shop for IQ points, or that they doctor shop for "accommodations" in order for snowflake to "achieve" at that higher level (since here, ID's are usually not IQ based, but achievement based).

Well, sheesh-- NO WONDER my DD's school identified her without ever even bothering to test her into the program. NO. WONDER. So I disagree that teachers and administrators don't know the real thing. They very clearly DO know it when they see it. They've just got a lot greater numbers of not-quite-there parents with torches and pitchforks and their egos in tow, pounding on the gates.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 09:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
I know a guy who has admitted out loud that he's trying to coach an extra ten points into his precious little snowflake so that the kid will meet the requirement for the local gifted program. This poor kid gets a lot of helicopter tigering from the parental units. But they are molding him into an Achiever (tm). There is definitely parental ego involved in this process.


That reminds me of father. He was really bothered by the fact that my I.Q. was barely high enough to get into the gifted program at the time.

Parental ego is fun.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 09:43 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Well, sheesh-- NO WONDER my DD's school identified her without ever even bothering to test her into the program. NO. WONDER. So I disagree that teachers and administrators don't know the real thing. They very clearly DO know it when they see it. They've just got a lot greater numbers of not-quite-there parents with torches and pitchforks and their egos in tow, pounding on the gates.


Because it's now considered "college prep".

Just like college is now really high school.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Because it's now considered "college prep".

Just like college is now really high school.


Sort of. I agree that college is the new high school, but the parental ego that I've seen surrounding squeezing out those extra IQ points and IVY LEAGUE ADMISSIONS!!! is astonishing and very depressing. They remind me of wide-mouthed frogs.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 09:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Because it's now considered "college prep".

Just like college is now really high school.


Sort of. I agree that college is the new high school, but the parental ego that I've seen surrounding squeezing out those extra IQ points and IVY LEAGUE ADMISSIONS!!! is astonishing and very depressing. They remind me of wide-mouthed frogs.


Gifted must have been absorbed into the entire WINNING! philosophy at some point in the last 10 years.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:09 AM

The obvious goal is for all children to get what they need in order to work as closely as possible to their potential while staying socially and emotionally healthy. Unfortunately, because of lack of public education on the matter, far too many think that a GT program is the answer to that whether their child is actually capable of being successful in such a program or not.

I'm a big fan of "levels" of service according to the needs of each child rather than them being in a GT program or not being in a GT program. Levels of elevated service seems to be an absent thought pattern. I think most of us who frequent this forum are aware of the wide variety of needs even among this end of the bell curve.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:12 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
The problem is that parents of kids who are 110-125 THINK that they can make their kids HG by working them a little harder.

Well, why not try? For example, the Russian School of Math has numerous locations in Massachusetts and a few in other states. My merely bright middle child likes the classes. The RSM site http://www.russianschool.com/about-us/our-results says 75% of RSM students taking the SAT in 7th grade score 600+ and 33% score 700+. Let's see how he does in a few years.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:17 AM

Why not try?

Well, as long as the child is enjoying the process, and doesn't feel that s/he is sacrificing more meaningful activities, then it's evident that this is not what is being described by the original article.

What is being described by the original article is a no-holds-barred, over-the-top, all-consuming Race to Defeat The Others for precious slots for the most capable and highest achieving. Please note that this kind of thing actively HURTS kids like those on the forum because kids who don't actually, naturally belong in those slots wind up sitting next to our kids, and dulling discussion and pacing in opportunities that OUR kids actually need. If that makes sense.

Personally, I'd be wary of any program that touts as a bonafide the out-of-level achievement scores of participants. That (again-- to ME) doesn't seem to me to be a good goal for children.


But what also kills a lot of joy for HG+ kids is sitting next to kids who have been hyper-prepped and have no love, joi de vivre , or whatever you want to call it-- for the subject.

Some of you may not yet see the results-- but trust me that such students RUIN the experience of dual enrollment or AP coursework. Because they are the ones interrupting the teacher to ask "will this be on the test?" when a smaller cohort of students is interested in exploring a topic under discussion.

It's maddening.


Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:19 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
What is being described by the original article is a no-holds-barred, over-the-top, all-consuming Race to Defeat The Others for precious slots for the most capable and highest achieving.


Because there can be only one!
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
The problem is that parents of kids who are 110-125 THINK that they can make their kids HG by working them a little harder.

Well, why not try? For example, the Russian School of Math has numerous locations in Massachusetts and a few in other states. My merely bright middle child likes the classes. The RSM site http://www.russianschool.com/about-us/our-results says 75% of RSM students taking the SAT in 7th grade score 600+ and 33% score 700+. Let's see how he does in a few years.


Bostonian, it's interesting to see you make this statement, given that you're a big supporter of Charles Murray. One of his major points is that IQ can't be made to increase appreciably.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:43 AM

It doesn't always take high IQ thought to produce high achievement. In fact, we should be focusing on performance according to NSGT. The definition of Gifted and Talented according to NSGT:

(quote)
This definition of giftedness is the broadest and most comprehensive and is used by many school districts. It speaks of talent, which includes all areas of a child’s life: academic, artistic, athletic, and social. Most schools limit their definition and their programs to academics, but it is important to focus on performance and accomplishment. It is not enough to just have the talent; you must be using that talent to achieve at remarkably high levels. However, this definition does also recognize that while all very talented students have the potential to achieve at high levels, some may not have yet realized or demonstrated that potential. Such students may be underachievers, twice exceptional, or represent underserved groups who have not had a nurturing environment to bring out those talents. Finally, this definition is a comparative one; these students achieve or have the potential to achieve at levels way above their peers.
(end quote)

Personally, I have no problem with lower IQ students in a GT class / program so long as they can be productive, they can keep up with the work, they're able to stay emotionally healthy, and they enjoy the program. It's important that a well trained professional in GT be heading the identification program and evaluate students in that program to ensure they're not doing themselves more harm than good.

The whole thought pattern of "Levels" of service seems to be missing in education. The idea being to help each student to their potential with services that they require to do so without burdening them with what they can't handle. Readers here understand that even at this end of the bell curve the level of service needed to do that is quite extensive and varied.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Personally, I have no problem with lower IQ students in a GT class / program so long as they can be productive, they can keep up with the work, they're able to stay emotionally healthy, and they enjoy the program. It's important that a well trained professional in GT be heading the identification program and evaluate students in that program to ensure they're not doing themselves more harm than good.
The problem is when the GT program becomes geared towards those kids instead of the students it was originally designed to help. My son's 6th grade GT class was so full of high achievers, that the homework load was over the top. The peer pressure between the kids was intense and the teacher expected perfection. They expectation was the kids were as organized as a senior in high school. It wasn't all bad, there was a very high level of discussion, the students did a lot of interested and open ended projects. But the district doesn't really give one much of a choice, it's either this program, your kid sitting bored in the regular classroom or homeschooling or private school.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
The problem is that parents of kids who are 110-125 THINK that they can make their kids HG by working them a little harder.

Well, why not try? For example, the Russian School of Math has numerous locations in Massachusetts and a few in other states. My merely bright middle child likes the classes. The RSM site http://www.russianschool.com/about-us/our-results says 75% of RSM students taking the SAT in 7th grade score 600+ and 33% score 700+. Let's see how he does in a few years.


Bostonian, it's interesting to see you make this statement, given that you're a big supporter of Charles Murray. One of his major points is that IQ can't be made to increase appreciably.

I am aware of the contradiction, which is why I phrased my message as "why not try" rather than "RSM is known to improve math aptitude". We have the money, and the Tiger Mother will make the time to ferry our children to after-school programs she thinks may help them.
Posted by: blackcat

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:21 AM

Our district wants both high ability and high achieving kids in their "magnet" for highly gifted. So they have to have a minimum composite score on the CogAT (or an IQ test) of 98th percentile AND achievement test results above the 98th percentile UNLESS IQ is over the 99.5th percentile or something in which case achievement testing doesn't matter.
They claim that there is a large percentage of quirky and/or 2e kids in the program, many with behavioral issues or various immaturities. It doesn't sound like the kids they are getting with their cut-offs are the perfect high-achieving ones. I'm a little surprised by that, given that in most cases they want to see very high achievement scores in both math and reading, along with the high ability scores. To get the achievement scores that they are looking for a kid would need to be doing above grade level work. For instance there would be no way for a third grader to get math achievement scores at the 98th percentile unless they learned their multiplication, division, fractions, etc. ahead of schedule. And someone has to teach them that.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: bluemagic
The problem is when the GT program becomes geared towards those kids instead of the students it was originally designed to help. My son's 6th grade GT class was so full of high achievers, that the homework load was over the top. The peer pressure between the kids was intense and the teacher expected perfection. They expectation was the kids were as organized as a senior in high school. It wasn't all bad, there was a very high level of discussion, the students did a lot of interested and open ended projects. But the district doesn't really give one much of a choice, it's either this program, your kid sitting bored in the regular classroom or homeschooling or private school.



Just who do you think it was originally geared for? Have you viewed the description of definition of "Gifted and Talented" as it is defined by the school you're referring to?

A teacher with certification in gifted and talented education should know how to do the very thing for their students that they're in there for, to be DIFFERENTIATED for. If a GT teacher is attempting to give the same work to all students in the program, that's actually pretty laughable and completely defeats the whole mindset of differentiation. This is why I spoke about levels of service. Good GT teachers understand and practice this. If yours isn't, you should be asking why not.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By: blackcat
Our district wants both high ability and high achieving kids in their "magnet" for highly gifted. So they have to have a minimum composite score on the CogAT (or an IQ test) of 98th percentile AND achievement test results above the 98th percentile UNLESS IQ is over the 99.5th percentile or something in which case achievement testing doesn't matter.


That doesn't sound like a program that is helping all gifted (and talented) students to their potential. It sounds to me like they're ignoring unmotivated gifted children, that's a shame as many students ignored and unchallenged by the system stop producing at a high level by the 3rd grade because by then they've grown bored out of their mind.
Posted by: Ivy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:30 AM

I have a friend who spend time coaching her DS in math so that he'd hid the 97% benchmark for the district gifted test. This despite the fact that it wouldn't gain him much benefit (the GT program is nonexistent here). In my mind, coaching for IQ is unethical and serves neither the parent or child (coaching for achievement tests is fine, obviously, because you are supposed to be able to study for an achievement test). Yet, how can you blame a parent, when education is generally so bad that every advantage is important to just get your kids to a decent baseline?

At the same time, I couldn't get my DD any meaningful differentiation in the same district despite her 99.9% scores because she didn't look like a high achiever. Yes she looked like an extremely bored underachiever with confidence issues, but you'd think they'd have some sympathy since they were the ones who caused that problem to begin with.

Note, I'd always understood 125 to be the sweet spot in terms of IQ. Lower and it becomes more difficult to pursue certain intellectual goals, higher and you raise the risk of social isolation and underachievement.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:39 AM

I agree with you again. I personally value hard work more than "talent". So it's fine with me to value high achievers over high IQs when resources are distributed. But the point should really be to accommodate each student's need and unique learning abilities and styles, instead of having a few cookie cutters, each for a loosely defined group. Is IQ 119 really that different from 121? Or 142 and 145? Or is this IQ 140 the same as another IQ 140? Yet a line is drawn somewhere and each group is given a cookie cutter.
Posted by: BenjaminL

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:48 AM

I'm not sure I get the hard distinction some people have made between high achievers and gifted students. It seems difficult and not very interesting to tease apart what part of good performance is due to good study habits etc. vs innate ability. I think the ability to focus and apply is just as interesting as raw intelligence and certainly not something that is opposed to it.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Ben leis
I'm not sure I get the hard distinction some people have made between high achievers and gifted students. It seems difficult and not very interesting to tease apart what part of good performance is due to good study habits etc. vs innate ability. I think the ability to focus and apply is just as interesting as raw intelligence and certainly not something that is opposed to it.


Well, for one reason it's an question of developmental arc over a lifetime.

If your arc is steeper than others' the ability difference will grow over time, regardless of application because of the underlying cognitive capacity.

In addition, there is the question of whether arcs flatten at the lower levels as age increases.

This is where you get into the question of "overexcitibilies", "positive disintegration", and other things that exist but are not clearly understood.

Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
I agree with you again. I personally value hard work more than "talent". So it's fine with me to value high achievers over high IQs when resources are distributed. But the point should really be to accommodate each student's need and unique learning abilities and styles, instead of having a few cookie cutters, each for a loosely defined group. Is IQ 119 really that different from 121? Or 142 and 145? Or is this IQ 140 the same as another IQ 140? Yet a line is drawn somewhere and each group is given a cookie cutter.


Oh agreed, that's why in an earlier post I stated that a certified GT teacher "Should" be able to differentiate for individual students, that's what they're TRAINED to do, so to once again attempt to give all students within a lumped group of GT students the same work / focus is silly and they should know better. If a school's GT program is giving them all the same work and services, that's a very poor reflection on their training. At the HS when my sons go / went to school, if the school doesn't offer a course of study in the area of interest, they'll FIND you another place to take it (Community college, AP online, etc.) and if that doesn't work out, she's been known to write from scratch curriculum for one student.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 11:57 AM

My personal opinion is that looking at IQ can be very informative when the kid is young--because little kids usually don't achieve much anyways, even the really smart ones. But as they get older, I'd rather look at achievement which is a combination of talent and how the kids are using their talent. And of course this is only when we talked about intellectual achievements. There are many types of other achievements that are equally important to the society and rewarding to the individual that don't require a high IQ.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:03 PM

There's a HUGE difference, though, between rate of learning between those groups, as Jon and Val and I have pointed out-- and this difference is quite detrimental to the kids at the highest end of the ability distribution.

I see this every day, in that my DD's coursework and her classmates (who are truly trying their hardest) just/can't/go/there with her... it's maddening, because what my DD could be getting out of the learning environment is being muzzled fairly assertively by "but your classmates can't learn that yet, so put a sock in it," rather than "this is really interesting..."

So they are depriving my DD of what COULD be. As non-PC as this makes me, I look at that situation and think "maybe they should be doing something that is more in keeping with their innate ability, then."


The gap widens. It just does. If it didn't, then "third grade" would happen to everyone-- eventually. But it clearly does not.


Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:08 PM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
My personal opinion is that looking at IQ can be very informative when the kid is young--because little kids usually don't achieve much anyways, even the really smart ones. But as they get older, I'd rather look at achievement which is a combination of talent and how the kids are using their talent. And of course this is only when we talked about intellectual achievements. There are many types of other achievements that are equally important to the society and rewarding to the individual that don't require a high IQ.


I agree with this. I think the ability to work hard is also somewhat hardwired. I have always been jealous of those who have the motivation and stamina to work hard everyday.

The problem with any of the achievement testing is that if it is not hard enough, then it is impossible to differentiate the students at the top. Then you ended up a GT program that cannot move too fast or even need a remedial class as some of the schools find out when they start to use a broader more subjective admission process.

I also don't believe only HG or PG students belong in the very top of colleges. If we are talking about graduate degrees in theoretical physics, then sure. But not a bachelor degree in most fields.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:09 PM

I guess I wouldn't feel so embittered if this didn't effectively create a ceiling for HG to PG people, rather than a floor for the hard-working-but-'just'-bright.


That's TigerParenting for you, though.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I also don't believe only HG or PG students belong in the very top of colleges. If we are talking about graduate degrees in theoretical physics, then sure. But not a bachelor degree in most fields.


I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean.
Posted by: blackcat

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: blackcat
Our district wants both high ability and high achieving kids in their "magnet" for highly gifted. So they have to have a minimum composite score on the CogAT (or an IQ test) of 98th percentile AND achievement test results above the 98th percentile UNLESS IQ is over the 99.5th percentile or something in which case achievement testing doesn't matter.


That doesn't sound like a program that is helping all gifted (and talented) students to their potential. It sounds to me like they're ignoring unmotivated gifted children, that's a shame as many students ignored and unchallenged by the system stop producing at a high level by the 3rd grade because by then they've grown bored out of their mind.


I agree, and I think it's unfortunate because a lot of kids are bright enough to handle the material, but are being missed because of the selection process. I think it's a good idea to let high achievers in as long as they have a certain minimum cognitive ability score (either CogAT or IQ or some other ability test), but they put too much weight on achievement. My DD's WISC GAI is 150 and I was worried they would not let her in because she has already been accelerated and her math score is above the 99th percentile but her reading score is 97th percentile instead of 98th for her grade. I did actually have to argue with the g/t coordinator about it. Ultimately she got in not based on achievement but because of the WISC GAI being above the 139 composite they want, so she meets criteria per district written policy (the g/t coordinator doesn't like the policy and has been trying to change it). She told me that DD is "weak" in reading. Well, yeah, she's weak in reading because they do not teach reading above grade level! So how is she supposed to test several grade levels ahead on achievement tests if they are not teaching her at the correct level? It's infuriating. The only reason her math score is what they are looking for is because she likes working on sites like Khan Academy. A lot of kids don't have access to that.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
A teacher with certification in gifted and talented education should know how to do the very thing for their students that they're in there for, to be DIFFERENTIATED for. If a GT teacher is attempting to give the same work to all students in the program, that's actually pretty laughable and completely defeats the whole mindset of differentiation. This is why I spoke about levels of service. Good GT teachers understand and practice this. If yours isn't, you should be asking why not.
I am talking about a class/program my son took several years ago in 6th grade. The first two years it was good, but the last year of the program the teacher wasn't as differentiated. Yes the teacher did mostly give the same work to all the kids. But a large amount of the work was small group projects or open ended assignments. I am not the only one with this complaint about this particular class.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I also don't believe only HG or PG students belong in the very top of colleges. If we are talking about graduate degrees in theoretical physics, then sure. But not a bachelor degree in most fields.


I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean.


I am sure you understand it. But if not, it means it does not take a 140 IQ to get a bachelor degree from Harvard.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 12:59 PM

Interesting-- and, I think, highly related:

Our Crazy College Crossroads
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
I agree with you again. I personally value hard work more than "talent".


I don't. I value talent a lot. I also value hard work. It's not like they're mutually exclusive or that people with very high IQs sit around talking about strategies for succeeding without working.

Honestly, I get tired of PC dismissal of talent. Talent matters. Talent is huge. When we dismiss it, we risk ending up with crazed tiger parents who make their kids miserable and distort...oh, wait. frown

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
So it's fine with me to value high achievers over high IQs when resources are distributed.


There are really a lot of holes in this statement.

By this logic, we should toss aside kids with IQs past the 99th percentile because they haven't achieved according to a cookie-cutter definition created by someone who may not have been as smart as they kids being tossed aside (by a wide margin). And what about low and low-ish SES kids whose parents don't how to work the system? Should we ignore them too because they haven't "achieved?"

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
But the point should really be to accommodate each student's need and unique learning abilities and styles, instead of having a few cookie cutters, each for a loosely defined group. Is IQ 119 really that different from 121? Yet a line is drawn somewhere and each group is given a cookie cutter.


Yes, 119 is effectively the same as 121, but both are very different from the 99th percentile and above. People with very high cognitive ability think differently from pretty much everyone else, and the rarer your talents get, the more you need a different kind of learning environment in order to develop properly (more depth, move more quickly). I agree that IQ tests aren't perfect, but they're reasonable and are pretty good predictors of different thought patterns.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I also don't believe only HG or PG students belong in the very top of colleges. If we are talking about graduate degrees in theoretical physics, then sure. But not a bachelor degree in most fields.


I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean.


I am sure you understand it. But if not, it means it does not take a 140 IQ to get a bachelor degree from Harvard.


Maybe not, but it should.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I also don't believe only HG or PG students belong in the very top of colleges. If we are talking about graduate degrees in theoretical physics, then sure. But not a bachelor degree in most fields.


I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean.


I am sure you understand it. But if not, it means it does not take a 140 IQ to get a bachelor degree from Harvard.


I didn't know if if you were talking about "top of the college class" or "top colleges", both of which are true.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Maybe not, but it should.


Oh? Why is that? Anyone that can complete the courses required and make passing grads deserves the diploma regardless of whether it was easy or hard for them, whether their blessing came from IQ or simply a killer work ethic. In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:13 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I also don't believe only HG or PG students belong in the very top of colleges. If we are talking about graduate degrees in theoretical physics, then sure. But not a bachelor degree in most fields.


I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean.


I am sure you understand it. But if not, it means it does not take a 140 IQ to get a bachelor degree from Harvard.


I didn't know if if you were talking about "top of the college class" or "top colleges", both of which are true.


I actually do think it probably takes both talent and hard work to be tops in class in a good college. I know a couple of people who ranked 1st or 2nd in two different Ivy League Universities, and they are really really smart.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Maybe not, but it should.


Oh? Why is that? Anyone that can complete the courses required and make passing grads deserves the diploma regardless of whether it was easy or hard for them, whether their blessing came from IQ or simply a killer work ethic. In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.


Agree completely.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Maybe not, but it should.


Oh? Why is that? Anyone that can complete the courses required and make passing grads deserves the diploma regardless of whether it was easy or hard for them, whether their blessing came from IQ or simply a killer work ethic. In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.


I disagree. We need a few institutions of learning where student capabilities are universally very, very high, and the course material is geared to them. If this would mean reducing the number of institutions where dullish tiger cubs get admitted and ask, "Will this be on the test?" then so be it.

Oh, how wonderful it would be if gifties were allowed to have an environment where they would be challenged at a level that reflects their abilities. Like it or not, most people --- even the high achievers --- simply aren't up to that, any more than most of us can work hard and make it to the nationals in the 200m dash.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Maybe not, but it should.


Oh? Why is that? Anyone that can complete the courses required and make passing grads deserves the diploma regardless of whether it was easy or hard for them, whether their blessing came from IQ or simply a killer work ethic. In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.


I'm still trying to figure out why college wasn't a waste of five years of my life.

I got a diploma.

Whee.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Maybe not, but it should.


Oh? Why is that? Anyone that can complete the courses required and make passing grads deserves the diploma regardless of whether it was easy or hard for them, whether their blessing came from IQ or simply a killer work ethic. In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.


I disagree. We need a few institutions of learning where student capabilities are universally very, very high, and the course material is geared to them. If this would mean reducing the number of institutions where dullish tiger cubs get admitted and ask, "Will this be on the test?" then so be it.

Oh, how wonderful it would be if gifties were allowed to have an environment where they would be challenged at a level that reflects their abilities. Like it or not, most people --- even the high achievers --- simply aren't up to that, any more than most of us can work hard and make it to the nationals in the 200m dash.


I think that is what Ph.D programs are for.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Val

Oh, how wonderful it would be if gifties were allowed to have an environment where they would be challenged at a level that reflects their abilities. Like it or not, most people --- even the high achievers --- simply aren't up to that, any more than most of us can work hard and make it to the nationals in the 200m dash.


Hey, anyone can create an environment where they can be challenged, the world is out there waiting. People act as though college is the only place to do that! If you don't like the system, don't play the game, make your own game.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Maybe not, but it should.


Oh? Why is that? Anyone that can complete the courses required and make passing grads deserves the diploma regardless of whether it was easy or hard for them, whether their blessing came from IQ or simply a killer work ethic. In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.


I disagree. We need a few institutions of learning where student capabilities are universally very, very high, and the course material is geared to them. If this would mean reducing the number of institutions where dullish tiger cubs get admitted and ask, "Will this be on the test?" then so be it.

Oh, how wonderful it would be if gifties were allowed to have an environment where they would be challenged at a level that reflects their abilities. Like it or not, most people --- even the high achievers --- simply aren't up to that, any more than most of us can work hard and make it to the nationals in the 200m dash.


I think that is what Ph.D programs are for.


I thought the point of Ph.D. programs was to get cheap labor for the universities.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:41 PM

Yes. But being smart does not always mean they are expensive, ask the physicists and the biologists. Only the law school and business school smarts translate to money.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Yes. But being smart does not always mean they are expensive, ask the physicists and the biologists. Only the law school and business school smarts translate to money.


Of course not. TA's are even cheaper labor than adjuncts, in many instances. wink
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Yes. But being smart does not always mean they are expensive, ask the physicists and the biologists. Only the law school and business school smarts translate to money.


I was talking about the grad students, not the Ph.D.'s themselves.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:47 PM

Well, they do graduate eventually and some of the lucky ones will become the advisors themselves.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Only the law school and business school smarts translate to money.


And by "smarts", you mean "lack of ethics to hold you back."
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:48 PM


I'm interrupting this thread to show everyone a really cool graph of lawyer starting salaries.

Seriously.

It's that cool.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/starting-salaries-attorneys-are-pretty-weird

Now back to whatever it was we were talking about.
Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:48 PM

I am a hard worker, do well in school etc person. I was in "gifted" programs in school and even a self-contained gt program for a while. My husband is PG, no questions and it is pretty obvious when you meet him. My daughter is HG and she has great math and verbal skills. However, my husband and DD are qualitatively very very different than I am. I think this is where this argument comes from. They just think differently than most people and you can tell right away, they could not hide it if they tried. I think all IQ scores do is try to quantitatively get at something that is very qualitative, if that makes sense. But the thing about both of them is that their ceiling is significantly higher than most and they are both capable of understanding (and conversing) about things that most people cannot. I don't care how hard a worker you are, you can't be that unless you just are. So not investing in these children as a society is a shame. There IS a difference, tiger mom or not!
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Only the law school and business school smarts translate to money.


And by "smarts", you mean "lack of ethics to hold you back."


I don't know about that. But a precocious love of money surely helps.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 01:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Only the law school and business school smarts translate to money.


And by "smarts", you mean "lack of ethics to hold you back."


I don't know about that. But a precocious love of money surely helps.


The entire point of the "Let's Race to the Ivies" is about money and/or status.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:00 PM

Originally Posted By: psychland
I am a hard worker, do well in school etc person. I was in "gifted" programs in school and even a self-contained gt program for a while. My husband is PG, no questions and it is pretty obvious when you meet him. My daughter is HG and she has great math and verbal skills. However, my husband and DD are qualitatively very very different than I am. I think this is where this argument comes from. They just think differently than most people and you can tell right away, they could not hide it if they tried. I think all IQ scores do is try to quantitatively get at something that is very qualitative, if that makes sense. But the thing about both of them is that their ceiling is significantly higher than most and they are both capable of understanding (and conversing) about things that most people cannot. I don't care how hard a worker you are, you can't be that unless you just are. So not investing in these children as a society is a shame. There IS a difference, tiger mom or not!



YES.


Setting a 'ceiling' as a result of pretending that working hard enough can make you one of those people is a national tragedy, IMO.

Every parent who presses to get exceptions made in entrance requirements, coaches for identification assessments that are theoreticaly to be taken "naive," lies or obfuscates about a child's accomplishments on a resume, does a project FOR a child (or worse, hires a pro to do it), angles for a more-glowing-than-warranted recommendation, etc. is probably somewhat guilty of contributing to this problem.

It's not that there's anything wrong with those kids with IQ down in the 110-120 range. But they cannot keep up with kids like my DD, and placing them in the same class with her forces the teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up.

whistle
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Val

I disagree. We need a few institutions of learning where student capabilities are universally very, very high, and the course material is geared to them. If this would mean reducing the number of institutions where dullish tiger cubs get admitted and ask, "Will this be on the test?" then so be it.

