I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, January 23, 2011

St. Tiger Mom of Arc

Speaking of Tiger Mom, how does Michele Rhee raise her own kids?
We’ve lost our competitive spirit. We’ve become so obsessed with making kids feel good about themselves that we’ve lost sight of building the skills they need to actually be good at things.
"I can see it in my own household. I have two girls, 8 and 12, and they play soccer. And I can tell you that they suck at soccer! They take after their mother in athletic ability. But if you were to see their rooms, they’re adorned with ribbons, medals and trophies. You’d think I was raising the next Mia Hamm.
"I routinely try to tell my kids that their soccer skills are lacking and that if they want to be better, they have to practice hard. I also communicate to them that all the practice in the world won’t guarantee that they’ll ever be great at soccer. It’s tough to square this, though, with the trophies. And that’s part of the issue. We’ve managed to build a sense of complacency with our children." 
Nothing better than having Mom tell you that you suck - and publicly, to boot!

Valerie Strauss nails the response:
Rhee doesn’t blame the soccer coach for not raising the level of her children’s play. Instead, she blames their own lack of ability -- which she notes is such that all the practice in the world might not help them be great.
It seems fair, then, to ask, why Rhee insists that teachers should be held solely accountable for how well students do; she has even argued that it is fair to take a child’s standardized test score and use it to evaluate his or her teachers and determine their compensation. Hmmmm.
Look, it's clear our children are failing at soccer. If we could just get rid of the bottom 5% of soccer coaches, I'm sure we'd in the next World Cup.

I suggest we begin standardized soccer tests immediately, and use Value-Added Modeling to evaluate coaches. Everyone knows that game scores are artificially inflated...

2 comments:

Come Out to Play said...

How about the idea that the best education is achieved by 'process not end result'? That is, the kid tries its best and we measure value by how far it has progressed against where it started? Everyone who tries gets a Mars Bar. Used that as the basis for 28 years running a kids project. Some kids have talent in a particular area - we seem to applaud them for doing well what they will do well. How about the kid who isn't good but makes the effort to progress a huge amount?

This is nothing to do with winning trophies and gongs but it sure makes kids remember you were the ones who cared when everyone else had nothing good to say about them.That in turn helps them survive and cope when they go out into the world.

The lady's ideas suck, I dread to think what her approach does to kids' heads. Makes them great exploiters I'd guess or basket cases. There seems to be little space in her system for fun and repose.

The role of the coach - nurture everyone to do what they can and from there we will see emerge people can can win. Oh not maybe in leagues and tables but in ways that are more important for them and the communities in which they live.

thinker said...

Recently, I was teaching small children and I was AMAZED to see kids who would cry if they didn't do well on a test. I was amazed until I met their parents and could see where they were getting this drive for perfection from. Is this what we have become in NJ and the United States? It's all about survival of the smartest and fittest and if you can't cut it you aren't worth anything. EVERY PERSON HAS VALUE! Some may not be academic scholars. So what.