Interesting read. This:
But embarrassment and outrage and a passion for justice and equal opportunity do not magically make a child know how to… write a coherent paragraph, which many students enter my advanced placement English classes unable to do. Many of us who teach under these conditions make adjustments.
[…] And we worry about the dishonesty of it all. We worry that academic integrity is being sacrificed in favor of political correctness and self-esteem. We worry that children are being given an unrealistic image of themselves academically and that those images will ultimately be smashed.
And yet, I find myself ambivalent on this issue because I have seen the transformative power not only of high expectations but of exaggerated belief in a student.
[…] We have to be realistic about who we are teaching and their level of knowledge and skill, but we should never underestimate children and their ability to learn. If we believe in them and can somehow get them to believe in themselves, they can overcome prodigious deficits in remarkable time.
I enjoy the ambiguity of his ruminations; rather than offer any solutions, he merely points out his observations and experiences that highlight all the different shades.