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Our Education System is a Modern Day Roman Colosseum

The last of my three daughters graduated from high school this year. As I reflect on our family’s experiences within the culture of compulsory education, I feel like we have emerged from a modern-day Roman Colosseum. The moment school begins, students step into an arena where they must battle their peers for personal achievement and cultural validation. Sometimes the win comes from a test score, grade or sports trophy. Other times it comes from gaining admittance to a preschool, private school or college.

They must distinguish themselves in a culture of sameness by being better than everyone else. They are forced to become “emotional gladiators” as they continually step into classrooms, sports fields, and stages to fight for the win. The prize is college admissions. But the personal and financial cost of this prize has been too high, affecting the quality of their lives well into adulthood. We have pushed them into the arena before they are neurologically, emotionally or physically able to handle it. When the history books of today are written, they will not be kind to us. …READ MORE.




I am proud to contribute to the great work being done by The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.

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Read my article, “Social Skills Are Critical For Future Job Seekers” in Education Week.