Peter Greene: Forget About Ridiculous Expectations

Diane Ravitch's blog

Peter Greene, always a font of common sense, explains
how we replaced “the soft bigotry of low expectations

with the “hard tyranny of ridiculous expectations.” He writes: “We
have, for instance, substituted the expectation that every third
grader will read at grade level no matter what. In some states (I’m
looking at you, NY) we raised the standard for proficiency
arbitrarily. And we have just generally pushed the idea that all
students should be at grade level (as determined by anything from
data averages to a politician’s whim) all the time. “That seems
like a swell expectation. It’s not. It’s stupid. Let’s just apply
that reasoning some more. Let’s compute the average height for an
eight-year-old and declare that all third graders must be that
height. Let’s require all children to be walking by their tenth
month and potty trained by month thirteen. Let’s require all
seventeen-year-old males to…

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