From a But If Nots reader
I’ve enjoyed following your blog. Glad you are doing it!! On the way home this evening I was listening to Market Place and heard this commentary. I thought of you. Here’s the link. Anything you’d like to add would be entertained and appreciated.
The link points to a brief interview with Michelle Rhee from the NPR show Marketplace. Therein, Michelle talks about parenting in America and how it affects education. Says Michelle
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 agree with force. When I went to India, to help setup workforce preparedness training for large consultancies over there, I was blown away by the sense of urgency to improve, by the open competition to get better, by the expectancy of young people to perform or get run over. After just the first day there, after meeting with the development team at Wiipro – on its state of the art employee training campus – I called home and somberly told my wife that we in America are guilty of low expectations of our children.
Now, finally, this whole notion of American parenting as insufficient is all the rage on the internet. Thanks largely to Amy Chua and her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, excerpted last week in the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Chua contrasts Asian parenting with western parenting and argues that Asian parenting is superior.
Since reading the article, I have been wondering how to tackle this subject. It’s a big topic and deserves more than the usual But If Not flippancy. So I am going to do an entire series on it.
First up is an invitation to, my friend, Mike Kalt, to frame the question and write a post with his thoughts on the subject. Mike is a semi-retired, unabashed liberal with quick and funny wit. He has a Ph.D. in political science, an incredible world travel log, and is the last interesting person to come from Detroit.
I have invited Mike to be a regular contributor to this site – to be the antidote to my free market leave-well-enough-alone-and-all-will-be-well rantings. Perhaps this can be a place where right and left actually talk to each other. So look for, read, and comment on Mike’s posts.
As for the suggestions from readers, thank you and keep them coming. I am interested only in everything and am happy to be drawn into a conversation about what you want to talk about . . . except the New York Yankees.
Here are other But If Nots on Education:
- Teaching the Scientific Method
- Sending Our Kids to School in a Trabant
- Can Video Games Teach Us How To Succeed In the Real World