My stomach dropped while reading Risky Rose of the Good-Grade Pill. That more and more students are turning to performance-enhancers via stimulants is an indictment on how we’ve come to define and demand the narrow definition of success at all costs:[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”center” cite=”Douglas Young” citeLink=”http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/education/seeking-academic-edge-teenagers-abuse-stimulants.html”]Straight A’s and high SAT scores look great on paper, but they aren’t reflective measures of a student’s health and well-being. We need to better understand the pressures and temptations, and ultimately we need to embrace new definitions of student success. [/pullquote3]
And this gets to the heart of it. We’ve narrowed our focus so much on the definition of success that students are looking for every edge possible.
Joy has given way to stress. And this stress is enhanced by government and media rhetoric that pushes the notion that we are behind, that we are failing, and that we push the definition of success by how much stress a student can endure in building their college admission’s resume as well as how well they do on a singular high stakes test.
And it isn’t just the students that have lost their smiles, innovative mindset, and playful spirit. It is the teachers and administrators. It is the parents and community. The weight of life-sucking initiatives that do nothing for the whole-child but destroy nearly everything that makes school meaningful are what dominate our days.
Joy gives way to stress gives way to hopelessness.