Oh, how wonderful it would be if gifties were allowed to have an environment where they would be challenged at a level that reflects their abilities. Like it or not, most people --- even the high achievers --- simply aren't up to that, any more than most of us can work hard and make it to the nationals in the 200m dash.


It appears you missed my question, WHY? What is the logic behind separate classes if both are doing the same work? If one person is blessed with many fast twitch muscle fibers and doesn't have to work at their training as hard, and another person isn't blessed with as many fast twitch muscle fibers but is amazingly determined and has a great work ethic....and qualifying time is 10.08 which both athletes achieve....did they both not qualify? The goal was to qualify, it was achieved.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By: psychland
Everything in psychland's post


Originally Posted By: JonLaw
The entire point of the "Let's Race to the Ivies" is about money and/or status.


Which brings us back to my point that it be really nice if there were a few colleges for HG+ types could go to dig deep into geometrical methods for solving algebra problems as practiced by the greats of early mathematics. Or to get a deeper understanding of the roots of the 20th century European totalitarians. Etc.

And what is really amazing is how this stuff can translate into modern work.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val

I disagree. We need a few institutions of learning where student capabilities are universally very, very high, and the course material is geared to them. If this would mean reducing the number of institutions where dullish tiger cubs get admitted and ask, "Will this be on the test?" then so be it.

Oh, how wonderful it would be if gifties were allowed to have an environment where they would be challenged at a level that reflects their abilities. Like it or not, most people --- even the high achievers --- simply aren't up to that, any more than most of us can work hard and make it to the nationals in the 200m dash.


It appears you missed my question, WHY? What is the logic behind separate classes if both are doing the same work? If one person is blessed with many fast twitch muscle fibers and doesn't have to work at their training as hard, and another person isn't blessed with as many fast twitch muscle fibers but is amazingly determined and has a great work ethic....and qualifying time is 10.08 which both athletes achieve....did they both not qualify? The goal was to qualify, it was achieved.


Because that 10,08 is a personal best for the one-- and unlikely to reflect a routine level of performance?

Whereas the other individual may be capable of 10,00 or even 9.96, and could use the performance pressure of equally capable peers in order to get there?

Training at the elite level presumes that your peers in training are also better than just "good and hard-working." They aren't helpful to you in terms of your own improvement otherwise.
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's not that there's anything wrong with those kids with IQ down in the 110-120 range. But they cannot keep up with kids like my DD, and placing them in the same class with her forces the teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up.

whistle


Wait April Fool's Day... in college, compounding things I know from personal experience and descriptions you've given of your daughter... I am going to have to call shenanigans on this. Wouldn't the actual effect be that your daughter would amazingly get a professor to follow along with her at her pace, answer her questions, delve into the topics as she'd like? And if the other students happen to keep up, they'll learn far more than they were going to starting out?
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's not that there's anything wrong with those kids with IQ down in the 110-120 range. But they cannot keep up with kids like my DD, and placing them in the same class with her forces the teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up.

whistle


I'd only agree to the statement above if it read, "....and placing them in the same class with her forces an inexperienced and untrained teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up."

An teacher who is trained in GT education and has some experience with it can easily differentiate and not hold back students of varying skill levels. This seems to be a recurring theme, that too many here thing that just like the regular classroom, a GT classroom has to be once size fits all.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's not that there's anything wrong with those kids with IQ down in the 110-120 range. But they cannot keep up with kids like my DD, and placing them in the same class with her forces the teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up.

whistle


I'd only agree to the statement above if it read, "....and placing them in the same class with her forces an inexperienced and untrained teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up."


The ceiling issues is prevalent in the k12 world. Much less so in good colleges. Even less so in a hard major.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:17 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Because that 10,08 is a personal best for the one-- and unlikely to reflect a routine level of performance?

Whereas the other individual may be capable of 10,00 or even 9.96, and could use the performance pressure of equally capable peers in order to get there?

Training at the elite level presumes that your peers in training are also better than just "good and hard-working." They aren't helpful to you in terms of your own improvement otherwise.



You've missed the point though. The point of the race was only to qualify, not to find out who's potential is reached. That's the same thing college is. Undergrad work is seldom if ever designed to bring the top performers to their potential, instead, it's simply the next level and the goal is to graduate with the diploma of the subject of choice and learn the materials needed to do so.

No college is going to be the end all to find out if someone has reached their potential.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
It appears you missed my question, WHY? What is the logic behind separate classes if both are doing the same work?


Because they shouldn't be doing the same work. THAT'S the point.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:22 PM

Exactly. Undergraduate is not the equivalent of Olympic trials. No colleges can survive if that is their only clientile.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Exactly. Undergraduate is not the equivalent of Olympic trials. No colleges can survive if that is their only clientile.


Don't segue. I said "a few" colleges for HG+ types. I never claimed they should all be that way.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:27 PM

Based on experience, it seems to be how it actually works in practice more often than not, though. I agree that in an ideal world, such a teacher would be delighted and care not a bit whether the entire discussion were more or less over the heads of many classmates-- but that's not the world that my DD finds herself in.

The result is that DD has to opt to stay at the watering hole with the rest of the herd...

or choose to learn in a vacuum, with occasional input from a mostly distant teacher who is still teaching the middle of the distribution, albeit one with a higher mean than in a standard setting.

I can see the teacher's point, here, myself. A discussion which is beyond the ability of most students to follow, much less participate actively in, is probably not a good use of group instructional time.

But that does leave students who learn best in groups out in the cold unless they can conform to what classmates are ready for.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's not that there's anything wrong with those kids with IQ down in the 110-120 range. But they cannot keep up with kids like my DD, and placing them in the same class with her forces the teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up.

whistle


I'd only agree to the statement above if it read, "....and placing them in the same class with her forces an inexperienced and untrained teacher to hold my DD back so that the rest of them can manage to keep up."


The ceiling issues is prevalent in the k12 world. Much less so in good colleges. Even less so in a hard major.




Yes.

Unfortunately, that means that k-12 isn't very good preparation for kids who should be working beyond that ceiling, however.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Exactly. Undergraduate is not the equivalent of Olympic trials. No colleges can survive if that is their only clientile.


Don't segue. I said "a few" colleges for HG+ types. I never claimed they should all be that way.


Part of the problem is that places like Harvard can't remain elite if they take only HG+ types.

They would quickly lose status and money.
Posted by: Saritz

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:35 PM

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every single post on this thread. What a great conversation.

Put me down for this: the 110-120 IQ people think differently than the 140+ people...and they will NEVER be able to understand or accept that. Ask my mother. She made my childhood miserable by refusing to accept that I was different. She still won't admit that my kids are different, or rather, that another approach to education than that which serves the masses might be more appropriate for them. She acknowledges we are "weird" just won't admit why.

FWIW I do agree that 125 is about the sweet spot for being able to tolerate people and yet achieve at a high level.

See, the problem with my mother, and many others is, that they really, truly in their hearts cannot imagine what it is like to walk a day in our shoes. They just can't understand being bombarded with stimuli and all of the possibilities. It's not that they are being obstinate or combative. They just well and truly can't fathom a person who thinks differently than they do.

That is the key limitation of having a high average IQ.

And I do agree, it would be nice if there were somewhere to go where you could really be around people who loved taking it up to the next level and thrived on finding the unexpected in what was supposed to be an everyday lesson, but there just aren't enough of us to make it worth the investment for that institution. Not only that, but create one and all of the high achievers will start finding sneaky ways to get in and dilute the program.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. smile
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:35 PM

Saritz, I found myself nodding with agreement through that entire post. laugh THAT is the crux of it, I think. Too many people think that there isn't any such thing as thinking 'beyond' what those ideally bright folks experience, and there are more of those people to start with... and they pin a lot of their egos on being "smart" ergo, when they meet someone who is in the 145+ range, there's a lot that just doesn't compute at all for them.

It's easier to default to cognitive dissonance and pretend it's not so. LOL.


Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Because that 10,08 is a personal best for the one-- and unlikely to reflect a routine level of performance?

Whereas the other individual may be capable of 10,00 or even 9.96, and could use the performance pressure of equally capable peers in order to get there?

Training at the elite level presumes that your peers in training are also better than just "good and hard-working." They aren't helpful to you in terms of your own improvement otherwise.



You've missed the point though. The point of the race was only to qualify, not to find out who's potential is reached. That's the same thing college is. Undergrad work is seldom if ever designed to bring the top performers to their potential, instead, it's simply the next level and the goal is to graduate with the diploma of the subject of choice and learn the materials needed to do so.

No college is going to be the end all to find out if someone has reached their potential.



But the entire point of qualification as a barrier to entry is to determine who best fits into an elite group-- which is then a group of more-or-less similarly able peers.

So I do think that the analogy is useful-- to a point. But extend it beyond the "qualification" and ask what happens next. World record performances are almost never handed in in heats without multiple elite competitors. Not just "qualifiers" but-- those who are equally capable of truly elite performance.

They are different from "qualifying" competitors in that sense.

And really, while I don't expect undergraduate institutions to be turning out Nobel Prize-winners left and right, it is ridiculous to me that an undergraduate education should be only marginally less stultifying than k through 12 was for the most capable kids.

Haven't we already lowered the bar enough here?

And yes, I do see that particular issue as the flip side of this same coin of hyper-parenting. Everyone wants a trophy, and therefore, we can't have any distinctions made between "above average" and "extraordinary" or that might hurt the feelings of the parents whose kids are just "good" at things, but not "great" at them...

smirk



Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
It appears you missed my question, WHY? What is the logic behind separate classes if both are doing the same work?


Because they shouldn't be doing the same work. THAT'S the point.


If you enroll in Physics III for engineers, the course work is set. It doesn't matter if you're HG or simply a really hard worker, so long as you can do the work and pass the test, you've completed the course, that's the objective, the WORK.

If you want to be purely with those of like IQ, then don't enroll in classes that aren't defined by completing the required work but by having a certain IQ.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:40 PM

Some may say that the physics for engineers is already diluted. smile
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
It appears you missed my question, WHY? What is the logic behind separate classes if both are doing the same work?


Because they shouldn't be doing the same work. THAT'S the point.


If you enroll in Physics III for engineers, the course work is set. It doesn't matter if you're HG or simply a really hard worker, so long as you can do the work and pass the test, you've completed the course, that's the objective, the WORK.

If you want to be purely with those of like IQ, then don't enroll in classes that aren't defined by completing the required work but by having a certain IQ.


Yes, but you don't even need to actually learn anything that way.

I should know, since I got a degree in chemical engineering with basically learning nothing about chemical engineering. I just threw what I needed into short term memory and then stopped caring about it once I passed the classes.

So something is wrong with the course model being used.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
In the end, the work done is what counts, not how that work was achieved so long as it was done honestly and with integrity.


Yes. If a studend with high IQ and a student with moderate IQ work equally hard, you would think that the one with high IQ would be the high achiever anyways. Of course high achievement usually takes both talent and hard work, but the advantage of having the talent really shouldn't be held higher than the advantage of being willing to work extremely hard.

Take piano as an example. Kid A reaches advanced level within a short period of time, because she is extremely talented. Kid B reaches advanced level also within a short period of time, because she loves piano so much that she practices four hours a day. Now to the audience, both young pianists will bring them the joy of music. In the long run, if kid A is willing to practice four hours a day as well, she will most likely surpass kid B. But this is something we don't know until we know. Plus, who is more artistically creative will be hard to measure until they grow up. So for now, both kids should deserve the best learning environment. However, they are most likely taught in different ways--to bring out the strengths and make up the weaknesses in each.
Posted by: Aufilia

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:43 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
I do think that there is a significant backlash that we as parents of HG+ kids wind up getting caught in.


EXACTLY. This is exactly why our district TAG office will barely give you the time of day until you've passed THEIR tests. There are too many pushy parents who drive their reasonably bright-but-not-gifted kids day and night with tutors and after-school classes and weekend classes and on and on because they feel like their kid needs to be #1 for some reason. Reportedly they have even had problems with parents faking IQ tests, so our perfectly valid IQ test did not even warrant a second glance. And the district has implemented a blanket policy against single-subject acceleration. It's maddening. DD who turns out to be PG is getting the short end of the stick in so many ways because of helicoptor parents who can't just let their kids be who they are.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:43 PM

wink Good point, Thomas Percy.

Old Dad, I agree with that logic insofar as set curriculum goes-- but when it comes to coursework with a design or discussion component, it's more important to have similarly able classmates that one can effectively learn from.

Depending on how the course is constructed (and yes, this is more common in graduate coursework than undergrad) it may even be helpful to learn the most you can from assigned work by working collaboratively and discussing problems, ideas, etc. outside of class time in study groups or in lab settings.



Jon, your post above really makes me laugh. I won't say exactly why.... just.... that it does. Makes me laugh and think of my poor DH, teaching the p-chem lab to the Chem E students. Oh my. grin
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:45 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
So something is wrong with the course model being used.


Then don't take the course. We have the option, it's a service we're paying for. If you don't like the product, don't buy it.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:48 PM

Fundamentally, this is about too many students not having a good learning environment. People who are in the gifted program don't want it to be watered down; people who are outside see this program as something way better than the regular classroom.

The K-12 system is very much cookie-cutter style and the qualify is far from satisfactory for too many students. That is the real problem.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:50 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
wink Good point, Thomas Percy.

Old Dad, I agree with that logic insofar as set curriculum goes-- but when it comes to coursework with a design or discussion component, it's more important to have similarly able classmates that one can effectively learn from.

Depending on how the course is constructed (and yes, this is more common in graduate coursework than undergrad) it may even be helpful to learn the most you can from assigned work by working collaboratively and discussing problems, ideas, etc. outside of class time in study groups or in lab settings.


Agreed, eldest DS's Honors and Presidential classes have a heavy discussion component and it's refreshing for him to be in a class with those who he can converse with on his level. That's why they have THOSE classes! The few general education classes he has left he doesn't expect that level of conversation in because that's not the goal.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
So something is wrong with the course model being used.


Then don't take the course. We have the option, it's a service we're paying for. If you don't like the product, don't buy it.


I wasn't paying for anything.

In fact, I was making money my first year, so I was essentially getting paid to take classes I didn't really want to take.

No engineering, no money for college.

You know, now that I think about it, it's kind of like work in general.

You are getting paid to do things you have zero interest in actually doing.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
So something is wrong with the course model being used.


Then don't take the course. We have the option, it's a service we're paying for. If you don't like the product, don't buy it.


I wasn't paying for anything.

In fact, I was making money my first year, so I was essentially getting paid to take classes I didn't really want to take.

No engineering, no money for college.


So you're griping about classes you were getting paid to take?
You choose to play the game, if you choose to play the game, then you have to accept what the rules of the game are. The rules of that game are, you do the work, you pass the tests, you pass the class, you move on. If you don't like the game, don't play it.

That's a reality that my eldest DS has learned well, we all daily play games we don't control the rules of, make a choice, live with your choices.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
So you're griping about classes you were getting paid to take?
You choose to play the game, if you choose to play the game, then you have to accept what the rules of the game are. The rules of that game are, you do the work, you pass the tests, you pass the class, you move on. If you don't like the game, don't play it.

That's a reality that my eldest DS has learned well, we all daily play games we don't control the rules of, make a choice, live with your choices.


You make a lot of pronouncements that imply that solutions to complex problems are simple. They aren't. For example, kids aren't generally sophisticated enough to understand that stuff they've been told all or most of their lives isn't true. This is where we get former tiger cubs who become very, very unhappy when they start to grow up and realize what was going on.

There was also a blithe statement about making your own challenging workplace. That's not so easy for people who have bills to pay or special-needs kids to take care of.

Etc. etc.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
[ For example, kids aren't generally sophisticated enough to understand that stuff they've been told all or most of their lives isn't true. This is where we get former tiger cubs who become very, very unhappy when they start to grow up and realize what was going on.


What *does* happen to them in real life, anyway?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
So you're griping about classes you were getting paid to take?You choose to play the game, if you choose to play the game, then you have to accept what the rules of the game are. The rules of that game are, you do the work, you pass the tests, you pass the class, you move on. If you don't like the game, don't play it.

That's a reality that my eldest DS has learned well, we all daily play games we don't control the rules of, make a choice, live with your choices.


Silly.

You just smash the rules you don't like.

Or break the game.

Nobody says you have to follow the rules or keep the game going.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:45 PM

I do want to say I better lots of tiger cubs are highly talented as well. For example, Amy Chua's two daughters.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:45 PM

I meant I bet.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad

You choose to play the game, if you choose to play the game, then you have to accept what the rules of the game are. The rules of that game are, you do the work, you pass the tests, you pass the class, you move on. If you don't like the game, don't play it.

That's a reality that my eldest DS has learned well, we all daily play games we don't control the rules of, make a choice, live with your choices.



It's a lesson that all outliers have to learn, to some extent, yes. We prefer (in our household) to refer to this as "nodding and smiling, but staying clear of the refreshment table."

(In other words, nobody is making any of us drink the KoolAid).

Right now, DD has a revisionist APUSH teacher who apparently thinks (among other things) that FDR was the devil, that McCarthy was simply a misunderstood man that probably saved the world, and other equally odd things. This teacher requires students to subscribe to that particular worldview or lose points on assignments, as my daughter discovered. It doesn't matter if my daughter can defend her perspective or provide evidence that support her assertions to the contrary... Nope. She knows better than to try, in fact-- she knows what she knows, and is happy to learn deeply and collect such evidence for herself, but she knows better than to turn it in for a grade.

Still, this kind of intellectually dishonest or narrow methodology is not a good way to serve very bright students, because it does force them underground like that. Not good.
Posted by: Ametrine

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 03:56 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


But what also kills a lot of joy for HG+ kids is sitting next to kids who have been hyper-prepped and have no love, joi de vivre , or whatever you want to call it-- for the subject.

Some of you may not yet see the results-- but trust me that such students RUIN the experience of dual enrollment or AP coursework. Because they are the ones interrupting the teacher to ask "will this be on the test?" when a smaller cohort of students is interested in exploring a topic under discussion.

It's maddening.




Your comment reminded me of this: http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=681

Perhaps "Common Core" is a pseudonym for Tiger Parent?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Ametrine
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


But what also kills a lot of joy for HG+ kids is sitting next to kids who have been hyper-prepped and have no love, joi de vivre , or whatever you want to call it-- for the subject.

Some of you may not yet see the results-- but trust me that such students RUIN the experience of dual enrollment or AP coursework. Because they are the ones interrupting the teacher to ask "will this be on the test?" when a smaller cohort of students is interested in exploring a topic under discussion.

It's maddening.




Your comment reminded me of this: http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=681

Perhaps "Common Core" is a pseudonym for Tiger Parent?



Oh, don't worry about stuff like that.

You can rest assured that McNamara and the Whiz Kids know what they are doing.
Posted by: Mana

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Some of you may not yet see the results-- but trust me that such students RUIN the experience of dual enrollment or AP coursework. Because they are the ones interrupting the teacher to ask "will this be on the test?" when a smaller cohort of students is interested in exploring a topic under discussion.


One of my favorite professors had it on his syllabus that no one is to ever ask that question.
Posted by: Ametrine

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 04:46 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
It appears you missed my question, WHY? What is the logic behind separate classes if both are doing the same work?


Because they shouldn't be doing the same work. THAT'S the point.


If you enroll in Physics III for engineers, the course work is set. It doesn't matter if you're HG or simply a really hard worker, so long as you can do the work and pass the test, you've completed the course, that's the objective, the WORK.

If you want to be purely with those of like IQ, then don't enroll in classes that aren't defined by completing the required work but by having a certain IQ.


Yes, but you don't even need to actually learn anything that way.

I should know, since I got a degree in chemical engineering with basically learning nothing about chemical engineering. I just threw what I needed into short term memory and then stopped caring about it once I passed the classes.

So something is wrong with the course model being used.


Whoa. This is too familiar for me. I wasted a lot of time carousing with my short-term memory.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:03 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw

Silly.

You just smash the rules you don't like.

Or break the game.

Nobody says you have to follow the rules or keep the game going.


Absolutely, IF you can smash the rules and still win the game, by all means do so, however, don't enter the game knowing the rules, be unable to change the rules, and then whimper and whine about how you wasted your time. You signed up for this crap you're whining about.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad
So you're griping about classes you were getting paid to take?
You choose to play the game, if you choose to play the game, then you have to accept what the rules of the game are. The rules of that game are, you do the work, you pass the tests, you pass the class, you move on. If you don't like the game, don't play it.

That's a reality that my eldest DS has learned well, we all daily play games we don't control the rules of, make a choice, live with your choices.


You make a lot of pronouncements that imply that solutions to complex problems are simple. They aren't. For example, kids aren't generally sophisticated enough to understand that stuff they've been told all or most of their lives isn't true. This is where we get former tiger cubs who become very, very unhappy when they start to grow up and realize what was going on.

There was also a blithe statement about making your own challenging workplace. That's not so easy for people who have bills to pay or special-needs kids to take care of.

Etc. etc.


Once again, we all make our own bed, be prepared to sleep in it. If you've got difficult challenges, I can sympathize and respect that, however, if you can't get yourself out of them don't expect anyone else to be able to do so either. YOU are responsible for YOUR happiness. Until your kids are adults, YOU are responsible for educating them, giving them wisdom to navigate the world, and teaching them to take care of themselves. Don't expect the rest of the world to have a ready made remedy to your special needs, you're going to have to create that world because nobody else is going to do it for you nor should you expect them to.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: JonLaw

Silly.

You just smash the rules you don't like.

Or break the game.

Nobody says you have to follow the rules or keep the game going.


Absolutely, IF you can smash the rules and still win the game, by all means do so, however, don't enter the game knowing the rules, be unable to change the rules, and then whimper and whine about how you wasted your time. You signed up for this crap you're whining about.


You have to do *something*, silly.

And I didn't say "win the game", I said "break the game".
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Mana
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Some of you may not yet see the results-- but trust me that such students RUIN the experience of dual enrollment or AP coursework. Because they are the ones interrupting the teacher to ask "will this be on the test?" when a smaller cohort of students is interested in exploring a topic under discussion.


One of my favorite professors had it on his syllabus that no one is to ever ask that question.


One of mine (scathingly) responded to a graduate student who was foolish enough to ask it...


Do you want me to TELL you what will be on the test??

eek

The grad student in question went blush and wanted, very clearly, for the floor to open up underneath him and swallow him into a sinkhole at that moment.

Two weeks later, while I was TA-ing gen chem for him, a freshman student asked the precise same question. He shot me a sly look (because I suspect he knew that I'd heard the story already), and less scathingly, though still with a downright wolfish grin, informed the student that paying attention in class, reading the textbook, and doing the homework might provide some helpful clues for this endeavor.

Ahhh, good times. wink Theoretical physical chemist, incidentally. The first incident was in a statistical mechanics course populated by Chem and Physics PhD students, and the second was in the off-sequence majors Gen Chem class at a large western university. He was old-school. Loved his sense of humor, and I always found him friendly and helpful... but even my DH was terrified of him, and claims that I was the only person ever to "get" Dr. Z completely. I was his favorite TA of all time, apparently. Worked for me-- he wrote me a heckuva letter of recommendation later.

Hmm.

Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:26 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
One of mine (scathingly) responded to a graduate student who was foolish enough to ask it...


Do you want me to TELL you what will be on the test??


The correct answer is "Yes."

Followed by a pause.

After the pause, you then follow up with "Would you be so kind as to do that for me?"
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 05:44 PM

:rofl: Yeah.... no, probably not. The implication was very clearly that if such a thing were necessary, well... maybe P-Chem isn't the right place for you...

Clearly you didn't know Dr. Z.

A far kinder, gentler faculty member (once IAEC spokesperson, and a perfect British gentleman in every way) took one equally foolhardy ChemE senior to task for daring to ask in one of my upper division electives;

"So you keep using this term 'Ksp.' Could you just tell me what that is, exactly?"

shocked

Dr. British went ballistic, explaining that this (Trace Analysis) was a 600-level CHEMISTRY course, and that ChemE could damned well keep their undergraduates where they belonged if they didn't know any freshman chemistry, because this was a 400-level class even for them, and last time he checked, solubility products were covered in some detail in not one, but THREE prerequisite courses over the course of three separate years of preparatory classes leading to the class, and that if the student were truly curious, he could perhaps consult with any one of the two dozen graduate students whose TIME he was wasting with such a question, since any and all of us could answer it without even breaking a sweat, but that sure... he could spend ten minutes of class time on it... SURE. WHY. NOT?? (He was livid.)

The graduate students applauded when he ran out of breath, by the way. We weren't any happier than he was that those ignoramuses were in our class and wasting time with that kind of ill-prepared idiocy. WE all sat on one side of the room, and rolled our eyes collectively anytime one of the ChemE's raised their hands. It was invariably something that demonstrated that they had little business taking the course. The upshot is that this question was asked AFTER a twenty minute discussion of the merits of using a carrier to precipitate a trace analyte. So clearly understanding this concept was pretty key to the material under discussion for the previous 20 minutes. With that one question, this student demonstrated that he had NO grasp on what had just been discussed at some length, in some mathematical and theoretical detail (sufficient to jog pretty much anyone's memory, I'd have thought-- there was an audible GASP of disbelief from the grad students when it was asked).


The point of this obvious tangent is that this kind of problem has pretty far reaching consequences even into PhD training. Stupid people make us all a little dumber when they infiltrate. That's not to say that most TigerCubs are stupid... just like that Chem E student was clearly not stupid, or he'd never have made it through statics to bedevil me or my classmates... but still... he clearly had no business being in a 400-level chemistry class, no matter what he (or his department or adviser) may have thought.... it was memorable only because of Dr. British's uncharacteristically volatile response to it-- the type of thing was quite routine in a lot of my 600-level elective classes, I'm afraid.

Needless to say, the ChemE's weren't invited to the grad student study and homework sessions. Ha.



Posted by: aquinas

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 06:00 PM

Maybe I'm just too much of an economist, but I think tuition should be scaled inversely to GPA in upper year classes as a rule after adjusting for income (which is effectively just an argument for extensive merit scholarships). There's a strong public policy argument for having a well-educated citizenry, granted, but the achievement of that aim shouldn't come at the expense of maintaining high standards for grad school bound candidates.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw


You have to do *something*, silly.

And I didn't say "win the game", I said "break the game".



Breaking the game accomplishes nothing positive though and it's simply someone not liking the game so rather than finding a different game, they ruin it for others which the game is a positive experience for. That's simply childish behavior found on elementary school playgrounds.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad
Originally Posted By: JonLaw


You have to do *something*, silly.

And I didn't say "win the game", I said "break the game".



Breaking the game accomplishes nothing positive though and it's simply someone not liking the game so rather than finding a different game, they ruin it for others which the game is a positive experience for. That's simply childish behavior found on elementary school playgrounds.


You would not make a very good nihilist.

I recommend that you never try to spread pain and suffering.

