It is human nature for parents to want their child to succeed in all that they do. No one wants to see their child fail or have to be penalized for that failure. Unfortunately today’s society seems to take this inborn natural instinct to an unrealistic and ridiculous level. With threats of lawsuits, and violence against school administrators for deciding to hold underachieving children back we as a culture have nearly reached a breaking point.
The fact of the matter is that some children are slower learners than other children. This has been an inescapable part of life since the dawn of civilization. Unfortunately in today’s society of entitlement and faux equality we choose to overlook these obvious quirks of nature and go out of our way to level the playing field so that no one feels left out. A consequence of this unrealistic approach to fair play is that children who would normally excel in school are forced to sit idly by twiddling their thumbs as the slower learners in class are allowed to drag the entire curriculum to a standstill while they catch up.
As if it were not bad enough that society in general is catering to this upside system of hand holding the federal government is now subsidizing the efforts. With the “no child left behind” legislation courtesy of the Bush administration now it’s nearly unthinkable to make a child repeat a grade. Instead we coddle the slower learners by making excuses for why they aren’t able to pass basic skills tests and we allow them to move through the school system undeterred. Many of these unfortunate individuals are thrust into the real world with little understanding of how to cope with life as a young adult. Basic skills that children are meant to learn in the controlled environment of the public school systems are sidestepped in the interest of meeting artificial and unobtainable quotas set by the government for graduation and examinations.
The burden for this issue should not fall on the children who are swept up in this furor of no child left behind. Indeed these are probably the most victimized of individuals in the unworkable system we have today. The system is failing these children because instead of taking the time and effort to prepare them and educate them properly we are simply pushing them through with bogus exam results or worthless merits that amount to nothing more than a cop out for the responsibilities that our school systems are invested with.
While there is a stigma of being left behind a grade, the benefits of being educated at a rate and level necessary to function in the real world far outweigh any detriments. Children repeating grades quickly assimilate into their new classrooms and become an integral member of their new grade level, thus limiting the discomfort of repeating a grade. This allows the child to earn the skills they need moving forward so they can function in society properly as an adult.
What many people fail to realize is that we learn more from our mistakes and failures than we ever do from our successes. Children who are brought up with the notion that everyone always wins and does well and that everyone is treated fairly are in for a rude awakening when they move beyond the sheltered walls of their comfortable school. As much as we must instill in our children the skills and knowledge found in school books, so too must we teach them life lessons and how to deal with real world scenarios. A very common and likely real world scenario that everyone must be prepared to deal with is failure. Removing that lesson from the school system also removes a useful piece of experience our children need to make it in the world today.