You don't seem very good at it.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 07:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad

Breaking the game accomplishes nothing positive though and it's simply someone not liking the game so rather than finding a different game, they ruin it for others which the game is a positive experience for.


Wow! That's precisely what the status-seeking hyper-prepping tiger parents have done to the pathetically few educational options for gifted kids!
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:29 PM

I've often mused that I might make an excellent nihilist, myself.

Sadly, I've seen myself more as a half-hearted anarchist, however, so nihilism ultimately doesn't entirely fit with my self-image. Or does it? Hmm. Food for thought.

On the subject of breaking the game and ruining it for others, though, isn't that what rising college tuition rates are doing? So... who is getting rich from doing that? Maybe those people are the nihilists among us. They certainly seem to be good at spreading stress and misery.

I blame Justin Bieber and Youtube as the source, ultimately, of modern Nihilism, if only because it seems like a good idea after a few seconds of that. Maybe that's the reason behind tuition hikes.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/01/14 10:44 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
I blame Justin Bieber and Youtube as the source, ultimately, of modern Nihilism, if only because it seems like a good idea after a few seconds of that. Maybe that's the reason behind tuition hikes.
I like that it's all Justin Bieber's fault. If he would just go back to Canada the tuition would drop at all public universities and all would be right with the world again.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 04:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: Old Dad

Breaking the game accomplishes nothing positive though and it's simply someone not liking the game so rather than finding a different game, they ruin it for others which the game is a positive experience for.


Wow! That's precisely what the status-seeking hyper-prepping tiger parents have done to the pathetically few educational options for gifted kids!


No, I think that the Tiger Parents just played the game *better* that the gifted kids and *enjoyed* it more.

So, the solution is that the gifted kids need to take their ball and go find a new game that they can play making up their own challenges in their own workplace.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 05:10 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
On the subject of breaking the game and ruining it for others, though, isn't that what rising college tuition rates are doing? So... who is getting rich from doing that? Maybe those people are the nihilists among us. They certainly seem to be good at spreading stress and misery.


It was being run by The Street, but I think they got fired for some reason, possibly related to usurious interest.

So, at this point, I think it's only university presidents and their courtiers. However, I don't think that they are driving the bus.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 06:22 AM

The interesting thing about this thread is that in the end, not all of us in this forum are parents of PG kids.

So, I think I'm going to close this tab now, having been reminded of the general opinion of what my kids are doing to the education of yours.

I do realize this is the Davidson board. I guess I forget that sometimes.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 06:28 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
The interesting thing about this thread is that in the end, not all of us in this forum are parents of PG kids.

So, I think I'm going to close this tab now, having been reminded of the general opinion of what my kids are doing to the education of yours.

I do realize this is the Davidson board. I guess I forget that sometimes.


I'm not a parent of PG kids, either.

Although the thread is not harshing my mellow.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 07:03 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
On the subject of breaking the game and ruining it for others, though, isn't that what rising college tuition rates are doing? So... who is getting rich from doing that? Maybe those people are the nihilists among us. They certainly seem to be good at spreading stress and misery.


It was being run by The Street, but I think they got fired for some reason, possibly related to usurious interest.

So, at this point, I think it's only university presidents and their courtiers. However, I don't think that they are driving the bus.


Here's your nihilists: USNews. Every year they shuffle the cards on an elaborate fiction known as the top university rankings, then sit back and watch as hilarity ensues.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 07:15 AM

Can I be a nihilist if I don't understand or willfully won't understand Nietzsche?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 07:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Can I be a nihilist if I don't understand or willfully won't understand Nietzsche?


No.

Honestly, you seem too logical and goal oriented in your thinking to be useful to even a low-level nihilist.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 07:33 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Can I be a nihilist if I don't understand or willfully won't understand Nietzsche?


No.

Honestly, you seem too logical and goal oriented in your thinking to be useful to even a low-level nihilist.



Good point. I think I have more potential to be a Tiger Mom than a nihilist. Oh, how I wish my son is a bit more receptive to tiger parenting.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 07:38 AM

It's very sad-- far too many HG+ children resist Tiger Parenting pretty significantly. {sighhhh}
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 07:52 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
The interesting thing about this thread is that in the end, not all of us in this forum are parents of PG kids.

So, I think I'm going to close this tab now, having been reminded of the general opinion of what my kids are doing to the education of yours.

I do realize this is the Davidson board. I guess I forget that sometimes.


My apologies, UM, if anything that I have said (playfully or otherwise) has given you cause for offense or hurt.

I do assume that the vast majority of us are here because our kids are HG+, and really-- IF, as Old Dad noted early on-- IF everyone's kids were given reasonably good educational options that didn't mean competing for an "appropriate" (or perhaps just "more appropriate") education, much of this problem would vanish all on its own.

Sadly, I understand what motivates TigerParents of bright-but-not-gifted students to try to make them appear to be HG/HG+. I do. I just wish that there were somewhere that were functionally off-limits to them so that HG+ kids could be themselves without a lot of holds barred intellectually. frown I consider that to be akin to making sure that penguins and emus don't wind up on the tarmac where they are likely to get run over, and if there are enough of them, they'll prevent the other birds from managing a nice take-off.

Not all of us live in places where HG+ magnets abound. In fact, I'd venture to guess that the majority of us do NOT live in such places, ergo the high rate of homeschooling parents here. For many of us, this is the ONLY way to get our kids appropriate educational opportunity, but it comes at the expense of our kids ever really enjoying a deep discussion with peers. For some kids that is okay, and for others not so much. The kids who are mostly mathy probably have a lot less trouble this way.

That isn't my daughter. She desperately wants peers who are equally bright, and she is endlessly disappointed to find that the majority of the kids she runs into are doing what they are doing because someone ELSE thought they should... or because of how it will look to someone else. frown That's rather sad all the way around-- but it's not a surprise that they don't want my DD to get the teacher/leader going on something even more nuanced/difficult if they aren't passionate about it to start with. Therefore, she gets told to "shut up" when things get (in her mind) most interesting and engaging. By TigerCubs and the teachers who have learned to cater to them.

I really, really doubt that anyone here is a TigerParent like that. SERIOUSLY doubt it.

But my apology is sincere if anything I've written stings. I would like it most if educating children didn't feel so much like a zero-sum game in this country right now.

Right. Back to Nihilism, Beliebers and USN&WR.
Posted by: blackcat

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 08:02 AM

This is the same concern we all have even if our kids are not PG. I don't want the work of my kids watered down by "average" kids or for them to be held back in their learning. I'm not sure what percentile PG is but my guess is that you're never going to find enough of them in a geographic area to even create a class. It would be what? 1 out of 8,000 people? 1 out of 20,000? So each medium sized town or school district would only have 1 or 2 of these kids. Unless you pack up all of these kids that exist in the entire state and send them to a boarding school, there are going to be classes and programs with less gifted kids mixed in. Our magnet here takes kids that are 98th percentile and above in IQ/ability (as long as they also have achievement scores), which is definitely not PG. One thing that they do though is ability group within the magnet. So if DD, for example, goes into 4th grade next fall and scores the same as the older kids in the magnet, she would be put in with them. It spans 3 grades.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 08:28 AM

Our district doesn't have GT programs at all. We are also vastly underwhelmed by the local private schools for GT kids.

My observation is that the focus of many bright and hard-working kids is not necessarily the same as ours. For example, some parents focus on how their kids do in the state-wide standardized tests, or how fast they move through the materials that the teachers assign. Some parents fight for their kid to have a spot on the school academic team or in a music program. In middle school, the advanced math students fight for space to do high school math. But these are never our concerns because these are not what my kids need.

Many kids can achieve, but at many different levels. They should all be supported but the ideal resources don't necessarily overlap. It's when there is only this bit of resource available, that people start fighting to steer ar the program toward what their kids need. It's completely understandable--everyone deserves to develop his/her potential to the fullest.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 08:29 AM

Quote:
I'm not sure what percentile PG is but my guess is that you're never going to find enough of them in a geographic area to even create a class. It would be what? 1 out of 8,000 people? 1 out of 20,000? So each medium sized town or school district would only have 1 or 2 of these kids. Unless you pack up all of these kids that exist in the entire state and send them to a boarding school, there are going to be classes and programs with less gifted kids mixed in.


Yes. So to some extent, I am not sure what is a realistic goal for parents of the PG. It's certainly a difficult road and I don't envy you at all. The DYS Academy and DYS's services are a nice option to have and a great step in the right direction, IMO.

Anyway, my MG DD is getting an OK education at her GT magnet. It really could be better, but I can't torture myself about it when I know how much worse it could be. I do realize it is a privilege that we have this. I have to have semi-realistic expectations of the public school system. It would certainly be worse if she were PG--but even with her being what she is, even IN a gifted system, I recognize that it would not be possible to fully meet her where she is. I don't see the kids in her class who are less able than she (her achievement is very high) as ruining her experience, though.

Quote:
Not all of us live in places where HG+ magnets abound.


DD's magnet is not HG+, btw--not sure if that was meant here. It is 130+. I do appreciate the apology.

On Tiger Parents--eye of the beholder, I do believe.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 08:39 AM

But-- ultramarina, if students who were, say, 'hard-working, but solidly average' (but whose parents were utterly convinced that they SHOULD be in those seats) were the majority of her classmates, what could that experience be like?

Because that is the reality for most kids who are HG+, unless they are in magnets for HG+ students. Even in that setting, yes, it is largely the experience for PG students, for whom the gap between themselves and MG is still pretty wide.

It does become a problem when opportunities intended for HG+ students are given instead to ideally advantaged Tiger Cubs, whose parents jockey for openings. Because it means that somebody else's kids don't get those openings. This is where it turns into a SES problem, because those of lower SES lack the resources to TigerParent.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 08:56 AM

I'm curious what you would envision as an equitable situation for PG students in public schools.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:00 AM

I don't mean to sound like they don't deserve a good education. I am simply at a loss to see how an adequately differentiated system at the correct level with full-time direct instruction and no class time with other students considered in any way below their level would work, on a practical basis.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:03 AM

I (truly) don't see this problem as being even primarily about PG children, so much as any HG+ student.

The solution, clearly, is to improve the education for NT students and MG ones, and to figure out some means of devaluing the darned titling/club membership for parents who are using the entire thing as some kind of social status.

That's the only way that public schools are going to be able to deliver appropriate education to the top 2% of the cognitive ability curve. Otherwise the noise level gets too high, particularly in districts like mine, where the "haves" will do pretty much anything to edge out the kids who are lower-income (or immigrant families).
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:07 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
The interesting thing about this thread is that in the end, not all of us in this forum are parents of PG kids.

So, I think I'm going to close this tab now, having been reminded of the general opinion of what my kids are doing to the education of yours.

I do realize this is the Davidson board. I guess I forget that sometimes.



I'm not really sure that anyone on this thread has much to apologize for. I understand that some people may feel slighted by some of the things that have been said here, but try to see it from the perspective of parents of highly gifted kids. HG+ kids think differently from other people. It seems completely reasonable to say that the education system should have a few spots where these kids can interact with others who are as bright as they are.

Yet HG+ kids are consistently denied appropriate learning environments, and the few opportunities available to them are frequently distorted by a parentally-driven status race. Worse, many educators and school districts are clueless about giftedness at best and hostile to it at worst. Many believe that once a student has mastered the grade-level stuff, he can be ignored. Others aim for "equity," a policy that's almost systematic about denying an appropriate education to HG+ students.

Honestly, your comment strikes me as saying that we shouldn't be be discussing differences between HG+ kids and other kids here because we might hurt someone's feelings. Hurt feelings are unfortunate, but what about the significant damage being done to HG+ kids by a system that feels free to ignore them or denigrate them? My feelings are hurt every time a teacher tells me that s/he doubts that my HG+ daughter is gifted. Teachers say this because their gifted = high achievement + teacher pleaser. But my feelings are the least of my worries. The damage done to my kids is much more important.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:12 AM

My favorite solution is to no longer call "gifted" education "gifted" at all-- but to call it "special education."

Period. Just... SpEd. Because it is.
Posted by: NotSoGifted

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:13 AM

In PA, gifted falls under special ed. Special education is for anyone that falls outside the norm.
Posted by: knute974

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:14 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma

That isn't my daughter. She desperately wants peers who are equally bright, and she is endlessly disappointed to find that the majority of the kids she runs into are doing what they are doing because someone ELSE thought they should... or because of how it will look to someone else. frown That's rather sad all the way around-- but it's not a surprise that they don't want my DD to get the teacher/leader going on something even more nuanced/difficult if they aren't passionate about it to start with. Therefore, she gets told to "shut up" when things get (in her mind) most interesting and engaging. By TigerCubs and the teachers who have learned to cater to them.


I get this. My DD is in a GT program and has expressed this sentiment at times. She complains of certain discussion groups where she is the only one raising questions and the other kids just dutifully write down the things that she says. Occasionally, she will get a "good group" and come home energized by the fact that other kids brought up things that she hadn't thought of or made her think about something differently. DD also loves some of the discussions that they have where the teacher lets the class run with a tangent that is interesting to a large number of students. She has been dubbed one of the "smart" kids in the gt program. In math, she maybe has 2-3 peers. Everyone else just doesn't get it on the same level. I've told her to relish the good days and try to picture what it would be like in a traditional classroom.

At the same time, there is a kid in her class who is obviously bright but also is an insufferable bore. He always tries to hijack classes on to tangents of marginal relevance. When DD describes him, I harken back to people who I knew in classes who were just like him. One guy actually had a gag order placed on him in law school and everyone breathed a sigh of relief that we didn't have to listen to him drone on everyday.

I guess my point is that I think that teachers have a fine balancing act when one kid may want to go "deeper" or in a different direction and seems to constantly be derailing the class. DD told me that the teachers try to get the kid in question to limit himself to one tangent per class or to come talk afterward. At times, this kid gets belligerent the teachers if he doesn't get his way. I've asked DD if he ever brings up anything interesting or insightful. She said that the valuable nuggets are steeped in a whole lot of bs in her opinion.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:15 AM


SpEd died in the 90's.

You will need a 21st century acronym.

That being said, I just want to make sure that everyone knows that I will graciously accept any apologies that they want to offer me.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:26 AM

knute, that's a pretty close approximation of what my DD has experienced in her classes, too. The only close peers she has had much contact with tend to be of the "insufferable boor" variety-- or she considers them her closest friends. As non-competitive as she is, there is this one kid... she'd LOVE to have the #1 spot at graduation just to deprive someone else of that position... and really, she would consider it something of a public service. LOL. (The funny thing is that she's far from alone in that opinion, actually.)



Jon, I was rather hoping that I could get a graceless or at least gauche acceptance. I'm disappointed. wink




Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:36 AM

Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
In PA, gifted falls under special ed. Special education is for anyone that falls outside the norm.


Same in LA. Since it's all one thing, it all gets funded the same. This has triggered some political backlash from parents of children with LDs.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:37 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
I (truly) don't see this problem as being even primarily about PG children, so much as any HG+ student.

The solution, clearly, is to improve the education for NT students and MG ones, and to figure out some means of devaluing the darned titling/club membership for parents who are using the entire thing as some kind of social status.

It's not about social status relative to other parents for me but rather about whether getting my children into an AP class or a highly selective college will improve their life prospects. I have little reason to believe that Harvard et al offer a much better education than less famous schools. But anecdotally I'll say that one of the most intelligent and successful people I know
(1) married someone from the same prestigious college, where they met
(2) is a business partner with someone (who I consider less impressive) he met at a famous business school

There are advantages to your children of being around successful and intelligent people, even if you know that the institutions that select those people do not directly add much value. There are scores of people who are more successful than they would be otherwise because they hobnobbed with a Gates or Zuckerberg in college or high school. You can call me mercenary, but please don't call me vain smile.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:41 AM

Yeah, I can see why the funding issue tends to be the one that gets dragged out as a straw man there-- but honestly, I'd think that ultimately it would serve kids with LD's better as well, if the line between "SpEd/GT" were erased completely.

It would certainly serve 2e students better.

For an example of what I mean... no TigerParent wants THEIR kid riding the short bus... however...

parents here? I'd sign up for it in a heartbeat if it meant appropriate education. You bet.

Now all of a sudden, spectators aren't so sure that "short bus" or "resource room" is much of an epithet. Magic. smile

The parents who want their kids to have the intellectual experience will be the only ones left standing in line, kids with LD's are no longer "outed" involuntarily to classmates as "handicapped" by those LD's if they require services or alternative placements during the day...

anyway, that's been my version of public education Utopia for quite some time. Oddly, it hasn't much caught on. {sigh}

I think that the TigerParents locally are FAR too wedded to their "MY child is in the GT program" here... yeah, big whoop-de-do... so are 30% of his or her classmates. smirk

Oddly, not so many kids are identified as SpEd.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
It's not about social status relative to other parents for me but rather about whether getting my children into an AP class or a highly selective college will improve their life prospects. I have little reason to believe that Harvard et al offer a much better education than less famous schools. But anecdotally I'll say that one of the most intelligent and successful people I know
(1) married someone from the same prestigious college, where they met
(2) is a business partner with someone (who I consider less impressive) he met at a famous bsiness school


Um.

That's status.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:43 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
It's not about social status relative to other parents for me but rather about whether getting my children into an AP class or a highly selective college will improve their life prospects. I have little reason to believe that Harvard et al offer a much better education than less famous schools. But anecdotally I'll say that one of the most intelligent and successful people I know
(1) married someone from the same prestigious college, where they met
(2) is a business partner with someone (who I consider less impressive) he met at a famous bsiness school


Um.

That's status.


Yes, but of the children, not the parents.
Posted by: MegMeg

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:45 AM

Originally Posted By: blackcat
1 out of 8,000 people? 1 out of 20,000? So each medium sized town or school district would only have 1 or 2 of these kids.

If you take into account that it's not evenly distributed, the news gets both better and worse. A fairly small university town could have enough faculty-spawn to have a decent sized sub-set who are HG. Ditto for other magnet places like Silicon Valley. But that means that medium sized towns that lack such attractors may be even worse off in terms of percentages.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:51 AM

Right. The problem then becomes, if you happen to live in one of those attractor locations, and have a child who is HG+, the clamoring to make MG children LOOK like HG+ ones is even fiercer-- because all of the parents are fantastically ego-driven with respect to their own intellectual prowess, and they have no problem at all living through their kids. It can really, get UGLY for those kids.

(And no, I don't just mean the HG+ ones. Imagine being MG and having mom and dad leaning on you to be more like my kid all the time, and shaming you when you just can't...)

I know a lot of Amy Chua's, in my RL. We're (geographically) a long, long way from the Ivies, and boy howdy do they cast a LONG, long shadow out here. It's really toxic and pervasive. My DH-- mine mind you, publically schooled and proud-- was a teeeeeeeensy bit miffed that DD didn't bother following through with applications at Reed, HMC, and MIT. Maybe Cornell and Princeton, which were also on her short list at one time or another.

Why? Well, so that he could "share" her acceptances at work.

sick NOBODY is immune to this when your kid is in high school. There is this parental culture of shaming that happens now in zip codes like mine. It's truly crazy.

Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:53 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
(And no, I don't just mean the HG+ ones. Imagine being MG and having mom and dad leaning on you to be more like my kid all the time, and shaming you when you just can't...)


See? You feel bad for people with low I.Q.'s too!
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: MegMeg
Originally Posted By: blackcat
1 out of 8,000 people? 1 out of 20,000? So each medium sized town or school district would only have 1 or 2 of these kids.

If you take into account that it's not evenly distributed, the news gets both better and worse. A fairly small university town could have enough faculty-spawn to have a decent sized sub-set who are HG. Ditto for other magnet places like Silicon Valley. But that means that medium sized towns that lack such attractors may be even worse off in terms of percentages.


http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24956222/temple-grandin-half-silicon-valleys-got-mild-autism
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 09:57 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
(And no, I don't just mean the HG+ ones. Imagine being MG and having mom and dad leaning on you to be more like my kid all the time, and shaming you when you just can't...)


See? You feel bad for people with low I.Q.'s too!


So does my DD. Truly. She has friends that she really watches what she shares with-- and never moreso than around their parents, who are often all too eager to pry the info from her.

Really not kidding.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:03 AM

In all honesty the more successfulish (non-inheritance) people I know are DINKs, opthamology/dermatology, etc..

There's $600,000 in annual income.

And radiation oncology...there's $500,000 in annual income.

The wealthiest people I know inherited their mega-millions from real estate.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: JonLaw

Um.

That's status.


Yes, but of the children, not the parents.


Yet you admit that you're trying to create it for your own kids, so in your case, it's the parents. Parental status mongering is the entire point of the complaints on this thread.

TBH, if people see status as an important goal, that's their choice and there are lots of prep schools and colleges where these people or their children can be statusy with each other. They can wear particular brands of clothes or drive certain cars so that everyone will know they can afford these things, and they can all talk about them and laugh that particular self-satisfied laugh and feel good about their stuff. Personally, I think that's kind of silly, but then again, I also have front-row seats to the damage it can do. You see, there is always someone whose Ferrari is nicer than yours, and when life is about being #1 or being a loser, most of these types lose at least one contest every day. frown

No, what I've been saying is that there should also be a few places where HG+ types can go if they're more interested in learning stuff than in the status symbols. We have many special schools in this country: magnet schools for art and schools for disabled kids and schools for high achievers and themed charter schools and etc. I think we could also do with a few more places where HG+ kids could explore things in depth and at a suitable pace.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:12 AM

I'm a bit lost as this tread has gone in multiple directions. But..

As a parents of a HG H.S. Freshman what I am most worried about is having my son give up and stop trying in H.S. I've seen other gifted kids do this, they just stop trying to jump through all the hoops. They are smart enough to look around and see it's a game they don't want to be playing. Particularly in competition to the hot housed kids. Gifted classes turn into AP classes that have huge homework loads. The CP (non gifted) classes are so boring they tune out and get frustrated with the other students. I am unsure how to keep my child challenged and therefor enjoying school, and not overwhelmed and stressed him out to the point he can't function. Grades for college admissions does add into the mix, because I'm convinced he will be happier at university. But he has to make it that far and not get derailed.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:21 AM

Precisely.

Believe me, when your child is the one that can manage that AP load handily, and still wants to discuss things in more depth/detail, it makes them FEW friends with the hot-house/TigerCubs.

Those kids all know that it's a COMPETITION first, and about learning only second (if at all).

This is a real problem, because it means that it's no longer appropriate to focus on the intellectual aspects of the learning community-- because that might make some of the kids feel bad, or worse, LOOK bad by comparison. We can't have that. TigerCubs know it, too-- and they can be fairly nasty about it themselves if they know that they are signing up to catch it at home for not being #1 anymore.

I have zero problem with kids that aren't PG, EG, or even garden variety GT being in an academic placement with my DD. What I have a problem with is that student raising a hand to complain about the pace, or to elbow my kid to 'hush' about a contradiction in the textbook, or an interesting gap in the historical record... discuss a definition, etc. Look, I know that this is technically out-of-level for the class as it perhaps currently exists. But still-- "Honors/AP" ought to mean something, and I think it not unreasonable that if some students find that pace/level inaccessible, that a different placement might be better for them, rather than telling my DD that she MUST conform, or insisting that the class be "made" to be accessible for those less able students so that the differences between them and the HG+ students in them is somehow less apparent to colleges, universities, and scholarship-awarding organizations.

That's how the game works now, and it's revolting.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:25 AM

Originally Posted By: bluemagic
I'm a bit lost as this tread has gone in multiple directions. But..

As a parents of a HG H.S. Freshman what I am most worried about is having my son give up and stop trying in H.S. I've seen other gifted kids do this, they just stop trying to jump through all the hoops. They are smart enough to look around and see it's a game they don't want to be playing. Particularly in competition to the hot housed kids. Gifted classes turn into AP classes that have huge homework loads. The CP (non gifted) classes are so boring they tune out and get frustrated with the other students. I am unsure how to keep my child challenged and therefor enjoying school, and not overwhelmed and stressed him out to the point he can't function. Grades for college admissions does add into the mix, because I'm convinced he will be happier at university. But he has to make it that far and not get derailed.


I think this is where the entire issue of school fit comes into play.

If it's not going well, you may have to find another school if you can't get anywhere with the one you have.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


That's a pretty low I.Q.


For the purposes of this forum, absolutely.


I was referring to my worldview, but sure, I guess that applies to this forum too.

I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.



I have to say, JonLaw, although I often think you have some great and funny insights, that this remark comes off as absurd to me. In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me: comments such as kids with iq 121 should not have gifted services (considering how these numbers are soooo mucky at the low end, as well as at the high end ). I really don't think that should be the focus of reforming gifted education: push out all the kids who are too borderline to be 'worth it'.

Can you really feel bad for someone with iq 121 or so? high potential to get into a good school and graduate? Surely it's relatively reasonable to imagine they will not only be able to go 'through the motions' of learning, they will in fact be learning. A lot.

So I don't know where this comes from other than working with folks around that iq? Certainly I find it frustrating to deal with folks who aren't making sense or are not keeping up with a conversation (I imagine they find me pretty full of b.s. a lot of the time and are sorry for me that I am so pompous.)

Anyway, just seemed like the flavor of this conversation (too long for me to read all posts) is kind of bitter.



On that note, I leave a rudely-worded but funny article my DH found: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/shouts/2014/03/new-parenting-study-released.html

Maybe you all have read it before.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
I know a lot of Amy Chua's, in my RL. We're (geographically) a long, long way from the Ivies, and boy howdy do they cast a LONG, long shadow out here. It's really toxic and pervasive. My DH-- mine mind you, publically schooled and proud-- was a teeeeeeeensy bit miffed that DD didn't bother following through with applications at Reed, HMC, and MIT. Maybe Cornell and Princeton, which were also on her short list at one time or another.


You know, now that I think about it, I'm not certain that most of the people in my office know what the Ivy League is.

My initial guess would be "no".

That also reminds me of my father and the Princeton interview experience, with a slightly pompous character. He had no problems with me ignoring the application there after that one. I don't think he ever asked me about Princeton after that.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:45 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: bluemagic
I'm a bit lost as this tread has gone in multiple directions. But..

As a parents of a HG H.S. Freshman what I am most worried about is having my son give up and stop trying in H.S. I've seen other gifted kids do this, they just stop trying to jump through all the hoops. They are smart enough to look around and see it's a game they don't want to be playing. Particularly in competition to the hot housed kids. Gifted classes turn into AP classes that have huge homework loads. The CP (non gifted) classes are so boring they tune out and get frustrated with the other students. I am unsure how to keep my child challenged and therefor enjoying school, and not overwhelmed and stressed him out to the point he can't function. Grades for college admissions does add into the mix, because I'm convinced he will be happier at university. But he has to make it that far and not get derailed.


I think this is where the entire issue of school fit comes into play.
If it's not going well, you may have to find another school if you can't get anywhere with the one you have.

So far this is mostly a worry, and my son is doing OK. Not great we will see where his teachers want to place him next year. He loves Marching Band and hopefully that will help keep him interested. Coincidentally there is a meeting tonight to discuss exactly these issues with my neighborhood and the public school he attends.

The best local option, is a very expensive prep school. My son is not interested and we would have to train the money saved for his college education to send him. I have a friend who went that route with her daughter, and there will still pros and cons to that school. I have been looking at Early College Programs, but we don't have any in the immediate area so it would mean going away for such a program.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: chris1234
In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me: comments such as kids with iq 121 should not have gifted services (considering how these numbers are soooo mucky at the low end, as well as at the high end ). I really don't think that should be the focus of reforming gifted education: push out all the kids who are too borderline to be 'worth it'.


No, kids with IQs of 121 shouldn't have gifted services because these kids aren't gifted.

I shouldn't get services for gifted poets because I'm not a gifted poet. My friend J. shouldn't get services for gifted athletes because he's not gifted at any sport. That's how this stuff works. Or at least, that's how it's SUPPOSED to work.

It is not okay to provide next to no services for gifted students and then open them up to non-gifted students so that some parents don't feel bad. It is not okay define gifted as less than it is, because doing so undermines the entire point of a gifted program or an advanced class for supposedly gifted kids. It is also not okay to send messages to very smart people that they should feel bad about wanting to develop their talents.

People here have said that if the schools were doing a better job with pacing and depth for all kids, this problem wouldn't exist. Actually, I think that the kids at the HG end would still have problems, though the situation wouldn't be as deplorable as it is now.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By: chris1234
So I don't know where this comes from other than working with folks around that iq? Certainly I find it frustrating to deal with folks who aren't making sense or are not keeping up with a conversation (I imagine they find me pretty full of b.s. a lot of the time and are sorry for me that I am so pompous.)


I wasn't the one who said that they shouldn't have gifted services.

I'm the one who said that college is high school and that gifted education is now college prep. It was more of a statement of what I perceive as the current reality.

With me, it's probably mostly having sisters and a father with about that I.Q. I don't even bother trying to have a meaningful conversation because it's never going to go anywhere. They are not the sharpest tools in the shed.

My co-workers are much lower than that. I try not to talk to them at all.

I'm also used to thinking of "gifted" starting at an I.Q. of 135, but that's more of an 80's thing, so my reaction to a 121 is "whoa....that's unexpectedly low for an elite education."
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 11:14 AM

Exactly. This "open to all" thinking is just strange to me but it might be because I see "special educational need" as anything outside of the central 2 standard deviations.

This strikes me, therefore, as inherently about as silly as a group of people arguing that their insurance companies should cover a seeing eye dog because they happen to like Golden Retrievers a lot. (Come to think of it, there are people who like dogs so much that they see no real harm in falsely calling them service dogs. {sigh} Nevermind.)



It's not a "need" for a some of the people rushing to the front of the line. The reason that they are doing this is that there is an arms race in terms of college resume-building. This problem (mostly) wouldn't exist on this scale if not for mediocrity pushing up from beneath and high-pressure perfectionistic standards pushing DOWN from on high. Er-- at least, there wouldn't be such an issue if regular classroom settings were doing a reasonably good job (as noted multiple times within this thread).

What makes it wrong is when there are people who truly DO need the services, and when there is limited availability.

Someone who doesn't NEED one shouldn't get to elbow their way into the line for a service dog, no matter how much they like the idea.

Only, obviously, with the added status that some of the parents are clearly after here. I realize that most parents of bright-not-gifted or even relatively average/NT kids don't see their actions in that light. They really are thinking "where's the harm?"

But when you look at what is actually taking place in secondary classrooms, this is precisely the kind of thing which is driving "AP for all" and watering down those classes into an exercise in endurance rather than genuine rigor, and AP FEES that make it pay-to-play to land in those classes to begin with. Talk about double jeopardy for low SES and high ability students... because they are still 'better' than the alternatives at a lot of places, and there IS no GT placement at all outside of them for a huge percentage of high school students.

So yes, putting an NT 16yo high school sophomore in a seat next to a HG+ student in AP Literature does impact the high ability students. It lowers some of the level of in-class discussion, it forces the teacher to either lower standards or create MORE assignments that are 'easier' to manage (or deal with unhappy failing students and their parents)...

NOT every student is "elite" material-- no matter how much they or their parents wish it were true, and no matter how much work they are willing to do to make it so.

YES, schools should do a better job for all students. I don't see PG students as more deserving of appropriate education-- not in the least. I think that NT kids are just as deserving. What they don't "deserve" is placement into educational settings that don't really offer them a lot of benefit because they are intended for children who are HG/HG+.



Bottom line, that's like me calling my dog a "service animal" because I like the way it SOUNDS, and I'm entitled to call her whatever I like, and how dare anyone point out that I have no real need to bring my dog to the movie theater or library with me... It's obnoxious entitlement on my part, right? It doesn't directly impact my neighbor who really DOES have a service dog... of course not. But it does do so indirectly by making people more suspicious of the terminology. Words do mean something, after all. If I misappropriate special titles or services and then 'adapt' them to suit myself... that's wrong.



Not much distance from that to reading a couple of comic books and calling it a "doctoral dissertation."

The upshot of all of this is that when parents are allowed to redefine what education means (so that it's easy enough for their kids to hit the ceiling, they might well be VERY strident about wanting that ceiling LOWER) then it's absolutely about making sure that nobody looks more capable than their own kids.

Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 11:22 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
NOT every student is "elite" material-- no matter how much they or their parents wish it were true, and no matter how much work they are willing to do to make it so.


Because "not being elite" now apparently means "catastrophic life failure and worthlessness as a human being."

Granted, I think of middle class existence as "catastrophic life failure."
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 11:31 AM

Yikes. Well, I guess that is pretty much what drives it all, though, isn't it?

frown
Posted by: MegMeg

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
if you happen to live in one of those attractor locations, and have a child who is HG+, the clamoring to make MG children LOOK like HG+ ones is even fiercer

Wow, that sounds really intense. Somehow I am escaping that. I don't know if I'm oblivious, or if it's that I'm at a university known for its emphasis on social justice. Most of my colleagues hold the liberal belief that if you support public schools, you are morally obligated to put your children there, and to talk yourself into believing that the education they're getting is good. (I have never understood this line of argument.)

Some are even outraged that there is a college-prep charter school in town that takes no net funding away from the other public schools and does admission purely by lottery. Because it's elitist to have such a school. Or something.

On the flip side, there are parents with whom I have the "why did you choose Private School X" conversation. These conversations tend to be slow and quiet and cautious, filled with euphamisms like "meeting my child's needs," until me and the other parent suss each other out. Honestly, these parents strike me as much more like the people on this board than like ego-driven Tiger Parents.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 01:08 PM

Well, to be fair, most faculty here support public schools, too. But they want their kids to be valedictorian there, and NMF's.

In a class of 300-400, both (public) high schools regularly produce a few DOZEN national merit semi-finalists annually here. None of the private schools is anywhere near that kind of performance standard. We've gone the online route mostly because it doesn't require the time obligation that the local public schools would, and allows DD to be her chronological age for more of each day. Less on the massive (but not so meaningful) homework load. Least-worst. Well, everyone here gets that one.



But yes, it's a lot of crushing expectation for the kids who are bright-through-MG. They'll also pretty much do or say anything to make it so that their own kids are always in the "top" group. Whatever it happens to be. Which means that nobody that runs youth activities here can AFFORD to give the HG+ kids the appropriate openings/opportunities, or they'll be inundated with requests for "exceptions" for a lot of other kids who don't really legitimately need/qualify for them.

As noted, I see a lot of the familiar in this article about McLean. It irritates me as the parent of an HG+ kid who gets told "NO, because if I'll do it for you... "

but it also worries me for the MG kids that my DD is friends with-- whose parents are about fifty-fifty in terms of Tiger Parenting, and the ones that are seriously riding that particular train are more than willing to CUT my kid's accomplishments down to size, pump her (or us) for information about "how to get that for my kid" and/or pressure their own kids to perform like my (PG) DD. Naturally, MG friends whose parents expect PG performance from them as a result of knowing my DD aren't too thrilled by that outcome, and my DD feels terribly guilty for being the (unwilling) tool to make their lives less pleasant.

I see them, and so does my DH. I have had this conversation with a number of faculty here who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid, but wow, do their kids get pressure from school administrators and the entire culture. In a small department where I worked when DD was young, there are SIX young ladies who have/will graduate in the space of 24 months. DD is the youngest of them. ALL of them are GT, and two are very clearly HG+-- recognize that all of these kids are from parents who are GT themselves, so that bit isn't surprising. All have earned national merit commendations, all will earn merit scholarships. Two of them are not really technically "faculty brats" at this point, but have parents in hi-tech. The MG among them have been mostly pretty well accommodated in the schools here (30% identification as GT, recall), and the HG+ ones... er, not-so-much, actually-- because they hit ceilings and there are real barriers surrounding accommodations (or even-- allowances) beyond that point. One of these children was consulting with a high school guidance counselor about college applications are the start of her junior year and was told 'Is this ALL??' when she showed off her soccer record, work with Special Olympics, and stellar (3.9uw) transcripts. eek REALLY. This is a family that has definitely chosen NOT to Tiger Parent, but the message that this lovely and very bright, decent child got from her high school guidance counselor was that she was a complete slacker and a loser in the college sweepstakes, for sure... WOW doesn't even cover it. And yes, her parents were livid when she came home in tears.



Two of those six children have had regional or national media attention, two others have had LOCAL media attention (including the one savaged in the anecdote above) and all of them are probably Ivy hopefuls (if they chose). I'd call that cohort the "top 10%" here. It's that kind of town. They would all six look like complete rock stars in a rural small town in a neighboring county, and here they aren't really THAT special. The top 15% or so of both public high schools are easily "elite" college material. Average SAT scores in that cohort are north of 2000 combined and ACT's are 30+.

Sounds like it'd be a great place for a HG+ cohort of kids, right? Like they'd be better able to find peers, etc, and all that. But it doesn't work that way now because of the competitive parenting-- the top 25% of the population is INSISTING that the ceiling be set at 100% for THEIR kids-- because those MG kids deserve a shot at Stanford, too, and if they look less able compared to the top 5% (as they would, if not for the ceiling-- this is clearly an enriched setting where HG kids are more like 1:250-ish or so, I think) then they won't get in. It's only by hiding the fact that there is a difference between MG and HG+ that it's okay when you live in a place like this.


frown

The problem for me as a parent is that my DD doesn't know that there IS a place beyond the ceiling, because nobody will allow her to go there.




Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: MegMeg
I don't know if I'm oblivious, or if it's that I'm at a university known for its emphasis on social justice. Most of my colleagues hold the liberal belief that if you support public schools, you are morally obligated to put your children there, and to talk yourself into believing that the education they're getting is good. (I have never understood this line of argument.)

Oh boy yes, mine too. One gets a more caricature version of the argument at general-public sites like the UK's Mumsnet, where any thread touching on choosing between a state and a private option can be guaranteed to dissolve into it. I think the argument goes something like this:

- It ought to be the case that all children can get their needs met at a state school, [I'm with you...]

- My children are getting their needs tolerably well met at a state school. [OK, good for them and you]

- Therefore I have made the right decision in sending my children to a state school instead of an expensive private one/therefore I don't have to regret not being able to afford an expensive private school. [OK...]

- In fact, those signs I thought might be indications that my child's needs weren't being perfectly met at the state school? I was wrong about those, the state school is the best possible school for my child. [Post-purchase rationalisation/Confirmation bias]

- In fact, state schools do meet the needs of all children better than any other educational solution. [Availability/Confirmation bias]

- Although one reason someone might make a different school choice from mine is that their circumstances or their child's needs differ from mine, another is that they might have different values, in fact they might be morally inferior to me. [Mmm...]

- It's because they're morally inferior to me! [Fundamental attribution error]

- In fact, the state school would have fitted their child's needs just as well as it fits my child's needs. [Belief bias]

- And they sent their child to the expensive private school just out of snobbery/in order to get the child spoonfed to good grades/in order to make contacts that will give their child an unfair advantage over mine.

Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 01:36 PM

Quote:
I have zero problem with kids that aren't PG, EG, or even garden variety GT being in an academic placement with my DD. What I have a problem with is that student raising a hand to complain about the pace, or to elbow my kid to 'hush' about a contradiction in the textbook, or an interesting gap in the historical record... discuss a definition, etc. Look, I know that this is technically out-of-level for the class as it perhaps currently exists. But still-- "Honors/AP" ought to mean something, and I think it not unreasonable that if some students find that pace/level inaccessible, that a different placement might be better for them, rather than telling my DD that she MUST conform, or insisting that the class be "made" to be accessible for those less able students so that the differences between them and the HG+ students in them is somehow less apparent to colleges, universities, and scholarship-awarding organizations.


What makes you so sure that the kid who is elbowing your kid to hush is lower in ability? What makes you so sure that the kid asking the interesting questions is higher in ability?

I think you may be conflating ability with personality and intellectualism. I went to an extremely competitive high school with a lot of very smart kids. I was smart, but not the smartest kid there by any means. However, I WAS the kid with her hand in the air asking the annoying/interesting questions. Meanwhile, some of the kids who were on paper brighter than me (especially in math) were the ones rolling their eyes at me and asking if this was on the test. Shall we discuss who had the grades and numbers to get into Stanford and succeed big time? (Hint: not me.) Don't tell me those kids weren't smart. They were. They simply had a different attitude towards education.

Past a certain ability level, which I think is probably around IQ 120, I believe these differences have more to do with family culture than almost anything else. I was raised by intellectuals who valued debate, learning, and knowledge above money, achievement, and status. My own kids are being raised the same way. Yet there are kids in my DD's class who are being raised to value right answers and high achievement above all. Tiger cubs, shall we say. Are they less intelligent than she is? They are probably less creative and less divergent in their thinking, but this does not mean they are less intelligent. It's really another conversation altogether.

I think what a lot of us are really talking about here is the differences between kids (and adults) who care about learning, thinking, and ideas vs kids (and adults) who care about Achieving Paper Thingy and Shiny Object A. (Of course, school can suck that caring out of you.)
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 01:44 PM

Interesting point, Ultramarina. It's certainly true that apathy can make even PG students ask those kinds of questions and tune out pretty thoroughly.

I guess I'm also operating from the subtext that the teachers operate in ways that indicate rather strongly to me (and to my DD) that most of her classmates can't handle some of the work as it is-- because they "modify" assignments (to soften standards) and offer "extra credit" all the time (though notably excluding the top students, who don't NEED retakes on tests, resubmissions on essays, and extra points for participating in class-- and for whom those things would regularly elevate them to 110% or higher performance), and because many of her classmates (though usually not the teachers) have trouble following along at the rate that she moves through a question/inquiry/argument-- she has to slow way down for the class, generally speaking.

Maybe I just expect too much from it, I don't know. Maybe the classmates ARE actually MG and we just have unrealistic expectations.

Posted by: MegMeg

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 01:56 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Well, to be fair, most faculty here support public schools, too. But they want their kids to be valedictorian there, and NMF's.

Sorry, I knew I wasn't being quite clear. It's not so much the public/private split as it is about the 'tude. So far these parents seem to be singing the "All children are gifted, no one's better than anyone else" song. We'll see if they change their tune when their kids get to high school.

As a side note, there may be large differences between universities, and between disciplines. I'm at a sort of second-tier-of-the-top-tier place, which tends to breed reverse-snobbism. Also, potentially lucrative fields like computer science may attract more status-seekers that obscure, difficult fields like linguistics.

Still, even if I'm living in a bubble here, my DD is going to be up against tiger-cubs from all over the country when she applies to college. I share your frustration about this issue. My own thought is to steer her towards the tiny SLACS. I think these tend to fly under the radar of the Tigers, who think "Harvard!" because they know the name.

I went to a tiny SLAC and had a mindblowing college experience. Not everyone there was PG or even HG, but the large majority were quirky people who cared deeply about learning stuff.

But maybe things have changed since my day.
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: MegMeg
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Well, to be fair, most faculty here support public schools, too. But they want their kids to be valedictorian there, and NMF's.

Sorry, I knew I wasn't being quite clear. It's not so much the public/private split as it is about the 'tude. So far these parents seem to be singing the "All children are gifted, no one's better than anyone else" song. We'll see if they change their tune when their kids get to high school.

As a side note, there may be large differences between universities, and between disciplines. I'm at a sort of second-tier-of-the-top-tier place, which tends to breed reverse-snobbism. Also, potentially lucrative fields like computer science may attract more status-seekers that obscure, difficult fields like linguistics.

Still, even if I'm living in a bubble here, my DD is going to be up against tiger-cubs from all over the country when she applies to college. I share your frustration about this issue. My own thought is to steer her towards the tiny SLACS. I think these tend to fly under the radar of the Tigers, who think "Harvard!" because they know the name.

I went to a tiny SLAC and had a mindblowing college experience. Not everyone there was PG or even HG, but the large majority were quirky people who cared deeply about learning stuff.

But maybe things have changed since my day.


By SLAC, you don't mean SLAC, do you?
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: CFK
Why the assumption that gifted people are all passionate about learning? There are gifted slackers just like everyone else. Slackers who won't put int the time or effort. Slackers who will not contribute to the class.

And there are high achieving, hard working non-gifted people who are passionate about a subject and who will put in the time and effort. And they don't all have to be labeled with such a pejorative term like "Tiger Cubs".

Agree. It's easy to get into circular reasoning: PG looks like this, and these kids look like this, so these kids are PG, and it's good to be round these kids, so it's good to be round PG kids. For how many of the children you're talking about do you actually know an IQ number, HK? Come to that, don't I remember that you don't have one for your own DD? So these characteristics that you see her sharing to some extent with some, but not all, of her classmates, how do you know they are giftedness as defined by IQ? And does it matter?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
Originally Posted By: CFK
Why the assumption that gifted people are all passionate about learning? There are gifted slackers just like everyone else. Slackers who won't put int the time or effort. Slackers who will not contribute to the class.

And there are high achieving, hard working non-gifted people who are passionate about a subject and who will put in the time and effort. And they don't all have to be labeled with such a pejorative term like "Tiger Cubs".

Agree. It's easy to get into circular reasoning: PG looks like this, and these kids look like this, so these kids are PG, and it's good to be round these kids, so it's good to be round PG kids. For how many of the children you're talking about do you actually know an IQ number, HK? Come to that, don't I remember that you don't have one for your own DD? So these characteristics that you see her sharing to some extent with some, but not all, of her classmates, how do you know they are giftedness as defined by IQ? And does it matter?


Yes it matters.

(And I can use cut and paste here from another thread!)

The real problem seems to be that we need to figure out developmental arc over a lifetime, which I.Q. tests apparently can't do very well.

I suspect that such arcs are reasonably fixed, with some wiggle room, but not much.

The significance is the nature of the arc for the individual, not the score on a test on a particular day.

I also suspect that it's somewhat obvious and able to be seen, in the sense that you can tell how tall someone is.

So, I think we're trying to figure out how to deal with something that clearly exists but we don't know how to figure it out properly or exactly what it is we are looking for, but I.Q. tests kind of tell us *something* about it sometimes, so we will use those even though we know they don't really work that well.
Posted by: MegMeg

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Tallulah
By SLAC, you don't mean SLAC, do you?
Small Liberal Arts College, not Stanford Linear Accelerator. laugh
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
Meanwhile, some of the kids who were on paper brighter than me (especially in math) were the ones rolling their eyes at me and asking if this was on the test.


How do you know they were smarter than you? Did you have IQ scores for these kids, or were you making an assumption based on achievement?

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
Past a certain ability level, which I think is probably around IQ 120, I believe these differences have more to do with family culture than almost anything else. I was raised by intellectuals who valued debate, learning, and knowledge ....


I agree that different attitudes about learning come from the family environment, but that doesn't change the fact that people with extremely high cognitive ability still think in a fundamentally different way than 99+% of other people, and that for many highly gifted students, an environment with other students of similar capabilities would be a huge benefit for them.

I think this fact is hard for many people to accept, as a couple of people have noted on this thread already. Think of it this way: how well would a student with an IQ of 120 relate intellectually to a special ed student with an IQ around 90? How happy would the bright kids be if their classes were filled with slow learners, and the teacher had to keep the discussion at a level suited to the slower-learning group?

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I think what a lot of us are really talking about here is the differences between kids (and adults) who care about learning, thinking, and ideas vs kids (and adults) who care about Achieving Paper Thingy and Shiny Object A. (Of course, school can suck that caring out of you.)


Yes, that's a very important part of this conversation for me. But it still doesn't change the fact that people with very high cognitive ability think differently. ETA: IMO, this group includes highly creative people as well as high IQ people. But creativity is also a form cognitive ability (that admittedly isn't measured by IQ tests).
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 02:49 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
Originally Posted By: CFK
Why the assumption that gifted people are all passionate about learning? There are gifted slackers just like everyone else. Slackers who won't put int the time or effort. Slackers who will not contribute to the class.

And there are high achieving, hard working non-gifted people who are passionate about a subject and who will put in the time and effort. And they don't all have to be labeled with such a pejorative term like "Tiger Cubs".

Agree. It's easy to get into circular reasoning: PG looks like this, and these kids look like this, so these kids are PG, and it's good to be round these kids, so it's good to be round PG kids. For how many of the children you're talking about do you actually know an IQ number, HK? Come to that, don't I remember that you don't have one for your own DD? So these characteristics that you see her sharing to some extent with some, but not all, of her classmates, how do you know they are giftedness as defined by IQ? And does it matter?


Yes it matters.

(And I can use cut and paste here from another thread!)

The real problem seems to be that we need to figure out developmental arc over a lifetime, which I.Q. tests apparently can't do very well.

I suspect that such arcs are reasonably fixed, with some wiggle room, but not much.

The significance is the nature of the arc for the individual, not the score on a test on a particular day.

I also suspect that it's somewhat obvious and able to be seen, in the sense that you can tell how tall someone is.

So, I think we're trying to figure out how to deal with something that clearly exists but we don't know how to figure it out properly or exactly what it is we are looking for, but I.Q. tests kind of tell us *something* about it sometimes, so we will use those even though we know they don't really work that well.


Yes.

(And also-- Val's post immediately above this one.)

Clearly I'm not expressing this very well. I'm tired of this "everyone is equally capable" mantra because I've seen how toxic it can become-- FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED. Not just for the "more" able (however you want to sort things) but also for those who are less so.

To be crystal clear-- I do NOT believe that IQ is a good way to determine who is permitted to access particular opportunities, classes, etc.

But ability sure ought to play some role at the higher levels.

It's very very obvious that "ability" exists to a greater or lesser degree (whatever you want to call it) when some persons have the ability to do, or even to do with EASE... what others simply cannot do at all.

Running a 4 minute mile, for example. Completing and fully understanding a 1000 page work in a couple of days. Writing a grant overnight. Completely mastering undergraduate integral calculus in two weeks.

All of those things would argue for ability in the "extraordinary" range, yes?

But those are things that often make others who lack those singular abilities rather uncomfortable-- particularly if they prefer (as most human beings do) to think of themselves as "considerably above average."
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 03:02 PM

I don't think everyone is equally capable, of course.

Quote:
Agree. It's easy to get into circular reasoning: PG looks like this, and these kids look like this, so these kids are PG, and it's good to be round these kids, so it's good to be round PG kids. For how many of the children you're talking about do you actually know an IQ number, HK? Come to that, don't I remember that you don't have one for your own DD? So these characteristics that you see her sharing to some extent with some, but not all, of her classmates, how do you know they are giftedness as defined by IQ? And does it matter?


This. That's what I mean.

Quote:
How do you know they were smarter than you? Did you have IQ scores for these kids, or were you making an assumption based on achievement?


No, I didn't have IQ scores, but I am not very competent in quantitative fields and they were. So, even though I am very high ability in some areas, it's not really enough. Anyway, I knew these kids. I'd grown up with them. I was probably the better writer, but they could easily master AP calc, etc, which I could not.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina


Quote:
How do you know they were smarter than you? Did you have IQ scores for these kids, or were you making an assumption based on achievement?


No, I didn't have IQ scores, but I am not very competent in quantitative fields and they were. So, even though I am very high ability in some areas, it's not really enough. Anyway, I knew these kids. I'd grown up with them. I was probably the better writer, but they could easily master AP calc, etc, which I could not.


When I was in high school, I used to think that the kids who got As in certain classes that I got Bs in were smarter than me. Many years later, I discovered that they had something I didn't have at that time: study habits. I had no concept of sitting down with a math book every day for an hour or so and really thinking about stuff. I didn't need to, because I was getting Bs, which was fine in my teenage mind. At the end of the year, I'd spend some time cramming the weekend before the final, and would always get an A (if not the highest grade in the class) on it. I never really thought about why I could do that.

My point is that it's easy to assume that other people are "smart" based on achievement.

And honestly, if I'd been in a school full of other HG+ kids, I would have been clued into my capabilities at a much earlier age. Something that's been mostly left out of this thread (HK mentioned it, I think) is that when HG+ kids aren't stretched regularly, they have no idea of what they may be capable of.

It's super-frustrating for me that our schools have near-universal policies of allowing other kids to stretch while denying this opportunity to HG+ kids.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
When I was in high school, I used to think that the kids who got As in certain classes that I got Bs in were smarter than me. Many years later, I discovered that they had something I didn't have at that time: study habits. I had no concept of sitting down with a math book every day for an hour or so and really thinking about stuff. I didn't need to, because I was getting Bs, which was fine in my teenage mind. At the end of the year, I'd spend some time cramming the weekend before the final, and would always get an A (if not the highest grade in the class) on it. I never really thought about why I could do that.

My point is that it's easy to assume that other people are "smart" based on achievement.

This reminds me of a story from when I was a kid. In 4th & 5th grade we had "optional" math workbooks that had different colors. We were allowed to work on these when we had free time, or bring them home. At least in my mind it was prestigious to be farther along in the books. One particular girl really impressed me because she worked through the entire sequence. She brought them home while I never found the time to work on them at home. The top book was supposed to be 8th grade work. Forward a few years and I was very surprised to find out that she was not one of the kids selected to take Algebra in 8th grade. It really surprised me, in my 10 year old mind she was a math genius.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 03:59 PM

CFK has a point. I think Val would say that the class wasn't hard enough, though, right? But at some point this is getting awfully theoretical. What's the person actually bringing to the table?

Now, when we are talking about a class being dumbed down you do have more of my attention. An AP class, for instance, ought to prepare one to do well on the AP exam. Calculus ought to teach calculus, not remediate. Etc. If the students can't meet the standards of the class, which should be easy to determine, they should not be in the class. On that we can agree. By the way, this happened to me in school. I was placed in algebra in 7th grade and was struggling, so I was removed and placed in the next level down, whch my parents and I agreed to. (I'm serious about my not being good at math!)

I still am not sure what public school education for the HG+ ought realistically and properly to look like if (as has been argued here many times) these kids also need full teacher instruction. I just don't see how it works. Again, it's not that I think this is especially fair. But what's the model?
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: CFK
You were doing enough to get by, not extending the level of discussion, etc. How is this better than a class with hard working, passionate non-gifted kids who would take the class to the next level?


My point is that learning with other kids of very high ability would have been more likely to create an environment where my thinking about the subject would have changed. ETA from UM's last post: I don't mean that the class should have been HARDER. Well, not in the sense of more homework or near-impossible problem sets. Back then, my math classes were pretty good in a straightforward, pedestrian way. I mean DIFFERENT. More big or old ideas. More new ways of looking at, say, how to do geometry or algebra. That kind of thing.

This was precisely what happened to me when I ended up a small liberal arts college where being bookish by choice and asking lots of probing questions were encouraged. Classes were small and many people on campus enjoyed talking about the big ideas of the day. Not everyone was HG+, but enough were that college was a good challenge for me. I had to learn to study (which was hard) but I found myself getting a lot out of what I was doing. Most importantly, the vast majority of the classes I took were aimed at very smart people, and you either kept up or got a bad grade/dropped the class.

You don't get that community experience with the hard-working types whose parents are driving them. Especially for these types, "hard working" and "passionate" don't necessarily go together. I certainly don't see much academic passion among the tiger cubs I've met.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I still am not sure what public school education for the HG+ ought realistically and properly to look like if (as has been argued here many times) these kids also need full teacher instruction. I just don't see how it works. Again, it's not that I think this is especially fair. But what's the model?


Probably individual tutoring with a team of specialized staff.

Maybe very small group.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


Running a 4 minute mile, for example. Completing and fully understanding a 1000 page work in a couple of days. Writing a grant overnight. Completely mastering undergraduate integral calculus in two weeks.


These are great achievements that should be recognized by any achievement-based program, right? If everyone works equally hard, then people with extraordinary abilities would easily achieve a lot more than someone with average ability. So looking at achievement, not potential, should make sense. In a regular classroom, ceilings would be a real issue. But if one looks beyond the classroom, and especially when one gets older, there should be lots of opportunities for achieving way beyond the boundary that a classroom teacher sets up. I think it makes sense to look at IQ when the kids are young, but as they get older the focus should shift to achievement.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


Running a 4 minute mile, for example. Completing and fully understanding a 1000 page work in a couple of days. Writing a grant overnight. Completely mastering undergraduate integral calculus in two weeks.


These are great achievements that should be recognized by any achievement-based program, right? If everyone works equally hard, then people with extraordinary abilities would easily achieve a lot more than someone with average ability. So looking at achievement, not potential, should make sense. In a regular classroom, ceilings would be a real issue. But if one looks beyond the classroom, and especially when one gets older, there should be lots of opportunities for achieving way beyond the boundary that a classroom teacher sets up. I think it makes sense to look at IQ when the kids are young, but as they get older the focus should shift to achievement.


I think we need a definition of "achievement" before we can actually talk in a meaningful way about this.
Posted by: Melessa

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 04:55 PM

What I do know is my older ds7 is quite a different thinker (hg- hg+). In public school, he feels different. He leaps ahead in understanding concepts. He has lots of OEs. Although we live in a good district with a respectable unvi close by and lots of professionals; it isn't working for ds7. He's an outlier. And he wants to fit in, but doesn't. These kids NEED a cohort group to interact with. Mine does. I realize high school/ college will be a different can of worms. Just trying to get him in a comfort place so he can thrive.

I am mg. dh is closer to hg. However, I have mult family member (brother, father, gm) who are all eg or more by became narcissistic and dropped from society. Those hg+ people really NEED peers. It is agonizing for them to have no one who thinks at all like they do. It's isolating.

What is disturbing is the school questioning gifted at all. Esp because he is high achieving (for now). Something is not being understood by gifted certified teachers. They have the wrong characteristics in mind.

Everyone deserves appropriate education! Whatever that means.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 05:23 PM

This isn't an entirely selfish argument on my part-- truly.

I am genuinely concerned for DD's peers who are NT or MG, but whose parents (and clearly, local administration and teachers, if parents are "slackers") insist that they need to DO all of the stuff that HG+ kids are known for when things are going well.

THAT is where you hear stories of overwrought, overworked, sleep-deprived kids who are sleeping 3hr a night to fit in one more AP class, etc.

Those kids are real. They are desperately trying to keep their heads above water, and my DD just keeps her mouth shut about how easy she finds it, and offers a shoulder to cry on when they can't measure up to those impossibly high expectations. One of my daughter's friends (again-- MG from what I've seen of her) was told in no uncertain terms that an "acceptable" PSAT score was 99th percentile. Period. Make it happen. These are real children that I really know. They are good kids, they are bright kids, and they are (mostly) hard-working kids. But they aren't what their parents apparently want them to be, which is HG+. (Apparently-- since that seems to be the underlying message about human worth here.)

I think that this is toxic and I think that it is wrong.

Just because those opportunities EXIST shouldn't mean that parents HAVE to push their kids into (ALL of) them, but that does seem to be the current model of thinking. The vast majority of parents locally want their kids in "the top" group. Period. Whatever it is, that's what they want.

It's hyper-competitive, and it is very definitely fueled by the gone-crazy, jumped-the-shark College Sweepstakes.

Yes, it'd be nice if my own child could have some true peers to learn with, but I understand that statistics are not on her side there, and so does she. She does NOT resent her classmates (and if she did, I'd have some pretty stern things to point out to her about human worth). She is frustrated that the LEVEL of some classes is so clearly watered down or slowed down, though.

It'd be even nicer if the kids actually in her classes were not looking shell-shocked and traumatized or harried.

Everyone DOES deserve appropriate education. And it's not the same thing for everyone.



Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 05:59 PM

I think that the parents who read a little bitterness from some HG kids parents are right. I have stood by while parents (and occasionally children) have made snide comments about DD many times,and over time I have developed some resentment. For instance DD read a book to teach herself how to play chess (she is in 1st grade and I don't play)and we went to a local play group. DD won the little round robin tournament that they had and she had been playing for a week. Parent after parent had to tell me that their child was in our local tag program (like I care) and wanted to know if DD was. Another parent told me that DD got lucky when she beat her child because she had been playing for several years. Honestly, it was intermediate (at best) chess. Bobby Fischer was not in the room;). There is something about HG children that brings out the claws in tiger moms (and the kids as well) and as a parent it can be easy to become resentful because it gets old.
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 06:02 PM

Has anyone here watched the documentary American Promise? It made me so overwhelmingly sad for those kids. Has it always been this bad? If not, when did it start?

Psychland, how would it feel if your child wasn't HG and you were socialising with these parents? Probably still pretty bad, I think. Someone who is constantly comparing childrens achievements is going to be competing on a lot of other factors, too. Would you really enjoy their company if they were crowing that their car cost more than yours? Or smug when their child beat yours at chess? Did you see this article?
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2014/03/25/mean-moms-suburbs/

When I've had to chat to that sort of competitive person I keep my cards very close to my chest and get away ASAP. But that's not very often. I have been very lucky to surround myself with friends and a whole community where we all commiserate over stuff and share joy in stuff (I know not everyone is so lucky). My friend might tell me her child can do a waltz jump, I'll tell her mine has nits, then I'll tell her mine started algebra and she'll tell me hers made their room unprompted. You know what I mean? Life's too short for Queen bees.

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I still am not sure what public school education for the HG+ ought realistically and properly to look like if (as has been argued here many times) these kids also need full teacher instruction. I just don't see how it works. Again, it's not that I think this is especially fair. But what's the model?


Probably individual tutoring with a team of specialized staff.

Maybe very small group.


Flexible ability based grouping, based on level and pace. Group size would depend on the population, you might need to combine with other nearby districts to get the numbers in one school.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 06:33 PM

Quote:
Flexible ability based grouping, based on level and pace. Group size would depend on the population, you might need to combine with other nearby districts to get the numbers in one school.


So, do you mean a magnet? In every district? Busing from nearby districts? (In my area, that would be miles and miles due to the rural nature of the outlying areas...many hours on buses.)

I mean, I generally throw my lot in with eliminating age-based grades, but that's a pipe dream.
Posted by: DeeDee

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 06:42 PM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
I generally throw my lot in with eliminating age-based grades, but that's a pipe dream.


In my 1970s elementary school, there were five grades placed in four "teams" of three classrooms each. As a second grader, you could stay in Team 1 or move up to Team 2. Placements were determined flexibly within the team, as well, with kids moving among the classrooms in their team for different reading or math groups. While everyone was moving around for those, some kids were pulled for remedial whatever or accelerated whatever. There were aides around to facilitate and skilled teachers to differentiate.

The whole school was organized this way, and it worked. I doubt they still do it there, but I wonder why it's not done now. It made SO MUCH SENSE.
Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 06:49 PM

tallulah this is certainly not referring to our friends or inner circle just people that we meet at DD activities. I think maybe living in a more affluent suburb it is par for the course. I do not discuss DD with other parents and it just seems rude to me when people I don't know ask personal questions about my child.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/02/14 08:31 PM

Dee Dee, I have no idea either-- because I remember that kind of grouping, too. I spent the last three years of elementary school trotting off to another wing for language arts with a handful of other students from five different classrooms.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 07:40 AM

Originally Posted By: CFK
You might be seeing a localized problem. Or your daughter was just in a very poor school fit. My kids were educated through three school districts in two vastly different geographical locations and we never saw this.


I saw something very like what HK describes when I went to school in a blue-collar city without a university, where between studies, extracurricular activities, volunteering, and after-school jobs, several kids I knew well were getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night. Some of them were the ones who would yell at me when we got our grades in, because, "You didn't even study!"

Back then, a bachelor's degree wouldn't necessarily cost you 7 years of indentured servitude. And my competition pool for #1 wouldn't have been as deep, due to the demographic differences between my school and HK's (I probably would not have made the top 0.5% of my graduating class in HK's school without doing some math homework). So for these reasons, I would expect HK to see more and worse cases than the ones I saw.
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 07:41 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
Quote:
Flexible ability based grouping, based on level and pace. Group size would depend on the population, you might need to combine with other nearby districts to get the numbers in one school.


So, do you mean a magnet? In every district? Busing from nearby districts? (In my area, that would be miles and miles due to the rural nature of the outlying areas...many hours on buses.)

I mean, I generally throw my lot in with eliminating age-based grades, but that's a pipe dream.


It could be done if the population density is high enough. If a kid is, say, 1 in 10,000 frequency then the odds of having another child in that range in that grade in that school are miniscule. And if everyone knew that Kennedy Elementary and King Middle in Jonesville were the regional magnets then you could take that into account when looking for a house.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 07:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Back then, a bachelor's degree wouldn't necessarily cost you 7 years of indentured servitude. And my competition pool for #1 wouldn't have been as deep, due to the demographic differences between my school and HK's (I probably would not have made the top 0.5% of my graduating class in HK's school without doing some math homework). So for these reasons, I would expect HK to see more and worse cases than the ones I saw.


Don't be so hard on yourself!

You may have still been able to avoid math homework entirely and make the top 0.5%.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 08:45 AM

Originally Posted By: CFK
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


....Those kids are real. They are desperately trying to keep their heads above water, and my DD just keeps her mouth shut about how easy she finds it, and offers a shoulder to cry on when they can't measure up to those impossibly high expectations....

...It'd be even nicer if the kids actually in her classes were not looking shell-shocked and traumatized or harried.



You might be seeing a localized problem. Or your daughter was just in a very poor school fit. My kids were educated through three school districts in two vastly different geographical locations and we never saw this.

Nope. This happens in my school district at ALL of the High Schools. And other area's that I know as well. This is very pervasive around the country particularly in the High Schools that are applauded for their high test scores.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 09:23 AM

Originally Posted By: CFK
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


....Those kids are real. They are desperately trying to keep their heads above water, and my DD just keeps her mouth shut about how easy she finds it, and offers a shoulder to cry on when they can't measure up to those impossibly high expectations....


You might be seeing a localized problem. Or your daughter was just in a very poor school fit. My kids were educated through three school districts in two vastly different geographical locations and we never saw this.


Yup. It's a large-scale problem around here. The pressure has even been responsible for a number suicides. The commuter rail tracks are close to one of our local hyper-pressure high schools, and they had to make major changes to them a few years ago because four students killed themselves in six months, and a fifth one was yanked off the tracks by his mother while the police helped stop the trains. Public or private, the pressure is insane. They talk about looking for signs of suicide and they have outreach programs and lots of counselors, but no one seems to want to address the root problem, which is the pressure. frown

Just google suicides palo alto high school if you think I'm making this up. You'll find even more stories of dead kids than what I've described here. This little gem says it all about what happens when everyone has to look HG+:

After the January suicide I mentioned, which took place at Meghan’s high school right before finals, a female senior hung herself at her friend’s house. Returning to school to take finals during this time was difficult for Meghan and many of her fellow students. These teens were [told that they] could speak to their teachers about rescheduling their exams, but some, like Meghan, didn’t want to risk negatively affecting their resulting grades.

For Meghan, a typical day begins at 7 a.m. She wakes, has breakfast, and gets to school. She then prepares to turn in homework and take a test or quiz in at least one course almost daily. After school, she participates in two hours of daily lacrosse practice. She then gets home, eats, showers and is finally able to begin her five-plus hours of homework. She starts at 8pm and goes to sleep at 1 am. (This isn’t accounting for the time for the entire week every three weeks that she doesn’t get home until 9:30 because she is working on her school paper commitment. Nor does this include any time she tries to have with friends socially, or downtime to just be with family and herself.) This schedule, Meghan says, is quite common for most of her classmates at [Palo Alto HS].


Tiger parents should really be paying attention to this stuff, but I suspect that denial runs deep in that crowd ("my kid would never hurt himself because....").
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 09:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
For Meghan, a typical day begins at 7 a.m. She wakes, has breakfast, and gets to school. She then prepares to turn in homework and take a test or quiz in at least one course almost daily. After school, she participates in two hours of daily lacrosse practice. She then gets home, eats, showers and is finally able to begin her five-plus hours of homework. She starts at 8pm and goes to sleep at 1 am. (This isn’t accounting for the time for the entire week every three weeks that she doesn’t get home until 9:30 because she is working on her school paper commitment. Nor does this include any time she tries to have with friends socially, or downtime to just be with family and herself.) This schedule, Meghan says, is quite common for most of her classmates at [Palo Alto HS].

Tiger parents should really be paying attention to this stuff, but I suspect that denial runs deep in that crowd ("my kid would never hurt himself because....").

I will. But maybe one reason the homework is taking 5 hours a day is that she is starting it dead tired at 8 or 9:30 PM. The high school day typically ends about 2:30 PM, and I think many students need to cut back on their time-consuming extracurriculars so they can get much of their schoolwork done in the afternoon or at very least start it in the early evening.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 09:52 AM

Yes-- and no coincidence that suicides HERE are a large (and largely unspoken) problem as well.

We're a hot spot in a state which is known to have a high rate of adolescent mental health problems, basically. EVERYONE who isn't "in crisis" (meaning-- in need of hospitalization to prevent action on a suicide plan which is obviously in progress, not just imminent) gets to wait between 3 to 8 weeks for a first appointment with a mental health professional-- of any type, and with insurance and a referral from a medical professional. The demand for adolescent mental health services is still higher, and the waits are correspondingly LONGER. "Needs help managing stress" means you'll wait for about 12-20 weeks. That's not to see "the person of my choice" by the way-- that's to see ANYONE. The only people who get a fast pass are those who are involved with the court system.

The majority of my DD's friends have seen a mental health professional-- and some of them have been seen at urgent care/ER for what sure seems to me to be somatic stuff. It's a regular occurrence, honestly.

This is an area where the county population totals are about 100K, and where the high-school adolescent population is a bit tough to determine due to the university, but is probably estimable at ~3-4K, anyway... we regularly see 3-10 teen suicides annually here. REGULARLY. Each of the "high performance" public high schools has a couple a year. In a graduating class of less than 300 each, that's a LOT.

I'd estimate the "average" there during the decade-plus we've lived here is about 6 in the county each year. Some years less, some years more. It's a smallish group, and a tight community with a lot of active involvement-- this year alone already, my DD has known 2 of those kids, and she doesn't even go to the B&M schools with them, so she knows them purely through extracurriculars/community service. These are GOOD kids, not kids with "problems" per se. This is heartbreaking-- my daughter knows at least a dozen peers who have attempted suicide during their teens, some of them more than once. I've reported mental health problems repeatedly, and estimate that at least 90% of them are stress-related.

I think a lot of parents here pat themselves on the back that the number of teen suicides here is far less than the number of national merit scholars, and that therefore all is well. eek


If you try to get off of this "success track" with your kids, the entire system often conspires against you (as noted in the anecdote about my colleague's DD). Which brings me right back to--- I don't live in McLean, and outwardly, my community would SEEM to have quite little in common with it... but I recognized what this author was saying. A lot of what she was saying.

Most towns have the "honors student" bumper stickers-- for reference, my town has "My child won the Nobel Prize." That kid was a public school student here. Really. It's that kind of town-- but I don't think it's unique anymore.

We're not even the HIGHEST pressure zip code in the state, honestly.
Posted by: ashley

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: CFK
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma


....Those kids are real. They are desperately trying to keep their heads above water, and my DD just keeps her mouth shut about how easy she finds it, and offers a shoulder to cry on when they can't measure up to those impossibly high expectations....

...It'd be even nicer if the kids actually in her classes were not looking shell-shocked and traumatized or harried.



You might be seeing a localized problem. Or your daughter was just in a very poor school fit. My kids were educated through three school districts in two vastly different geographical locations and we never saw this.


Not a localized problem at all. As others have mentioned, this is prevalent in my area and makes headline news frequently frown
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
[quote=CFK][quote= Interview with local concerned teen ]After the January suicide I mentioned, which took place at Meghan’s high school right before finals, a female senior hung herself at her friend’s house. Returning to school to take finals during this time was difficult for Meghan and many of her fellow students. These teens were [told that they] could speak to their teachers about rescheduling their exams, but some, like Meghan, didn’t want to risk negatively affecting their resulting grades.
I happen to know that Palo Alto High has done a lot to change the culture of their high school in the past 3 years because of these suicides. I don't have a whole list, but one change was to move the whole school year back to start in mid-August so that the semester would be over before winter break. This allows the H.S. students to really take a break over the holidays rather than spend it studying for finals, and it gives students/teachers a few more weeks of the school year before AP tests.

My H.S. is trying to make some of these changes but it's slow. And some of the changes, while good for the average kid don't help my MY student. Starting next year H.S. will officially start at 8 instead of 7:30, BUT in order for my son to stay in marching band he will have to be at school at 7am. And marching band is one of the few things that is keeping him happy in H.S.
Posted by: MegMeg

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 10:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Tallulah
It could be done if the population density is high enough. If a kid is, say, 1 in 10,000 frequency then the odds of having another child in that range in that grade in that school are miniscule. And if everyone knew that Kennedy Elementary and King Middle in Jonesville were the regional magnets then you could take that into account when looking for a house.

There is already a model for this problem and how difficult it is to solve: Deaf education. There is no contest that the best environment for deaf kids is immersion at a school with a natural sign language (like ASL). The problem is that the frequency of congenital deafness in the population is so low, and it's made worse by the magnet effect -- families with genetic deafness migrate to big cities with deaf communities, leaving even lower frequencies in the smaller towns.

People have been trying to solve this one for many decades. First there were residential schools, usually one per state, which meant that deaf kids were away from their families for months on end. Then there was mainstreaming, which was an educational and social disaster for deaf kids. Now there is a mix of programs. Unsurprisingly, it all works better in the high-population areas.

What I'm saying is that the current system obviously is broken, but that doesn't mean there's an easy fix if only there were the political will. This is a thorny problem that will always be difficult to solve.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 10:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: Val
Tiger parents should really be paying attention to this stuff, but I suspect that denial runs deep in that crowd ("my kid would never hurt himself because....").

I will. But maybe one reason the homework is taking 5 hours a day is that she is starting it dead tired at 8 or 9:30 PM. The high school day typically ends about 2:30 PM, and I think many students need to cut back on their time-consuming extracurriculars so they can get much of their schoolwork done in the afternoon or at very least start it in the early evening.


I agree completely about cutting back. But the problem is that she can't if she wants to look HG+ and get into Stanford. The tiger parents and everyone around these kids are sending very unsubtle messages saying that they will be total losers if they don't go to an elite college.

Do you remember A is for Admissions, that book written by a woman who used to work in Dartmouth's admissions office? Here's what she has to say about activities:

Originally Posted By: Michele Hernández, pages 125-126 of Kindle edition
...being an Eagle Scout, co-captain of two sports teams, and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper rates a 5 out 9 on Dartmouth’s activity scale (in other words, average). An 8 or a 9 “might be someone who escaped from the former Yugoslavia during the war there, lost much of his family, but who learned English and demonstrated leadership and academic achievement in a short span of three or four years in this country.


And of course you have to have a sky-high average and amazing SAT scores. This stuff is mind-boggling, and it's also child abuse.


Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 10:36 AM

Originally Posted By: bluemagic
Originally Posted By: Val
[quote=CFK][quote= Interview with local concerned teen ]After the January suicide I mentioned, which took place at Meghan’s high school right before finals, a female senior hung herself at her friend’s house. Returning to school to take finals during this time was difficult for Meghan and many of her fellow students. These teens were [told that they] could speak to their teachers about rescheduling their exams, but some, like Meghan, didn’t want to risk negatively affecting their resulting grades.
I happen to know that Palo Alto High has done a lot to change the culture of their high school in the past 3 years because of these suicides. I don't have a whole list, but one change was to move the whole school year back to start in mid-August so that the semester would be over before winter break. This allows the H.S. students to really take a break over the holidays rather than spend it studying for finals, and it gives students/teachers a few more weeks of the school year before AP tests.

My H.S. is trying to make some of these changes but it's slow. And some of the changes, while good for the average kid don't help my MY student. Starting next year H.S. will officially start at 8 instead of 7:30, BUT in order for my son to stay in marching band he will have to be at school at 7am. And marching band is one of the few things that is keeping him happy in H.S.



Right-- and locally, some of the changes that OUR schools have made to-- well, to protect students of more modest ability from their parents, to be completely truthful (though, as I noted earlier, maybe they ought to clean up their OWN houses a bit as well)--

make life even rougher than it used to be for the HG+ kids.

* sophomores may take ONE (and only one) AP class.

* ONE foreign language only

* Juniors and seniors may take up to two AP classes, and seniors may take 3, but only with permission from the superintendent's office.

* dual enrollment credits are limited to 21 total credit hours during the high school career.

There're a lot of those kinds of restrictions now. This is what leads to places like "your 12yo high school sophomore has outstripped what we can realistically offer her-- have you looked at just enrolling in the local community college instead?" frown


The equally sad part is that it doesn't seem to have made THAT much of a difference to the kids who are being ground by this particular millstone, either. Now they don't take the AP classes, but parents still expect them to take the EXAMS and earn 5's. So it really just means "afterschooling" for them, which may be even worse.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 01:28 PM

I'll add that the pressure starts very young, at least around here. When my daughter was in the hospital for an appendectomy a few months ago, her roommate (a kindergartner!) was doing homework in the hospital while she still had IV lines in her arm. frown The little girl's mom said that if she didn't keep up, she'd get too far behind. This five-year-old was expected to write paragraph-length journal entries every day as homework, and she had a variety of worksheets she had to do. She attended a local public school, not a prep school.

I once called a local high performing public school in our district because I was thinking of putting my son's name in for their kindergarten lottery. I changed my mind after they told me that kindergartners were given a minimum of an hour of homework every night.

So again, it all seems aimed at making everyone look highly gifted.

But I'll also add that the schools (including the colleges) add to the problems. The tiger parents are bad and so are many of the schools.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 01:47 PM

Val: Sounds a lot like the experience of the kids when my DD played on the under-8 soccer team made up primarily of private school kids (DD was homeschooling that year). Every parent there complained about the kids' schedules, and how difficult it was to push their tired kids through an hour of homework (which could increase to 2+ due to noncompliance) after soccer practice.

I was like, "you're paying them to do this to your child?"
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 01:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
So again, it all seems aimed at making everyone look highly gifted.


I fixed that sentence for you.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 02:03 PM

Do you really think it makes them HG? I have not seen that happening in DD's peer cohort, myself.

I have seen that the motivated HG ones wind up looking more like EG/PG, and the MG ones can (briefly) look HG-- mostly on paper, though, and as noted, at pretty extreme personal cost.

Or is it just presumed to do so, and that is the justification used by those in favor of treating children like wine grapes?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 02:16 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Or is it just presumed to do so, and that is the justification used by those in favor of treating children like wine grapes?


It's a processing step. Without it, they don't ferment properly.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 02:33 PM

I asked my son a few weeks back what he thought the kids getting A's in his math class were doing that he wasn't. He thought most of them had already taken the class. I believe what he means by this is that had spend their previous summer taking one of the "prep" classes that is offered in the area. These are so common that the district enrichment summer program offers them.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/03/14 10:19 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Exactly. This "open to all" thinking is just strange to me but it might be because I see "special educational need" as anything outside of the central 2 standard deviations.

This strikes me, therefore, as inherently about as silly as a group of people arguing that their insurance companies should cover a seeing eye dog because they happen to like Golden Retrievers a lot. (Come to think of it, there are people who like dogs so much that they see no real harm in falsely calling them service dogs. {sigh} Nevermind.)



It's not a "need" for a some of the people rushing to the front of the line. The reason that they are doing this is that there is an arms race in terms of college resume-building. This problem (mostly) wouldn't exist on this scale if not for mediocrity pushing up from beneath and high-pressure perfectionistic standards pushing DOWN from on high. Er-- at least, there wouldn't be such an issue if regular classroom settings were doing a reasonably good job (as noted multiple times within this thread).

.....

The upshot of all of this is that when parents are allowed to redefine what education means (so that it's easy enough for their kids to hit the ceiling, they might well be VERY strident about wanting that ceiling LOWER) then it's absolutely about making sure that nobody looks more capable than their own kids.



This is where I thought 120 was coming from: The folks making the tests and using the tests who think 120 IS gifted level, at least on some tests.
https://www.gifteddevelopment.com/About_GDC/newiqtests.htm

"The gifted validation sample reported in the Technical Manual of the WISC-IV achieved a mean Full Scale IQ score of 123.5 (Wechsler, 2003). The mean IQ score of 202 children in the gifted validation sample of the SB5 was 124. Therefore, cut-off scores for gifted programs should be lowered to 120, rather than 130 (Rimm, Gilman & Silverman, in press; Silverman, in press, a)."

So, in short, if the yardsticks, or two major ones, have changed, screaming about folks who qualify for gifted classes based on these new measures doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
These are the same level students who previously were getting 130s on the old wisc/sb tests (presumably).



Posted by: Mana

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:20 AM

Thankfully, no high school student suicides around here. Eating disorders and substance abuse, yes, but not suicides.

We're definitely not interested in participating in this race. My #1 parenting priority when it comes to education is not burning DD out. I want her to hold onto her love of learning all her life. To me, that is a goal worth striving for. Getting into HYPS is not.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 04:15 AM

I didn't read all the pages. But I have read Madeline Levine's Price of Privilege. And one, she talked about letting kids go out and play. I moved to a really safe neighborhood in Toronto. DD takes the school bus 2 blocks away, in front of the local elementary school, to the gifted school. I was trying to give her a little freedom on Tuesdays, when I had a conflict to walk home with a boy in her split class, a grade above, who lived past our place. She enjoyed the independence. About two miles away, but still in the general zone, a mother lost track of her 5 year old in a Target and the girl was sexually assaulted. And the school bus company would not let my daughter off the bus unless I was there, after the incident.
So unless you schedule things, or plan playdates, it is hard to let them just go out and play. Which means you have to be out and about with them. I think finding that compromise without the activities to fill their time, because my kid will watch Disney reruns, is hard. She cannot just go out and play.
Attitude is a different story but I don't have a kid with an IQ of 121. I have a kid that is fully capable of being on Harvard's screen and has legacy. So where does that leave me in terms of being a Tiger Mom?
Shades of grey or gray?
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 04:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Wren

So unless you schedule things, or plan playdates, it is hard to let them just go out and play. Which means you have to be out and about with them. I think finding that compromise without the activities to fill their time, because my kid will watch Disney reruns, is hard. She cannot just go out and play.
Attitude is a different story but I don't have a kid with an IQ of 121. I have a kid that is fully capable of being on Harvard's screen and has legacy. So where does that leave me in terms of being a Tiger Mom?
Shades of grey or gray?


Why can't she have free play? Your backyard. A playground with you sitting on the bench. Your house without the TV on?

But, Wren, haven't we had this discussion before and you proudly describe yourself as one of these high pressure parents? Your priorities are for structured activity and a lot of academics from a young age, aren't they?
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 05:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Tallulah
Originally Posted By: Wren

So unless you schedule things, or plan playdates, it is hard to let them just go out and play. Which means you have to be out and about with them. I think finding that compromise without the activities to fill their time, because my kid will watch Disney reruns, is hard. She cannot just go out and play.
Attitude is a different story but I don't have a kid with an IQ of 121. I have a kid that is fully capable of being on Harvard's screen and has legacy. So where does that leave me in terms of being a Tiger Mom?
Shades of grey or gray?


Why can't she have free play? Your backyard. A playground with you sitting on the bench. Your house without the TV on?

But, Wren, haven't we had this discussion before and you proudly describe yourself as one of these high pressure parents? Your priorities are for structured activity and a lot of academics from a young age, aren't they?


Ouch. We go for 2 hour walks with the dog along the lake and find mink etc. And we are in an apt, no backyard. And playdates are structured activities. They are not, running out the back door like I did and into the woods with friends or alone and finding something to occupy myself.
And DD is an extrovert. TV off, she goes into her room and sometimes plays with Barbies but sometimes the technology goes on. She is not great without friends. Either was I. I was always looking for someone in the neighborhood to play with. And in a neighborhood full of kids, you could find someone. That is hard today. Your kid wanders around alone, a parent will call you, like are you crazy?
And being on the park bench is time consuming. Perhaps you have hours of time to sit on a bench while your child explores the park, how many can do that everyday. Because a kid is like a dog, it needs that play/social interaction everyday, not once a week. So if not structured, what is your solution, you with the political sense and judgement of a --- fill in the blank.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 05:25 AM

Originally Posted By: bluemagic
I asked my son a few weeks back what he thought the kids getting A's in his math class were doing that he wasn't. He thought most of them had already taken the class. I believe what he means by this is that had spend their previous summer taking one of the "prep" classes that is offered in the area. These are so common that the district enrichment summer program offers them.

Many people, including me, dislike Everyday Mathematics, the curriculum used here. I expect that the curriculum at the Russian School of Math my middle son attends is better and is taught better (by someone who is not expected to teach all subjects). The term "arms race" implies a deadweight loss, but the competition for college admissions encourages some parents to spend extra time and money educating their childrne. Would it better for society if I spent my disposable income on a fancy car?

I don't want my children to work past the point of exhaustion in high school. One way to avoid that may be to build a good foundation in elementary and middle school.
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 05:28 AM

Maybe there's just a terminology issue, but I don't see why playdates have to be structured. My kid's just had two days on which two different friends came over for the day. I ignored them, except to remind them when it was lunchtime and point them at the food I'd left out, they got on with whatever they wanted to do. I'm also in an apartment, they were indoors all day. That's unstructured play in my book. Even if you can't be the one supervising, someone is - if that someone is someone you're paying to do it, surely you can just ask them not to structure?
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 05:43 AM

My view is arranging the playdate is structured. What they do is unstructured but Levine's book was about total unstructure, at least that was my interpretation.

The child that goes out on its own, finds kids to hang with or not and then they originate their own play was all crucial to development of self esteem.

When I was DD's age, 9, I went to the store, crossing busy streets, figuring out the optimal choice of penny candy for my dime or bought bread for my mother at the grocery store next door. I found friends and we created games, we would go to someone's house, find cookies, make Kool-aid on our own.
Make sandwiches. Parents were often somewhere in the neighborhood but I do not remember a parental presence very much.
We grabbed our Barbies and went to someone's house and created a Barbie village. We had to be far more creative, we had a lot less stuff. We took far more initiative than DD when I arranged a playdate yesterday and today. In Levine's view, the playdates are structural activities at this age, not enough initiative for the kids.
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 05:48 AM

Ah, I see. Yes, that's hard to get these days. (Outside boarding schools, actually! Odd that this might be an argument in favour of those...)
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 06:28 AM

If that were really true, why are kids applying to 8+ schools?

Who wants to admit they are going to the school 5th on their list?

I know of one kid who got rejected by Amherst, her first choice early admission, got wait listed at Princeton, got into Columbia, which is now her first choice. Yes, she will say that. Now, many people will say Columbia is a great school but it wasn't her first choice. My point being the mind changes with the path.

I need to stop procrastinating and work. I get into these topics for distraction.
Posted by: NotSoGifted

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 06:36 AM

My kid had a bunch of reaches on her list and she was accepted to her 8th choice. 6 rejections and 1 waitlist in her top 7 schools.

I don't think this article is talking about kids who apply to top schools. If it were, the percentage of students accepted to their first choice school would be a lot less than 75%.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 06:36 AM

I think the idea of "first choice" changes quite a bit once the acceptance letters are in, and financial reality begins.

And that's why there's all the hype. Even for the kids who are more interested in the state flagship, we've been telling kids for generations that if they earn top grades and/or excel in the right extracurriculars, they'll earn enough scholarships/grants to pay for college. That particular lie has gotten bigger every year.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 06:48 AM

Originally Posted By: CFK
I think maybe people are getting too caught up in the college hype.

The reality:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lucielapovsky/2014/03/28/getting-in-to-college-why-all-the-hype/

"The facts are the 75% of students attend their first choice college..."

The acceptance/rejection threads on College Confidential where applicants post their stats and application results are frightening. One can debate aspects of the admissions policies of the most prestigious colleges (weight of extracurriculars, legacy preferences, race and sex preferences, ...) but the hard math is that the number of places at the "top" 10 colleges has been about constant over the decades, while the population has increased and as students throughout the country vie for schools that used to be more regional. So it just keeps getting harder to get in to those schools. To stay sane you (umm, I) need to convince yourself that doing so is not make-or-break.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 06:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Even for the kids who are more interested in the state flagship, we've been telling kids for generations that if they earn top grades and/or excel in the right extracurriculars, they'll earn enough scholarships/grants to pay for college. That particular lie has gotten bigger every year.


This is compounded by the fact that the average student can't self-finance university studies through summer work anymore:

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/arc...college/359735/
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 07:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
I think the idea of "first choice" changes quite a bit once the acceptance letters are in, and financial reality begins.

And that's why there's all the hype. Even for the kids who are more interested in the state flagship, we've been telling kids for generations that if they earn top grades and/or excel in the right extracurriculars, they'll earn enough scholarships/grants to pay for college. That particular lie has gotten bigger every year.


It's also based on the composition of the board choosing the scholarships.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 08:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
I think the idea of "first choice" changes quite a bit once the acceptance letters are in, and financial reality begins.

And that's why there's all the hype. Even for the kids who are more interested in the state flagship, we've been telling kids for generations that if they earn top grades and/or excel in the right extracurriculars, they'll earn enough scholarships/grants to pay for college. That particular lie has gotten bigger every year.


Nailed it.

Here, it's not even about ATTENDING one of those institutions (though parents here will happily mortgage themselves to do it, of course)... it's about something more akin to conspicuous consumption, translated into parenting. It's very odd. This is why I maintain that this is VERY much abusive IMO, and it is also very much about the parents' ego, and not about the kids' best interests in anything but the most superficial of ways.

It's not that there is anything wrong with Russian math afterschooling (or anything else); and particularly not for children with innate high ability.

It's that parents feel that they need to TELL others that they're doing it... and to imply that all of the "good" parents care enough to do this kind of thing to-- er, for their children... (right... that's what I meant-- FOR them).

This leads to a parental (and student) feeding frenzy about the "right" activities, in sufficient quantity, in order to produce the right "recipe" or something. DD sees a lot of this type of kid in her volunteering and leadership activities-- they are DEFINITELY doing it because they feel pressured to, not because there is anything like intrinsic motivation driving them to do so.

Parents eventually figure out that there is no "magic" here-- and that the only real "trick" is more-more-more-more-more... which they then tell their kids.

Alongside that (at least around here) we have teachers and high school guidance counselors that are complicit in this carnival ride, convincing students that an ELITE college is the only kind that is actually of any significance... and WOW, your paltry one sport, and single volunteering gig is HARDLY going to get you in THERE, now, is it? Maybe you should have taken up fencing, flint-knapping and the sackbutt or something a few years back... the sackbutt. Now there is a scholarship instrument if ever there were one...

grin

Yes, I'm being deliberately ridiculous, but that is because it HAS gotten that ridiculous. I know many parents who chose their elementary-aged kids' band instruments (or orchestral ones) on the basis of FUTURE SCHOLARSHIP potential. They seem like otherwise normal, middle-class parents. And wow, aren't a lot of them going to be shocked when colleges don't care about a bumper crop of oboists.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 09:29 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's not that there is anything wrong with Russian math afterschooling (or anything else); and particularly not for children with innate high ability.

It's that parents feel that they need to TELL others that they're doing it... and to imply that all of the "good" parents care enough to do this kind of thing to-- er, for their children... (right... that's what I meant-- FOR them).

On the day the Russian School of Math had its open house, it felt like we saw half of the parents in town that we knew. They weren't there because we had recommended RSM (we enrolled after that) but because like people think alike.

The Internet levels the information playing field. My parents strongly supported my education, but I don't think they knew the names of the major math and science competitions, math camps, etc. Now more such opportunities exist, and information about them is a Google away. Once you know about them you may feel guilty for not pursuing them.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 09:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian

On the day the Russian School of Math had its open house, it felt like we saw half of the parents in town that we knew. ...

My parents strongly supported my education, but I don't think they knew the names of the major math and science competitions, math camps, etc. Now more such opportunities exist, and information about them is a Google away. Once you know about them you may feel guilty for not pursuing them.


The ideas that's missing from this discussion is the assumption by tiger-parent types that their method is most likely to result in a "successful" child. My understanding from what I've read is that this is the primary point of driving children. I find this assumption to be simplistic. First, what is success, and second, why do tiger parents think they have a right to define it for someone else? Your child isn't your property, and when he grows up, the right to define a) what to do with his life and b) personal success is his alone.

TBH, I suspect that a lot of tiger parenting is about controlling the kid being disguised with the idea that "this is best for you" or "we're trying to teach you how to be successful." Whatever that means.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 10:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
The ideas that's missing from this discussion is the assumption by tiger-parent types that their method is most likely to result in a "successful" child.

College-educated parents in general have become more "tigery":

http://econweb.ucsd.edu/~vramey/research/Rugrat.pdf
The Rug Rat Race
by
Garey Ramey
University of California, San Diego
and
Valerie A. Ramey
University of California, San Diego
National Bureau of Economic Research
First draft: December 2007
This draft: April 2010

Abstract
After three decades of decline, the amount of time spent by parents on childcare in the U.S.
began to rise dramatically in the mid-1990s. Moreover, the rise in childcare time was
particularly pronounced among college-educated parents. While less-educated mothers
increased their childcare time by over four hours a week, college-educated mothers increased
their childcare time by over nine hours per week. Fathers showed the same patterns, but with
smaller magnitudes. Why would highly educated parents increase the amount of time they
allocate to childcare at the same time that their own market returns have skyrocketed? After
finding no empirical support for standard explanations, such as selection or income effects, we
offer a new explanation. We argue that increased competition for college admissions may be an
important source of these trends. We provide empirical support for our explanation with a
comparison of trends between the U.S. and Canada, across ethnic groups in the U.S., and across
states in the U.S.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 10:12 AM

Perhaps, but that article doesn't address my questions. It just continues the assumptions that I've been questioning.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
Perhaps, but that article doesn't address my questions. It just continues the assumptions that I've been questioning.


Well, if college is now high school, you *have* to get into college or you will effectively be high school dropout.

The Tiger Parents seem to be more oriented toward PRINCETON!

We could be looking at two different assumption sets in two different cohorts.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 10:19 AM

I think much of that is a grey area Val.
DD is not a bad eater when it comes to fruits and veggies. I give her blended fruit every morning and make her drink it. It is a fight every day. But I will not let her go through life eating croissants with cream cheese, which is her choice. She can actually have that if she finishes her fruit and eats a bowl of yogurt. I force her to have her nutrition and then she can have crap.
Her chosen exercise is dance and she takes dance 3 times a week in a serious program. I expect her to integrate dance into her life as a life long habit of regular exercise.
She is rarely sick, she is strong and active and I think this is my role as a parent, though I push her hard to get her nutrition.
Just like I push her in some other ways. She was in Russian music school and although she has serious talent and did a concert at Merkin Hall at 7, it was too much. I let it slide, but not drop. She hated piano, but I paid for lessons once a week, didn't push the practice but kept a thread going. After almost 2 years, and now with a Jazz teacher who is easing her along, she sits at the piano, composes, seriously composes, says she is really liking piano again.
If I had let her quit totally, sold the piano, she would more than likely never found her way back. As her parent, I knew she had a serious talent and felt a responsibility to try and nuture it back into something she loved. I admit the Tiger Mom was misguided by the Russian school that told me that she was this prodigy and classical training was the way to go so she could play Tchaikovsky at 7 well enough that people would pay for the tickets. She did love the performance part of sitting behind this massive grand piano in the concert hall but the practice was way too intense for her at that age.
It was my decision to think keeping the piano alive until she could enjoy it again. It is my decision to make her consume fruit everyday to keep herself healthy. And I taught her to step off a 150 ft bridge. That was one of the better choices I made I think. Although I had a heart attack on the way down, before the rope swung out, and she was scared out of her mind too but was so happy after that she did it. You can train your kid like a seal but they also have to be able to go out there and take risk to succeed. And I think that is the bigger problem. Opportunities do not knock on your door very often.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 10:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
First, what is success, and second, why do tiger parents think they have a right to define it for someone else? Your child isn't your property, and when he grows up, the right to define a) what to do with his life and b) personal success is his alone.


The answer to the second question is the same as the answer to the question of why some think a chihuahua should be carried around in a handbag. It's an accessory that belongs to the owner. Children are often viewed in the same way.
Posted by: SFrog

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 11:05 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Maybe you should have taken up fencing, flint-knapping and the sackbutt or something a few years back...


Since fencing was brought up (in jest) as something good for resume padding - should I tell my daugther not to mention the reason she picked up fencing was so she would have another assassin skill? (My first reaction was to ask - "What do you mean, another...?") She would also like to learn archery - again, not for resume padding, but because arrows are quieter than bullets.

--S.F.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 11:23 AM

Personally, I've never concerned myself with other people's totems, taboos or fetishes. I am somewhat tigerish with my DD but I try to stress that when she has done what she has to her time is her own entirely.

I want her to get that vital unstructured playtime but I also want her to understand that work comes before fun. In my mind it boils down to three main themes a) DD is highly intelligent so because regular school is too easy I want her to learn how to learn so I feel that I have to after school her at a level that she can do relatively easily if she focuses b) her neuro-plasticity is high at this age (9) so why shouldn't she be in her ZPD? c) a child's mind is like a climbing plant - give it something to climb onto and it will grow up into the heavens but provide nothing and it will merely spread itself all over the ground.

Of course, I would like her to go to a top school but not for the bragging rights as a parent but for her have a chance to swim with other swans.
Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 11:31 AM

I think the important thing to remember is regardless of how much talent, hard work or giftedness children come to the table with they are most likely going to live pretty average lives. My husband and I both have fulfilling careers that we enjoy and allow us enough free time to enjoy other pursuits and pay us enough to enjoy our lives. If my daughter ends up like that I will be completely happy for her. About 98% of the people who graduate from ivy league schools pretty much end up about the same. My spouse in an MIT grad (not ivy but still elite), he would have made the same career choice if he graduated from his state school. I think all the pressure is to make children "exceptional" when in all honesty even with various gifts everyone will be pretty much average:). As an aside, the average IQ of a Ph.D. level university professor is 124, so 120's would be high enough (and is the norm) for the highest level of education in most developed nations.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 11:42 AM

Originally Posted By: psychland
I think the important thing to remember is regardless of how much talent, hard work or giftedness children come to the table with they are most likely going to live pretty average lives. My husband and I both have fulfilling careers that we enjoy and allow us enough free time to enjoy other pursuits and pay us enough to enjoy our lives. If my daughter ends up like that I will be completely happy for her. About 98% of the people who graduate from ivy league schools pretty much end up about the same.


This 98% thing may be the tragic outcome that Tiger Parents want to avoid.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: Val
First, what is success, and second, why do tiger parents think they have a right to define it for someone else? Your child isn't your property, and when he grows up, the right to define a) what to do with his life and b) personal success is his alone.


The answer to the second question is the same as the answer to the question of why some think a chihuahua should be carried around in a handbag. It's an accessory that belongs to the owner. Children are often viewed in the same way.


I am not sure I understand this point. As much as we say we want the kids to take the lead, everyday we see even from this board how to improve our DD or DS in reading or math or something else. Any responsible parents would want to guide their children. This guidance is based on their understanding and life experience. Sure some of them may be misguided. But there is nothing wrong on principle. I have met very few people who simply use their kids as bragging rights.

Tiger cubs can also be highly gifted. As I said earlier, the most famous ones, Amy Chua' daughters seem very very smart to me.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 12:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: Val
First, what is success, and second, why do tiger parents think they have a right to define it for someone else? Your child isn't your property, and when he grows up, the right to define a) what to do with his life and b) personal success is his alone.


The answer to the second question is the same as the answer to the question of why some think a chihuahua should be carried around in a handbag. It's an accessory that belongs to the owner. Children are often viewed in the same way.


I am not sure I understand this point. As much as we say we want the kids to take the lead, everyday we see even from this board how to improve our DD or DS in reading or math or something else. Any responsible parents would want to guide their children. This guidance is based on their understanding and life experience. Sure some of them may be misguided. But there is nothing wrong on principle. I have met very few people who simply use their kids as bragging rights.

Tiger cubs can also be highly gifted. As I said earlier, the most famous ones, Amy Chua' daughters seem very very smart to me.


We're not really talking about Amy Chua or her daughters here.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
As I said earlier, the most famous ones, Amy Chua' daughters seem very very smart to me.


Could you be seeing achievement and assuming it means that the girls are HG+? Remember, a large part of this discussion centers on the idea that tiger parenting and tiger schooling gives the appearance of being HG+ when the child is not.

I don't know anything about her kids, which includes an LOG. I don't assume a high LOG without evidence.

Also, a big complaint that parents here make is that schools use the equation gifted = achievement, which most or all of us know isn't necessarily true.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I am not sure I understand this point. As much as we say we want the kids to take the lead, everyday we see even from this board how to improve our DD or DS in reading or math or something else. Any responsible parents would want to guide their children.


Since you brought up Amy Chua, here is how she defines letting her kids take the lead:

Quote:
Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.


That doesn't sound much like what you're describing. The child is not leading, and the parent is not guiding, so we're definitely talking about different parenting styles here.

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Tiger cubs can also be highly gifted. As I said earlier, the most famous ones, Amy Chua' daughters seem very very smart to me.


Yes, they can. That still doesn't negate the fact that tiger parenting yields negative results.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2...says-new-study/
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:16 PM

Maybe she didn't like our play.

If so, then the play thing in that item list could be partially my fault.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: SFrog
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Maybe you should have taken up fencing, flint-knapping and the sackbutt or something a few years back...


Since fencing was brought up (in jest) as something good for resume padding - should I tell my daugther not to mention the reason she picked up fencing was so she would have another assassin skill? (My first reaction was to ask - "What do you mean, another...?") She would also like to learn archery - again, not for resume padding, but because arrows are quieter than bullets.

--S.F.



Then your child and mine have something in common. Fencing studio was sadly too far away, and Ninja-school-guy never returned her calls, so she was stuck with marksmanship, but has been also pressing hard on Parkour. grin

Like Wren, we've kept certain things alive on the basis of "I can see how this is a good life-long thing for you, and you can decide to do it or not... later... but for now, we think it's a good idea to spend SOME of your time on it."

But there's a certain flexibility there-- we do NOT continue forcing things year after year if our child behaves like a submissive, frightened dog during that activity... and some of her peers very definitely seem to have that demeanor.

We also set pretty firm limits on the amount of time, and number of things we feel she can successfully juggle. Adding theater this year? No. Not without giving something else up, which she wasn't willing to do. She did do an end run around me on adding another AP class, when the one that she and I had agreed upon turned out to not be available.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: psychland
I think the important thing to remember is regardless of how much talent, hard work or giftedness children come to the table with they are most likely going to live pretty average lives. My husband and I both have fulfilling careers that we enjoy and allow us enough free time to enjoy other pursuits and pay us enough to enjoy our lives. If my daughter ends up like that I will be completely happy for her. About 98% of the people who graduate from ivy league schools pretty much end up about the same.


This 98% thing may be the tragic outcome that Tiger Parents want to avoid.




Well, clearly.

Because a life of 98% living isn't really living at all, I suppose.

Heh.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 01:31 PM

Originally Posted By: psychland
I think the important thing to remember is regardless of how much talent, hard work or giftedness children come to the table with they are most likely going to live pretty average lives. My husband and I both have fulfilling careers that we enjoy and allow us enough free time to enjoy other pursuits and pay us enough to enjoy our lives. If my daughter ends up like that I will be completely happy for her. About 98% of the people who graduate from ivy league schools pretty much end up about the same. My spouse in an MIT grad (not ivy but still elite), he would have made the same career choice if he graduated from his state school. I think all the pressure is to make children "exceptional" when in all honesty even with various gifts everyone will be pretty much average:). As an aside, the average IQ of a Ph.D. level university professor is 124, so 120's would be high enough (and is the norm) for the highest level of education in most developed nations.


I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment-- and I think that the author of the orignal article in the thread-starter would, too. smile

There is no way around the fact that the only thing which is going to elevate MOST of the members of the 99% into the 1% is luck combined with some extraordinary innate... something. It inherently lacks a certain predictability, however.


Hard work, above-average ability, and even determination will only take you so far-- they are essential of course, but not sufficient.

From what I have observed, I mean.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 03:49 PM

If it were as simple as having average lives. The trend line is declining. Isn't the bigger fear of less than average lives?

The desire for any college education rather than technical training, the push to optimize a child's talents?

But young adults cannot buy homes, financially support a family for a long time. I think many people would be happy if average was still within reach.
Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 04:31 PM

I work at a university and college grads are not able to find jobs (at least not with a bachelor's degree), individuals with technical degrees are being employed at a 4 to 1 ratio over those with college degrees AND make higher salaries (even over a life time). I agree that it has not always been that way but right now it is. I think it is more of a sense of pride thing (my child is at ______ college working on ___ degree) than an actual nuts and bolts thing. OR perhaps society does not realize how worthless (financially) a college degree is quite yet. I would say if universities continue to aspire to a business model as opposed to a tradition academic model (online "universities" have completely changed the landscape)this will continue to be the case and only get worse. For now, I would say unless you just love to learn (and enjoy research) and want to earn a Ph.D. or you are going to major in healthcare, engineering,or technology and some areas of business (but not a general business degree)an undergrad degree simply is not worth the money. I love being in academia but it is not something that I would necessarily choose again in today's economy. Of course I attended state school for undergrad and grad (for free) and did not finish school thousands of dollars in debt.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: psychland
I work at a university and college grads are not able to find jobs (at least not with a bachelor's degree), individuals with technical degrees are being employed at a 4 to 1 ratio over those with college degrees AND make higher salaries (even over a life time). I agree that it has not always been that way but right now it is. I think it is more of a sense of pride thing (my child is at ______ college working on ___ degree) than an actual nuts and bolts thing. OR perhaps society does not realize how worthless (financially) a college degree is quite yet. I would say if universities continue to aspire to a business model as opposed to a tradition academic model (online "universities" have completely changed the landscape)this will continue to be the case and only get worse. For now, I would say unless you just love to learn (and enjoy research) and want to earn a Ph.D. or you are going to major in healthcare, engineering,or technology an undergrad degree simply is not worth the money. I love being in academia but it is not something that I would necessarily choose again in today's economy. Of course I attended state school for undergrad and grad (for free) and did not finish school thousands of dollars in debt.
Unfortunately many jobs that 25 years ago did not require more than a H.S. degree, now require a B.A. I am not kidding.. Want to be the manager at the store rather than just the cashier you better have a degree. Want to be a receptionist at an office, you need that B.A. I agree this is stupid but it's the crazy world we live in. Why, because they can hire the college grad who at least on paper looks like the better hire.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 04:55 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
There is no way around the fact that the only thing which is going to elevate MOST of the members of the 99% into the 1% is luck combined with some extraordinary innate... something. It inherently lacks a certain predictability, however.


I think it's a residency in dermatology.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
There is no way around the fact that the only thing which is going to elevate MOST of the members of the 99% into the 1% is luck combined with some extraordinary innate... something. It inherently lacks a certain predictability, however.


I think it's a residency in dermatology.


I am surprised you didn't say being a partner at big law.
Posted by: puffin

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/04/14 06:57 PM

We have the thing where jobs you needed 6th form science now require a degree. The jobs are repetitive and pay badly and less educated people are actually a lot better at them so both groups lose out. They also don't pay well enough to justify the effort and cost to get a degree. I simply cannot do repetitive work unless I can turn my brain off. Also I second quess myelf and worry about whether I missed something when my brain wandered.
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 05:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Wren
Originally Posted By: Tallulah
Originally Posted By: Wren

So unless you schedule things, or plan playdates, it is hard to let them just go out and play. Which means you have to be out and about with them. I think finding that compromise without the activities to fill their time, because my kid will watch Disney reruns, is hard. She cannot just go out and play.
Attitude is a different story but I don't have a kid with an IQ of 121. I have a kid that is fully capable of being on Harvard's screen and has legacy. So where does that leave me in terms of being a Tiger Mom?
Shades of grey or gray?


Why can't she have free play? Your backyard. A playground with you sitting on the bench. Your house without the TV on?

But, Wren, haven't we had this discussion before and you proudly describe yourself as one of these high pressure parents? Your priorities are for structured activity and a lot of academics from a young age, aren't they?


Ouch. We go for 2 hour walks with the dog along the lake and find mink etc. And we are in an apt, no backyard. And playdates are structured activities. They are not, running out the back door like I did and into the woods with friends or alone and finding something to occupy myself.
And DD is an extrovert. TV off, she goes into her room and sometimes plays with Barbies but sometimes the technology goes on. She is not great without friends. Either was I. I was always looking for someone in the neighborhood to play with. And in a neighborhood full of kids, you could find someone. That is hard today. Your kid wanders around alone, a parent will call you, like are you crazy?
And being on the park bench is time consuming. Perhaps you have hours of time to sit on a bench while your child explores the park, how many can do that everyday. Because a kid is like a dog, it needs that play/social interaction everyday, not once a week. So if not structured, what is your solution, you with the political sense and judgement of a --- fill in the blank.


But don't you have to sit on a bench outside the piano lesson or swimming lesson or whatever? No different from sitting at the park. Yes, lots of kids are in school/afterschool until 6, but afterschool doesn't take them around to various lessons. In terms of time, and the specific reasons you gave for why your child can't have play time, if you're taking her somewhere, why not the park?

I disagree that a playdate is structured. Yes, it's scheduled, but once the other child arrives, don't they just play?

I'm not trying to attack you or anything, but you said unstructured play was important to you, and I'd like to help troubleshoot to figure out how you can make it happen.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 11:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
There is no way around the fact that the only thing which is going to elevate MOST of the members of the 99% into the 1% is luck combined with some extraordinary innate... something. It inherently lacks a certain predictability, however.


I think it's a residency in dermatology.


I am surprised you didn't say being a partner at big law.


You aren't really protected by a strong guild that effectively excludes competition in law.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
There is no way around the fact that the only thing which is going to elevate MOST of the members of the 99% into the 1% is luck combined with some extraordinary innate... something. It inherently lacks a certain predictability, however.


I think it's a residency in dermatology.


I am surprised you didn't say being a partner at big law.


You aren't really protected by a strong guild that effectively excludes competition in law.


Sure you are-- law societies who determine law school enrollment and whose membership is required to practice law are just that.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 12:30 PM

Originally Posted By: aquinas
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
I am surprised you didn't say being a partner at big law.


You aren't really protected by a strong guild that effectively excludes competition in law.


Sure you are-- law societies who determine law school enrollment and whose membership is required to practice law are just that.


This is not "protection by a strong guild that effectively excludes competition":

"Law school applications and enrollments have fallen in the past couple of years, but the absolute numbers in the pipeline are still absurdly high. For the class entering last fall, there were 68,000 applications for 50,000 law school seats, and when those students graduate, they’ll compete for 25,000 jobs."

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-01/the-case-against-law-school
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Tallulah
Originally Posted By: Wren
Originally Posted By: Tallulah
Originally Posted By: Wren

So unless you schedule things, or plan playdates, it is hard to let them just go out and play. Which means you have to be out and about with them. I think finding that compromise without the activities to fill their time, because my kid will watch Disney reruns, is hard. She cannot just go out and play.
Attitude is a different story but I don't have a kid with an IQ of 121. I have a kid that is fully capable of being on Harvard's screen and has legacy. So where does that leave me in terms of being a Tiger Mom?
Shades of grey or gray?


Why can't she have free play? Your backyard. A playground with you sitting on the bench. Your house without the TV on?

But, Wren, haven't we had this discussion before and you proudly describe yourself as one of these high pressure parents? Your priorities are for structured activity and a lot of academics from a young age, aren't they?


Ouch. We go for 2 hour walks with the dog along the lake and find mink etc. And we are in an apt, no backyard. And playdates are structured activities. They are not, running out the back door like I did and into the woods with friends or alone and finding something to occupy myself.
And DD is an extrovert. TV off, she goes into her room and sometimes plays with Barbies but sometimes the technology goes on. She is not great without friends. Either was I. I was always looking for someone in the neighborhood to play with. And in a neighborhood full of kids, you could find someone. That is hard today. Your kid wanders around alone, a parent will call you, like are you crazy?
And being on the park bench is time consuming. Perhaps you have hours of time to sit on a bench while your child explores the park, how many can do that everyday. Because a kid is like a dog, it needs that play/social interaction everyday, not once a week. So if not structured, what is your solution, you with the political sense and judgement of a --- fill in the blank.


But don't you have to sit on a bench outside the piano lesson or swimming lesson or whatever? No different from sitting at the park. Yes, lots of kids are in school/afterschool until 6, but afterschool doesn't take them around to various lessons. In terms of time, and the specific reasons you gave for why your child can't have play time, if you're taking her somewhere, why not the park?

I disagree that a playdate is structured. Yes, it's scheduled, but once the other child arrives, don't they just play?

I'm not trying to attack you or anything, but you said unstructured play was important to you, and I'd like to help troubleshoot to figure out how you can make it happen.


No, I was quoting Madeline Levine, which I wrote a few posts ago. She says it should be scheduled playdates.

My kid has had playdates, at other people's houses the last couple days, which did give me time off. And she had a great time, but as Madeline Levine talked about, it doesn't do all the stuff that going out into the hood, finding mates and then creating activities out of nothing.

And I do not think you could provide me with solutions. So thank you, no.
Posted by: polarbear

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 12:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Wren

My kid has had playdates, at other people's houses the last couple days, which did give me time off. And she had a great time, but as Madeline Levine talked about, it doesn't do all the stuff that going out into the hood, finding mates and then creating activities out of nothing.


I am not familiar with Madeline Levine - but I agree, having to make pre-arranged playdates isn't the same thing. I suppose we are in an atypical situation, but we don't live in a highly-populated urban area (although we do live in a city). Kids in our neighborhood free-range, especially in the warm weather. In some ways, the play probably isn't terribly different between free-ranging and arranged playdates- there are still opportunities with a set-up playdate for the kids to be creative, use their imaginations, explore etc - but there isn't the same type of give and flow of groupings of children, and there isn't the same wide range of "shall we do this or shall we do that". I think a lot of socialization happens when there are kids available from more than one family, when the kids out playing aren't just the two best friends, when there might be a kid out today who isn't always there etc. None of the parents are actively having to plan "let's make sure we have x y and z available so the kids stay entertained" - which I do see happening when my kids go on arranged playdates.

I don't know that one is better than the other, but I do think there is a different *something* about the different situations. Plus it's *totally* a lot easier for me as a parent to not have to drive and drop off and pick up etc - and it's a lot easier for me to "host" other kids at my house when they are coming and going rather than coming for a set amount of time. I'm probably spending more time paying attention but it's all just somehow more natural and easier.

polarbear
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 01:09 PM

I discussed this because "Price of Privilege" was brought up in the topic.
And it happens to be front and center of something I am doing. Her point is about doing for your child instead of them doing for themselves. So you arrange playdate with KidA, drop them off at 3:30 and pick up at 5. Instead of DD going out the door, finding KidA and KidB, maybe C. Then they brainstorm what to do, do their playing and DD knows she has to be home by 5:30 and has the responsibility of coming home instead of me looking for her. Not that they don't do a little brainstorming about play but the huge amount of toys in the house helps. Instead of meeting up emptying handed and figuring out next steps. Levine thinks that these simple steps help build the skills necessary to survive. And the parental arms race and blueprinting each year through to college creates a problem in college and beyond.
Since reading the book, I have taken a conscious step back and said, "figure it out," I can't always fix it, when I can.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 01:24 PM

She isn't the only one that embraces that message-- there is, increasingly, a lot of disquieting evidence that helicopter/Tigerish parenting that micromanages actually serves to handicap adolescents and young adults, because it sends them a message that they aren't capable of dealing with things themselves. That parents HAVE to do it, or they would "screw it up" somehow... that real problems are too much for them to manage.

Bubble wrap is not good for children's development, in other words.

I'll try to recall the other recent book that I read on this subject. It really gave me a moment of epiphany as I looked at my own communication/interventions as a mom. Yes, there are some things that are too big/risky for me to completely let go of... but a LOT of this stuff is little stuff. Getting a "B" because you don't do your homework is little stuff. Wrecking the car by driving irresponsibly is a big deal. Perspective, YK? If you don't let them manage the little decisions, how on earth can they assume that they are competent to do the big ones??


After I read it, I stepped back and realized that I need to do a better job of communicating to my DD that I trust her judgment. I trust HER to make decisions, and have faith in her ability to figure things out for herself. She's competent to figure out what to do when (little) things go wrong. I shouldn't make her question that by arm-chair quarterbacking continuously.

I bite my tongue a lot more than I used to. It's been amazing how much more confident she is, and how much better her problem-solving skills have gotten just in the past few years, as I've started looking at her a bit skeptically if she ASKS me to do things for her that I think she should be doing for herself. It's been delightful to watch her. smile
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 01:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Wren
I discussed this because "Price of Privilege" was brought up in the topic.
And it happens to be front and center of something I am doing. Her point is about doing for your child instead of them doing for themselves. So you arrange playdate with KidA, drop them off at 3:30 and pick up at 5. Instead of DD going out the door, finding KidA and KidB, maybe C. Then they brainstorm what to do, do their playing and DD knows she has to be home by 5:30 and has the responsibility of coming home instead of me looking for her. Not that they don't do a little brainstorming about play but the huge amount of toys in the house helps. Instead of meeting up emptying handed and figuring out next steps. Levine thinks that these simple steps help build the skills necessary to survive. And the parental arms race and blueprinting each year through to college creates a problem in college and beyond.
Since reading the book, I have taken a conscious step back and said, "figure it out," I can't always fix it, when I can.



"The Price of Privilege" is not exactly directly applicable to this board.

It's relevant, in general, but the problems faced here are a bit different.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 01:35 PM

The Tiger thing seems to be a special case of Helicopter Parent-- the Ivy Edition, though.

It's still communicating, somehow, to the student that s/he can't possibly know what is right for him/herself, and that mummy and daddy had best make the decisions while snookums there goes along for the ride and does as instructed so that 'we' may Avoid Unfortunate Errors of Judgment.


Honestly, seen up close, this kind of thing DOES look very much like enmeshment.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Getting a "B" because you don't do your homework is little stuff. Wrecking the car by driving irresponsibly is a big deal. Perspective, YK? If you don't let them manage the little decisions, how on earth can they assume that they are competent to do the big ones??


!!!Tangential post alert!!!

With the car example, I think the problem is letting teenagers drive.

I stopped wrecking cars after about age 20.

Lifetime total of automobiles destroyed: 4.

Number of accidents involving major automotive damage: 4.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 01:40 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's still communicating, somehow, to the student that s/he can't possibly know what is right for him/herself, and that mummy and daddy had best make the decisions while snookums there goes along for the ride and does as instructed so that 'we' may Avoid Unfortunate Errors of Judgment.


Part of the problem is that it's difficult to achieve a steady stream of protected income sufficient so that you don't end up in effective poverty.

This is why medicine is popular.

I also think this is Wren's point, although Harvard is not actually the solution to this problem.

It's a Second Gilded Age America problem.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
It's still communicating, somehow, to the student that s/he can't possibly know what is right for him/herself, and that mummy and daddy had best make the decisions while snookums there goes along for the ride and does as instructed so that 'we' may Avoid Unfortunate Errors of Judgment.


Part of the problem is that it's difficult to achieve a steady stream of protected income sufficient so that you don't end up in effective poverty.

This is why medicine is popular.

I also think this is Wren's point, although Harvard is not actually the solution to this problem.

It's a Second Gilded Age America problem.



First, when you say medicine, are you referring to pharmaceuticals? Because that is a tangential solution.

I know a lot of doctors who are not making a ton of money. The only ones securing wealth are surgeons, one a lung transplant guy that seems to have a lot of wealthy clients around the globe.

I think you can become rich in any profession. I know an electrician who built up an amazing franchise and into some cool opportunities by being creative.

You can be a lawyer who takes legal aid cases or doing investment banking deals. Still a lawyer in either case.

What I want for my kid, is the ability to go after what she wants. I want her to have the tools to work for something and not be afraid of the challenges.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 02:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Wren
I know a lot of doctors who are not making a ton of money. The only ones securing wealth are surgeons, one a lung transplant guy that seems to have a lot of wealthy clients around the globe.


I'm only talking about $200,000 to $300,000 per year, standard-issue dermatology/ophthalmology/endocrinology/anesthesiologist (my immediate neighbors).

I derive this information from personal knowledge, meaning looking at legal documents.

You are talking about something else, well beyond even radiation oncology ($500,000), which is well into the top 1%.

Median *household* income in the U.S. is estimated at $51,371.

And apparently, most jobs pay under $20 per hour:

http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/us-jobs-wages/?iid=HP_LN
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 03:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Wren
I discussed this because "Price of Privilege" was brought up in the topic.
And it happens to be front and center of something I am doing. Her point is about doing for your child instead of them doing for themselves. So you arrange playdate with KidA, drop them off at 3:30 and pick up at 5. Instead of DD going out the door, finding KidA and KidB, maybe C. Then they brainstorm what to do, do their playing and DD knows she has to be home by 5:30 and has the responsibility of coming home instead of me looking for her. Not that they don't do a little brainstorming about play but the huge amount of toys in the house helps. Instead of meeting up emptying handed and figuring out next steps. Levine thinks that these simple steps help build the skills necessary to survive. And the parental arms race and blueprinting each year through to college creates a problem in college and beyond.
Since reading the book, I have taken a conscious step back and said, "figure it out," I can't always fix it, when I can.



I haven't read the book, but I did go and read the chapter on her website, and some interviews and articles. The bolded is the core message of her excerpt, but you're applying it to a very narrow and impractical segment of life. Maybe she has a chapter on how the only way to let your child to become resilient and competent is free-ranging, but the excerpt was about life in total, which has vastly more opportunities to either take over or let them become competent.

Quote:
It is an umbrella term, often used to cover a wide range of overzealous parenting activities, ranging from the relatively benign to the downright disastrous. Overinvolvement refers to unnecessary involvement. It is usually, but not always, ill advised, and some children can be remarkably forgiving about this sort of behavior. I tend to think of overinvolvement as the things we do for our kids -- the forgotten dishes we wash, the unmade beds we straighten, the editing we do on our child's writing assignments. But overinvolvement stops short of psychologically manipulating the child. It is more likely to slow progress than to damage children. Intrusion, on the other hand, is always unhelpful, if not damaging.

Both intrusion and overinvolvement prevent the development of the kinds of skills that children need to be successful: the ability to be a self-starter, the willingness to engage in trial-and-error learning, the ability to delay gratification, to tolerate frustration, to show self control, to learn from mistakes and to be a flexible and creative thinker. Kids who develop these skills have a large toolbox to dig into, both to enrich their lives and to help them problem-solve.


It's catastrophising to say that if you can't let kids roam in packs twelve hours a day you might as well have them in lessons. Take our schedule. School finishes at 3:15. If we have a 4pm activity the kids are either in the car or in a very controlled environment until 5:30, which is so close to dinner time there's not really time to get into something. But if we don't have a class they are playing by 3:30, getting a good 2 1/2 hours of play in before dinner. Don't you think quite a lot of games can be made up in that amount of time?

I don't see the fundamental difference between knocking on Betty's door and asking her to come and play at the park unsupervised as any different to arranging for her to come over to your house and spending three hours in the backyard or meeting Betty and her parent at the park any playing whatever while the parents chat. I overhear a lot of Calvin ball between my kids and between them and their friends during playdates. It's the fluid play and negotiations which build executive function, not the presence of an (ignored and ignoring) parent or the fence around the yard.

More on not interfering too much
Quote:
What my professor was talking about was not abject, crushing, demoralizing suffering, but a more tempered form of discomfort and struggle. She was not advocating throwing our kids into the deep end of life and letting them sink or swim. What she was talking about was allowing them to face adversity while they still had a safety net, letting them stumble over little obstacles as practice runs at life’s larger challenges. Noted psychologist Lev Vygotsky talked about the concept of scaffolding—a way of providing appropriate support to children to allow them to stretch beyond their current abilities. As parents practicing the art of benign neglect, that’s what we try to do. If we do everything for our kids, if we smooth out every bump in the road, if we do everything in our power to remove pain, challenge, and discomfort from their young lives, we deny them the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to develop the coping skills they will need as they become independent adults.

When I think about the skills I want my son to develop, I want him to be secure. I want him to be confident in his own abilities. I want him to struggle through things, work them out on his own, ask for help when needed, and bounce back when things go wrong. I want him to be determined and resilient. In order to do all of this, sometimes I need to do nothing. I need to give him the chance to fail. I need to let him fall down, but be there to pick him up. This is what separates benign neglect from just plain neglect. I need to know where he is. I need to know what he is doing. I need to know that I’ve put the sharp knives out of his reach. It means, though, that sometimes I need to not intervene even when I so very much want to.

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/parenting-and-the-art-of-benign-neglect-0123135

and on calvin ball and executive function
Quote:
At the heart of the Tools of the Mind methodology is a simple but surprising idea: that the key to developing self-regulation is play, and lots of it. But not just any play. The necessary ingredient is what Leong and Bodrova call “mature dramatic play”: complex, extended make-believe scenarios, involving multiple children and lasting for hours, even days. If you want to succeed in school and in life, they say, you first need to do what Abigail and Jocelyn and Henry have done every school day for the past two years: spend hour after hour dressing up in firefighter hats and wedding gowns, cooking make-believe hamburgers and pouring nonexistent tea, doing the hard, serious work of playing pretend.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/magazine/27tools-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

tl;dr. blush
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 04:11 PM

Everyone reading this thread would be amazed to discover the percentage of Ivy (and SLAC/Elite) college student offspring of our acquaintances/colleagues who have "chosen" their children's majors in college.


I'm truly not joking. These are children 17-21 years of age in colleges and universities from Brown to Cornell to Princeton whose parents have picked what they will major in. They openly admit that. They are astonished that we are permitting our 14yo to make this choice for herself.

I cannot even wrap my head around dictating such a thing to my daughter.
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 04:45 PM

Um, yeah. Presumably you have similar privacy rules there as here, though? If a new student comes to me as their tutor and wants to change subject, then if the bureaucracy (places, qualifications) works, they can, and noone will tell their parents if they don't; indeed, I'm specifically not allowed to give a student's parent information about them (any more than I would give it to random member of the public).
Posted by: chris1234

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Everyone reading this thread would be amazed to discover the percentage of Ivy (and SLAC/Elite) college student offspring of our acquaintances/colleagues who have "chosen" their children's majors in college.


I'm truly not joking. These are children 17-21 years of age in colleges and universities from Brown to Cornell to Princeton whose parents have picked what they will major in. They openly admit that. They are astonished that we are permitting our 14yo to make this choice for herself.

I cannot even wrap my head around dictating such a thing to my daughter.



Yeah, I will flat out state my preferences, hopes, etc., but dictating? For one thing, I wouldn't imagine I'd get very far, lol. I guess $$ talks (?)
Posted by: Wren

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 05:42 PM

My brother sort of did with my nephew. My nephew said he wanted to be an NHL referee. My brother said he would only pay tuition of something that led to a job.
He became a mechanical engineer, has a good career, married has child and bought a 4 bedroom house when he was 30.
Direction can be helpful. My brother didn't say become an engineer, just study something that has jobs at the end.
Now DH was told to become a doctor. His older brother was told to become a doctor. The middle one, went for law, they didn't think he could make it into medical school. Now, the middle one went to DC, did become a lawyer but worked for the Feds, has a very high position, will get an amazing defined benefit plan -- it is the Federal govt. Plus he worked as an aid to z governor for 8 years and gets that pension.
Who needs wealth with that?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 06:12 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
I'm truly not joking. These are children 17-21 years of age in colleges and universities from Brown to Cornell to Princeton whose parents have picked what they will major in. They openly admit that. They are astonished that we are permitting our 14yo to make this choice for herself.

I cannot even wrap my head around dictating such a thing to my daughter.


My scholarship was tied to engineering.

So, no engineering, no free college.

I suspect that lots of scholarships are like that.

And it wasn't like I had the slightest idea what I actually wanted to major in, having no actual knowledge of anything but school.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 06:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Wren
Now, the middle one went to DC, did become a lawyer but worked for the Feds, has a very high position, will get an amazing defined benefit plan -- it is the Federal govt. Plus he worked as an aid to z governor for 8 years and gets that pension.
Who needs wealth with that?


That *is* wealth.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Everyone reading this thread would be amazed to discover the percentage of Ivy (and SLAC/Elite) college student offspring of our acquaintances/colleagues who have "chosen" their children's majors in college.


I'm truly not joking. These are children 17-21 years of age in colleges and universities from Brown to Cornell to Princeton whose parents have picked what they will major in. They openly admit that. They are astonished that we are permitting our 14yo to make this choice for herself.

I cannot even wrap my head around dictating such a thing to my daughter.

Who has earned a merit scholarship, right? I'll be more disposed to spend 4*$65K = $260K to get my child a degree in computer science than gender studies. Colleges cannot expect parents to fork over enormous sums of money but then butt out. I understand that forcing a child to major in something that does not interest him is a bad idea both intellectually and career wise. But the intersection of interest and practicality needs to be found.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Everyone reading this thread would be amazed to discover the percentage of Ivy (and SLAC/Elite) college student offspring of our acquaintances/colleagues who have "chosen" their children's majors in college.


I'm truly not joking. These are children 17-21 years of age in colleges and universities from Brown to Cornell to Princeton whose parents have picked what they will major in. They openly admit that. They are astonished that we are permitting our 14yo to make this choice for herself.

I cannot even wrap my head around dictating such a thing to my daughter.

Who has earned a merit scholarship, right? I'll be more disposed to spend 4*$65K = $260K to get my child a degree in computer science than gender studies. Colleges cannot expect parents to fork over enormous sums of money but then butt out. I understand that forcing a child to major in something that does not interest him is a bad idea both intellectually and career wise. But the intersection of interest and practicality needs to be found.


Agreed-- but this is absolutely not what I'd call "respectful dialogue." Not locally.

My DH and I have both inquired gently to find out-- and the response is an overwhelming "Why would I consult my foolish 17yo about such an important thing. Of course not-- s/he was majoring in ________-- I told him/her so all along-- and that's all there is to it!"

We have pointed out DD's strengths, interests, and weaknesses to her, and told her what WE know about various fields of study... but the decision, ultimately, is hers.

It was certainly mine and my DH's, after all.


Personally, my feeling is that if you feel that the expense is "too much" to allow for the risk, then maybe the expense is simply too much to begin with.

But that's us.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/05/14 10:04 PM

I think that Bostonian's point about finding the intersection of interest and career options is a critical one.

I don't think that the STEM fields have bright prospects in the future as many 'knowledge workers' may be taken 'straight off the peg' in low cost regions where education is good like Eastern Europe, India or China.

The one plus for Medicine is quality of life - 3/7 days is considered full-time in many US family medicine practices according to friends in that field AND one may live anywhere and be assured of an excellent standard of living. Specialists, particularly if they have an entrepreneurial streak can become wealthy but regular GPs can certainly have a comfortable existence almost anywhere. Freedom like that is worth way more than mere lucre in my book.

Academia is also a pretty cushy berth once tenure is attained but the potential for abject poverty, victimhood and full on abuse with an outside chance of ever getting tenure makes it look less than appealing.

At the end of the day, I understand that I will not be able to force my child into any field as she has my DWs stubbornness with my own as an exponent.

I will try to spend the next 8 years or so doing my best to help her calibrate her BS filters. If my DD insists on studying a non-rigorous subject like Angling For Unfair Advantages Studies or other bleating liberal social hypochondria promoting studies then I will consider myself to have failed in that task.
Posted by: Tallulah

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 07:56 AM

Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
Um, yeah. Presumably you have similar privacy rules there as here, though? If a new student comes to me as their tutor and wants to change subject, then if the bureaucracy (places, qualifications) works, they can, and noone will tell their parents if they don't; indeed, I'm specifically not allowed to give a student's parent information about them (any more than I would give it to random member of the public).


Problem is, the kids expect and like the over involvement. Of course they do. While our generation started dealing with teachers when we were five, these kids have had their parents do it for them their whole lives. It's scary the first time.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2013/11/...pxUP/story.html
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 08:17 AM

Originally Posted By: madeinuk
Academia is also a pretty cushy berth once tenure is attained

You're not a tenured academic, are you?
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 08:35 AM

Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
Originally Posted By: madeinuk
Academia is also a pretty cushy berth once tenure is attained

You're not a tenured academic, are you?

This is a commonly held view outside academia but is disputed within it, not surprisingly:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/01/07/the-least-stressful-jobs-of-2014/
The Least Stressful Jobs of 2014
by Susan Adams
Forbes
January 7, 2014

Quote:
Of the hundreds of stories I’ve posted on Forbes.com, none has generated a greater number of comments than my write-up last year of Careercast.com’s list of least stressful jobs. I started my piece by describing the life of a typical university professor, which CareerCast ranked as the least stressful job in America. I said it was nearly devoid of pressure and full of long breaks from the grind. Professors get vacations at Christmas and over the summer and they don’t spend too many hours in the classroom, I wrote. I based my claims on an interview with CareerCast publisher Tony Lee, a conference with my editor and anecdotal evidence from several tenured professors I happen to know. What I didn’t do was interview dozens of professors to check my claims. The comments wound up doing that for me.

I got such a startling number—569—that I wound up writing an addendum pointing out that many professors find their jobs extremely stressful.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 08:44 AM

Law professors (non-T14) are under severe stress right now.

Massive decline in enrollment will do that to you.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
Originally Posted By: madeinuk
Academia is also a pretty cushy berth once tenure is attained

You're not a tenured academic, are you?


No, I work for a living ;-)
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 10:33 AM

FWIW, I've not known a single faculty member in STEM who worked less than a 50 hour week-- year round, with about three weeks off (total) during that year. Sounds like working to me.

Tenure-track, my work week was more like what Med students expect during residency. 70hr+. So sure, it felt 'nice' to get tenure and revert back to a mere 50-60. Sure.

IN industry, DH works less than that and earns twice as much.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 10:46 AM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
FWIW, I've not known a single faculty member in STEM who worked less than a 50 hour week-- year round, with about three weeks off (total) during that year. Sounds like working to me.

Tenure-track, my work week was more like what Med students expect during residency. 70hr+. So sure, it felt 'nice' to get tenure and revert back to a mere 50-60. Sure.

IN industry, DH works less than that and earns twice as much.


I think it depends on the school and the discipline.

I'm not positive that my father in law worked more than 20 hours a week for the past 10 years before retiring.

A lot of engineering professors also consult on the side.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 10:57 AM

Quote:

I think it depends on the school and the discipline.


Agreed but I don't think 50-60 hour weeks are especially onerous.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 11:04 AM

Originally Posted By: madeinuk
Quote:

I think it depends on the school and the discipline.


Agreed but I don't think 50-60 hour weeks are especially onerous.


I suspect that 50-60 hour weeks are generally unhealthy.
Posted by: psychland

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/06/14 11:26 AM

I work about 40 hours most weeks. The most time consuming thing I do is research. I think in academia it depends on where you want to work and what your ambitions are in terms of work hours etc.. My dad was a surgeon and chief of surgery at a major hospital for a while, he averaged about an 80 hour work week. He was well paid overall but I think when we calculated it one time he made just over minimum wage (per hour worked). Medicine is extremely stressful and quickly getting more so (especially in the US). DD could eventually decide to go that route but I would not encourage it.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/07/14 08:32 AM

According to the Forbes article, tenured professors made up 17% of college classroom professors. A large portion of the other 83% live something like this: http://www.npr.org/2013/09/22/224946206/adjunct-professor-dies-destitute-then-sparks-debate

Quote:
After 25 years of teaching French at Duquesne, the university had not renewed her contract. As a part-time professor, she had been earning about $10,000 a year, and had no health insurance.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/07/14 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
I suspect that 50-60 hour weeks are generally unhealthy.


Literally.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/top-best-most/gaining-weight--maybe-it-s-your-job-172121651.html

Quote:
Sometimes the extra pounds can be blamed on the work environment. "Among all workers, employment for more than 40 hours per week and exposure to a hostile work environment were significantly associated with an increased prevalence of obesity, although the differences were modest," researchers concluded. Working long hours leaves less time for exercise.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/07/14 11:36 AM

Medicine has in recent year been described as high paying jobs with the best life style. None of my son's pediatrians work 5 days a week (3-4 days) and they can actually takes years off for having kids without being punished by the labor market too much.

The good thing about being an academic is that you can choose when to do work (excep the few hours a week teaching), but I don't know any seriously sucessful academics who don't work all the time.
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/07/14 12:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy

The good thing about being an academic is that you can choose when to do work (excep the few hours a week teaching), but I don't know any seriously sucessful academics who don't work all the time.


These days it's not about being seriously successful... I think we work all the time just to survive in academia (at least in biomedical sciences).
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/07/14 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy
Medicine has in recent year been described as high paying jobs with the best life style. None of my son's pediatrians work 5 days a week (3-4 days) and they can actually takes years off for having kids without being punished by the labor market too much.

The good thing about being an academic is that you can choose when to do work (excep the few hours a week teaching), but I don't know any seriously sucessful academics who don't work all the time.
And some academics work all the time, because the love their research and it doesn't feel like work.
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 10:59 AM

Originally Posted By: chris1234
In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me


Yikes is what I am thinking while reading this thread myself. And perhaps I shouldn't resurrect this thread since it is on the second page, but I am quite appalled at some of the things here.

Only in incredibly rare circumstances will a PG child find a peer set while in elementary or secondary school, even in a large metro area. Exactly how do people think schools should accommodate those kids? A one on one tutor could be provided by the schools, but that doesn't do anything to create the peer group for which so many of you are clamoring. How exactly is the school supposed to create a peer group when those other children just don't exist in that area? Sprinkle fairy dust and *poof* the children magically emerge?

And children shouldn't be allowed to do work that they can and are performing successfully just because it's not on as high a level as what others *could* perform? Should students not be allowed to take a tennis class (even though they can meet at least the minimum requirements for the course) just because they can't play at the level of my son? So we keep kids who are capable of performing the work out because they can't meet some super secret level above the class? Even though we're not really sure where that level is, either, since it will fluctuate constantly depending on whether the students are merely HG or PG? And fluctuate with their interest in school, their interest in the topic, and their motivation to actually work? By all means, don't dilute the curriculum in any way, but anyone, regardless of LOG, who can do the work and wants to do the work should be allowed to do so. This is one of the reasons the charge of elitism comes into play and why there is even support for eliminating the few programs we have.

Unless we are discussing a boarding school for the PG which services children from all over, ANY school will be limited by its student population. What we should be asking of schools is for them to create supportive environments in which PG children (or others who want to pursue subjects beyond the required curriculum) can be encouraged and nurtured by trained professionals. The schools should set the minimum required for passing, but there should never be a ceiling set. On ANY child.


If it matters, I have no idea where my child is on the LOG scale. He has never been properly tested, scores as PHS on the OLSAT or SAT (I forget which because not important), is bored and hates school, and is always described by people as different and a unique thinker. He's had good teachers and bad, ones who tried to help him stretch and challenge, and others who felt doing so would be the end of Childhood as we Know It. But guess what? I know NT children who have had similar experiences with schools and teachers, much of this is not exclusive to the gifted world.
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:04 AM

Originally Posted By: ultramarina
Quote:
I have zero problem with kids that aren't PG, EG, or even garden variety GT being in an academic placement with my DD. What I have a problem with is that student raising a hand to complain about the pace, or to elbow my kid to 'hush' about a contradiction in the textbook, or an interesting gap in the historical record... discuss a definition, etc. Look, I know that this is technically out-of-level for the class as it perhaps currently exists. But still-- "Honors/AP" ought to mean something, and I think it not unreasonable that if some students find that pace/level inaccessible, that a different placement might be better for them, rather than telling my DD that she MUST conform, or insisting that the class be "made" to be accessible for those less able students so that the differences between them and the HG+ students in them is somehow less apparent to colleges, universities, and scholarship-awarding organizations.


What makes you so sure that the kid who is elbowing your kid to hush is lower in ability? What makes you so sure that the kid asking the interesting questions is higher in ability?

I think you may be conflating ability with personality and intellectualism. I went to an extremely competitive high school with a lot of very smart kids. I was smart, but not the smartest kid there by any means. However, I WAS the kid with her hand in the air asking the annoying/interesting questions. Meanwhile, some of the kids who were on paper brighter than me (especially in math) were the ones rolling their eyes at me and asking if this was on the test. Shall we discuss who had the grades and numbers to get into Stanford and succeed big time? (Hint: not me.) Don't tell me those kids weren't smart. They were. They simply had a different attitude towards education.

Past a certain ability level, which I think is probably around IQ 120, I believe these differences have more to do with family culture than almost anything else. I was raised by intellectuals who valued debate, learning, and knowledge above money, achievement, and status. My own kids are being raised the same way. Yet there are kids in my DD's class who are being raised to value right answers and high achievement above all. Tiger cubs, shall we say. Are they less intelligent than she is? They are probably less creative and less divergent in their thinking, but this does not mean they are less intelligent. It's really another conversation altogether.

I think what a lot of us are really talking about here is the differences between kids (and adults) who care about learning, thinking, and ideas vs kids (and adults) who care about Achieving Paper Thingy and Shiny Object A. (Of course, school can suck that caring out of you.)



Thank you. I think there are some things being incorrectly ascribed to LOG in this thread.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: chris1234
In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me


Yikes is what I am thinking while reading this thread myself. And perhaps I shouldn't resurrect this thread since it is on the second page, but I am quite appalled at some of the things here.


Arms races are all about WINNING!

Appallation is a natural human response to certain aspects of WINNING!
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Val
Originally Posted By: CFK
You were doing enough to get by, not extending the level of discussion, etc. How is this better than a class with hard working, passionate non-gifted kids who would take the class to the next level?


My point is that learning with other kids of very high ability would have been more likely to create an environment where my thinking about the subject would have changed. ETA from UM's last post: I don't mean that the class should have been HARDER. Well, not in the sense of more homework or near-impossible problem sets. Back then, my math classes were pretty good in a straightforward, pedestrian way. I mean DIFFERENT. More big or old ideas. More new ways of looking at, say, how to do geometry or algebra. That kind of thing.

This was precisely what happened to me when I ended up a small liberal arts college where being bookish by choice and asking lots of probing questions were encouraged. Classes were small and many people on campus enjoyed talking about the big ideas of the day. Not everyone was HG+, but enough were that college was a good challenge for me. I had to learn to study (which was hard) but I found myself getting a lot out of what I was doing. Most importantly, the vast majority of the classes I took were aimed at very smart people, and you either kept up or got a bad grade/dropped the class.

You don't get that community experience with the hard-working types whose parents are driving them. Especially for these types, "hard working" and "passionate" don't necessarily go together. I certainly don't see much academic passion among the tiger cubs I've met.



But don't you see the verbal bias in your thoughts? I do know an incredibly smart young girl who has tested in the 145 range for IQ, and she would NOT meet your standards because she doesn't like discussions. She would be perfectly happy with a one on one tutor in school, no peer group required. She also doesn't do much beyond what is asked of her, so she wouldn't be one of those kids pushing the class higher, despite her LOG.

Some of what you and others are describing here is more attributable to a highly verbal, socially secure individual who wants to engage others, rather than actual LOG.
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:21 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: chris1234
In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me


Yikes is what I am thinking while reading this thread myself. And perhaps I shouldn't resurrect this thread since it is on the second page, but I am quite appalled at some of the things here.


Arms races are all about WINNING!

Appallation is a natural human response to certain aspects of WINNING!


Perhaps for those for whom "winning" is a zero sum game. For tennis? Sure. For education? Doesn't have to be, and I, at least, don't see why it has become such.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: chris1234
In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me


Yikes is what I am thinking while reading this thread myself. And perhaps I shouldn't resurrect this thread since it is on the second page, but I am quite appalled at some of the things here.


Arms races are all about WINNING!

Appallation is a natural human response to certain aspects of WINNING!


Perhaps for those for whom "winning" is a zero sum game. For tennis? Sure. For education? Doesn't have to be, and I, at least, don't see why it has become such.


Because Harvard only accepts a certain number of students every year.

The rest of the student population is relegated to the dark and musty underplaces where they have to wear an inverted scarlet H for the rest of their lives.
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:40 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Because Harvard only accepts a certain number of students every year.

The rest of the student population is relegated to the dark and musty underplaces where they have to wear an inverted scarlet H for the rest of their lives.



Hmm, and what exactly does an inverted H look like? smile

Chasing the end result is different than what much of this thread discussed, though.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:40 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Appallation is a natural human response to certain aspects of WINNING!


I thought that was a natural geological response to plate tectonics?
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Appallation is a natural human response to certain aspects of WINNING!


I thought that was a natural geological response to plate tectonics?


Not funny at all.

As you already know, "Plate tectonics" is a pernicious rumor that was started by the Rotterdam branch of the Illuminati during the 1960's.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan


But don't you see the verbal bias in your thoughts? I do know an incredibly smart young girl who has tested in the 145 range for IQ, and she would NOT meet your standards because she doesn't like discussions. She would be perfectly happy with a one on one tutor in school, no peer group required. She also doesn't do much beyond what is asked of her, so she wouldn't be one of those kids pushing the class higher, despite her LOG.

Some of what you and others are describing here is more attributable to a highly verbal, socially secure individual who wants to engage others, rather than actual LOG.


Okay-- but also presumably, this child would not be objecting or whining if the level of the teaching/discussion in the class were more commensurate with her potential, either.

The issue is when students who don't really care about the depth of the class, or the intellectual opportunities offered, are there merely to rack up another notch somewhere-- either they care or their parents do-- and they ACTUALLY are most interested in the easiest route to an A.



Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 11:57 AM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: chris1234
In fact most of the thread that I've read so far is also kind of over the top, to me


Yikes is what I am thinking while reading this thread myself. And perhaps I shouldn't resurrect this thread since it is on the second page, but I am quite appalled at some of the things here.


Arms races are all about WINNING!

Appallation is a natural human response to certain aspects of WINNING!


Perhaps for those for whom "winning" is a zero sum game. For tennis? Sure. For education? Doesn't have to be, and I, at least, don't see why it has become such.



That's actually a point of profound agreement in pretty much everyone who has posted in this thread thus far. smile

The problem is that it has become like that.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 12:00 PM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Because Harvard only accepts a certain number of students every year.

The rest of the student population is relegated to the dark and musty underplaces where they have to wear an inverted scarlet H for the rest of their lives.



Hmm, and what exactly does an inverted H look like? smile

Chasing the end result is different than what much of this thread discussed, though.


Well, aside from the flippant commentary which comes and goes, I think that "chasing" the rare end results is precisely what it's all about. It's about "winning" and to do so, beating others.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 12:02 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Because Harvard only accepts a certain number of students every year.

The rest of the student population is relegated to the dark and musty underplaces where they have to wear an inverted scarlet H for the rest of their lives.



Hmm, and what exactly does an inverted H look like? smile

Chasing the end result is different than what much of this thread discussed, though.


Well, aside from the flippant commentary which comes and goes, I think that "chasing" the rare end results is precisely what it's all about. It's about "winning" and to do so, beating others.




I think Monet was referring to the fact that an H looks the same whether it's right side up or upside down.

It's got that symmetry thing going on.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 12:11 PM

Yes, but can you name those axes/operations? wink
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Yes, but can you name those axes/operations? wink


Fred, George, Ron, and Percy.

Now we can all stop worrying about zero sum games, because I just won the thread.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 12:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Yes, but can you name those axes/operations? wink


Fred, George, Ron, and Percy.

Now we can all stop worrying about zero sum games, because I just won the thread.


There is no spoon.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 01:10 PM


I wonder if this thread could pass the Turing Test.
Posted by: Dude

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 01:31 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw

I wonder if this thread could pass the Turing Test.


There is no thread.
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Okay-- but also presumably, this child would not be objecting or whining if the level of the teaching/discussion in the class were more commensurate with her potential, either.

The issue is when students who don't really care about the depth of the class, or the intellectual opportunities offered, are there merely to rack up another notch somewhere-- either they care or their parents do-- and they ACTUALLY are most interested in the easiest route to an A.



Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
That's actually a point of profound agreement in pretty much everyone who has posted in this thread thus far. smile

The problem is that it has become like that.



I understand, but I also think a point of profound agreement in this thread has been that the curriculum should NOT be diluted in order to allow the non-gifted entrance into the courses. From what I've read here, there is simply disagreement on whether the non-gifted should be admitted AT ALL, regardless of whether they can keep up with the class.

I guess I am just more of a nihilist than I ever thought, because I agree more with JonLaw's point of view that the system should be broken down and challenged rather than manipulated by any parent, whether their child is gifted or not. Can one be an idealist and nihilist at the same time? smile
Posted by: MonetFan

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Originally Posted By: JonLaw
Because Harvard only accepts a certain number of students every year.

The rest of the student population is relegated to the dark and musty underplaces where they have to wear an inverted scarlet H for the rest of their lives.



Hmm, and what exactly does an inverted H look like? smile

Chasing the end result is different than what much of this thread discussed, though.


Well, aside from the flippant commentary which comes and goes, I think that "chasing" the rare end results is precisely what it's all about. It's about "winning" and to do so, beating others.



Perhaps, and perhaps this is where my idealism shows. For me anyway, the end goal of education is to produce an enlightened individual, not to gain entrance to a particular college. Yeah, I know...
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 02:05 PM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan
I guess I am just more of a nihilist than I ever thought, because I agree more with JonLaw's point of view that the system should be broken down and challenged rather than manipulated by any parent, whether their child is gifted or not. Can one be an idealist and nihilist at the same time? smile


I think you really have to create some sort of alternate system in order to make anything that is actually new. That's really the only way to challenge a system.

The goal is to develop a system that actually works better for as many of the people involved as is practical.

If you just tear out part of the old system, I would expect that you're just going to go back to where you were when that change was added in the first place.

So, if the older system was better than what you currently have, catabolism of certain aspects is a good idea.

Cultures aren't blank slates.
Posted by: Val

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: MonetFan
Perhaps, and perhaps this is where my idealism shows. For me anyway, the end goal of education is to produce an enlightened individual, not to gain entrance to a particular college. Yeah, I know...


Me too. And this belief is precisely why I've argued what I have here. Unfortunately, a very large number of parental units (and many kids) don't see it that way. For them, college is about certification and status. These attitudes, plus the push for everyone to go to college, are important factors in the packing of AP and honors classes with kids who aren't prepared for the material, and for the rush to get kids into algebra and geometry classes at earlier ages.

There are two bad outcomes:

1. These classes are getting packed with kids who are there for reasons very different from wanting to learn. This creates problems for the ones who are there to learn. I think of the first group as as the "Is this going to be on the test?" crowd.

2. Kids who really aren't ready for these classes are being forced into them by tiger parents, tiger schools, or other reasons. The result is that they end up spending hours every night on homework so that, as a few have noted on this thread, they can look HG+ on paper. It's destructive and a form of child abuse IMO.

I see your points about different motivations among different people and that IQ isn't everything. I agree that there's a lot more to talent than IQ. But at the same time, it's still a big deal.

Posted by: ljoy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 02:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Val
[quote=MonetFan]...For them, college is about certification and status. These attitudes, plus the push for everyone to go to college, are important factors in the packing of AP and honors classes with kids who aren't prepared for the material, and for the rush to get kids into algebra and geometry classes at earlier ages.

There are two bad outcomes:

1. These classes are getting packed with kids who are there for reasons very different from wanting to learn. This creates problems for the ones who are there to learn. I think of the first group as as the "Is this going to be on the test?" crowd.

2. Kids who really aren't ready for these classes are being forced into them by tiger parents, tiger schools, or other reasons. The result is that they end up spending hours every night on homework so that, as a few have noted on this thread, they can look HG+ on paper. It's destructive and a form of child abuse IMO.

I see your points about different motivations among different people and that IQ isn't everything. I agree that there's a lot more to talent than IQ. But at the same time, it's still a big deal.


Yes yes yes.
Part of the problem is that the classes were created to raise the ceiling for kids who were unusually able, unusually hardworking, and/or unusually interested in the topic (with a minimum competence, of course). For kids in any of these three categories, honors/AP/whatever advanced classes can be a great experience of growth. It's not just a matter of IQ. They are there by choice.

When the class appears on transcripts and becomes important, though, the kids don't feel like they have a choice. Sometimes parents tell them to take it, sometimes they feel the anonymous pressure from some college admissions official, but for them the class stops being about curiosity and exploration and pushing limits and becomes a way to make the grade. Any class that involves group discussion, and any class where the teacher adapts content and lectures to the level of the class, is going to be immediately affected by the presence of a lot of kids who don't really want to be there. When the parents feel pressure from admissions people to make sure their kids get high grades in these classes, they end up putting pressure on the district to lower the expectations in the class so everyone who can make use of the result - the transcript notation - can get it. The end result is that even the syllabus gets diluted down as far as possible, and discussions... go away.

In our district this is followed by another round of even higher level classes to accommodate the kids the original Honors classes were designed for. Unfortunately, this transcript gets noticed too, and before you know it parents are asking for their kids to get A's in THAT class too. It seems to be never-ending.

The only solution I can think of is to remove any transcript notation of which class the student actually took. If there is no shiny prize, than anyone motivated only by shiny prizes will probably leave.
Posted by: JonLaw

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 02:51 PM

Originally Posted By: ljoy
In our district this is followed by another round of even higher level classes to accommodate the kids the original Honors classes were designed for. Unfortunately, this transcript gets noticed too, and before you know it parents are asking for their kids to get A's in THAT class too. It seems to be never-ending.

The only solution I can think of is to remove any transcript notation of which class the student actually took. If there is no shiny prize, than anyone motivated only by shiny prizes will probably leave.


It's never-ending because it's basically driven by a need to DO SOMETHING!

When the something that you do when you DO SOMETHING! is really just turning back the clock, which it is in your example, then the expected outcome is that you will end up right where you started in the first place after some time has passed.

That being said, removing transcript notations would have predictable outcomes too, given the underlying school culture.

It's not enough to say "I think they will leave". You have to look at what the cohort in question is likely to actually do in such a situation.

For example, the cohort might be expected to "replace the school board because they are hurting their children's chances of WINNING!" given who they are. I'm not saying that's the likely outcome. I'm just throwing it out there as an example of what i'm trying to say.
Posted by: ljoy

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 04:11 PM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
For example, the cohort might be expected to "replace the school board because they are hurting their children's chances of WINNING!" given who they are. I'm not saying that's the likely outcome. I'm just throwing it out there as an example of what i'm trying to say.

Sigh. You're right.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 05:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: JonLaw

I wonder if this thread could pass the Turing Test.


There is no thread.


... and no.

Respectively, I mean.

Because if it could, there would be a Turing medal, which would be extremely shiny. And that's just silly. There's a Fields medal. But no Turing medal.

Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 05:25 PM

Quote:

The only solution I can think of is to remove any transcript notation of which class the student actually took. If there is no shiny prize, than anyone motivated only by shiny prizes will probably leave.


Yes. This is my favorite idea. Turing medal awarded to you. smile
Posted by: indigo

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/10/14 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: ljoy
Part of the problem is that the classes were created to raise the ceiling for kids who were unusually able, unusually hardworking, and/or unusually interested in the topic (with a minimum competence, of course). For kids in any of these three categories, honors/AP/whatever advanced classes can be a great experience of growth. It's not just a matter of IQ. They are there by choice.

When the class appears on transcripts and becomes important, though, the kids don't feel like they have a choice. Sometimes parents tell them to take it, sometimes they feel the anonymous pressure from some college admissions official, but for them the class stops being about curiosity and exploration and pushing limits and becomes a way to make the grade. Any class that involves group discussion, and any class where the teacher adapts content and lectures to the level of the class, is going to be immediately affected by the presence of a lot of kids who don't really want to be there. When the parents feel pressure from admissions people to make sure their kids get high grades in these classes, they end up putting pressure on the district to lower the expectations in the class so everyone who can make use of the result - the transcript notation - can get it. The end result is that even the syllabus gets diluted down as far as possible, and discussions... go away.

In our district this is followed by another round of even higher level classes to accommodate the kids the original Honors classes were designed for. Unfortunately, this transcript gets noticed too, and before you know it parents are asking for their kids to get A's in THAT class too. It seems to be never-ending.
Agreed.

Quote:
The only solution I can think of is to remove any transcript notation of which class the student actually took. If there is no shiny prize, than anyone motivated only by shiny prizes will probably leave.
Is it possible that removing the transcript notation creates a different shiny prize?

When transcripted the same, might the easier route to an 'A' afforded by taking the gen ed version of a class be a shiny prize?

This would tend to incentivize the fixed mindset.

Meanwhile the higher risk of the more challenging Honors version of the course comes with no commensurate higher reward.

This would tend to de-incent the growth mindset.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/13/14 07:10 AM

Maybe articles such as this will calm some parents. But it makes me wonder about the ability of education research to guide parenting. Looking at the last paragraph I excerpted, who believes that "regularly discussing school experiences with your child" has a causal positive effect on the academic achievement of Hispanic children but a *negative* effect on white children? I doubt that these correlations reflect causation.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/12/parental-involvement-is-overrated/
Parental Involvement Is Overrated
By KEITH ROBINSON and ANGEL L. HARRIS
New York Times
April 12, 2014, 2:32 pm 24 Comments

Most people, asked whether parental involvement benefits children academically, would say, “of course it does.” But evidence from our research suggests otherwise. In fact, most forms of parental involvement, like observing a child’s class, contacting a school about a child’s behavior, helping to decide a child’s high school courses, or helping a child with homework, do not improve student achievement. In some cases, they actually hinder it.

...

When involvement did benefit kids academically, it depended on which behavior parents were engaging in, which academic outcome was examined, the grade level of the child, the racial and ethnic background of the family and its socioeconomic standing. For example, regularly discussing school experiences with your child seems to positively affect the reading and math test scores of Hispanic children, to negatively affect test scores in reading for black children, and to negatively affect test scores in both reading and math for white children (but only during elementary school). Regularly reading to elementary school children appears to benefit reading achievement for white and Hispanic children but it is associated with lower reading achievement for black children. Policy makers should not advocate a one-size-fits-all model of parental involvement.

...

Keith Robinson, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a professor of sociology and African and African-American studies at Duke, are the authors of “The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education.”
Posted by: indigo

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/13/14 08:22 AM

Thank you for posting another thought-provoking article. This sentence may be key:
Quote:
Most parents appear to be ineffective at helping their children with homework.

Extrapolated to other areas, including reading to or with a child, and discussing school experiences... the level of expertise or effectiveness of the parents may have a strong positive or negative effect.

This brings to mind the work of Hart & Risley.

Having positive interactions with children such as two-way conversations (as opposed to directives) was a distinction observed by Hart&Risely.

Some parents may find spanking to be a culturally acceptable form of discipline. The impact of a spanking parent "regularly discussing school experiences" may have a negative impact on a child's self-esteem and performance.

Some may say that the ethnic groups whose children were seen to benefit most from parental involvement may be characterized by:
- developing a network for acquiring information/support for parents
- sharing information freely among one's cultural group
- positive, supportive interactions with their children.

LOL, this does not account for helicopter parents or hothousing Tiger Moms who tend to be competitive, pushy, and may guard opportunities/information from others.

Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/13/14 10:19 AM

The crux seems to be this paragraph:-

Quote:

Do our findings suggest that parents are not important for children’s academic success? Our answer is no. We believe that parents are critical for how well children perform in school, just not in the conventional ways that our society has been promoting. The essential ingredient is for parents to communicate the value of schooling, a message that parents should be sending early in their children’s lives and that needs to be reinforced over time. But this message does not need to be communicated through conventional behavior, like attending PTA meetings or checking in with teachers.


No surprises for just about all on this forum, I am sure.
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/13/14 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
Originally Posted By: Dude
Originally Posted By: JonLaw

I wonder if this thread could pass the Turing Test.


There is no thread.


... and no.

Respectively, I mean.

Because if it could, there would be a Turing medal, which would be extremely shiny. And that's just silly. There's a Fields medal. But no Turing medal.



There's a Turing Award. Not having won it, I can't say whether there's a medal attached, though.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/13/14 05:37 PM

I was under the impression that there wasn't a medal. I will feel extremely pouty if all this time I had been passing up opportunities simply because I wrongly assumed that nothing shiny was available. wink
Posted by: ColinsMum

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/14/14 12:33 AM

The Turing Award is nothing to do with the Turing Test except that both are named after Turing. (I am not sure whether the revelation that this thread contained poster(s) who are actually AIs would suffice to win the TA; I suspect not, this style is too easy to automate.) However, if you have been sitting on something that would win you the Turing Award, HK, please don't!
Posted by: arlen1

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/14/14 07:28 AM

Originally Posted By: JonLaw
I think you really have to create some sort of alternate system in order to make anything that is actually new. That's really the only way to challenge a system.

The goal is to develop a system that actually works better for as many of the people involved as is practical.

If you just tear out part of the old system, I would expect that you're just going to go back to where you were when that change was added in the first place.

So, if the older system was better than what you currently have, catabolism of certain aspects is a good idea.

Cultures aren't blank slates.
ITA. Very true in general, not just with respect to education.
Posted by: arlen1

Re: Parenting arms race article - 04/14/14 07:32 AM

Originally Posted By: madeinuk
I will try to spend the next 8 years or so doing my best to help her calibrate her BS filters.
This should be framed.