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From kindergarteners to high schoolers, millions of American students are being pressured to perform in ways that make them less intellectually flexible, creative, and responsive to today's world. In Race to Nowhere, Vicki Abeles identified a widespread problem in our nation's schools: As students race against each other to have constantly higher grades, better test scores, and more AP courses than their classmates, they are irreparably damaging their mental and physical health.
Now Abeles taps in to this same grassroots community across the nation to find the solutions in Beyond Measure, which publishes simultaneously with the release of her new documentary. Pulling from powerful anecdotes and convincing new research, Abeles presents inspirational, quantifiable success stories and shows how anyone - students, parents, and educators - can effect change. Teachers who cut students' workload see scores rise; kids discover their own motivation once parents relieve the pressure to perform; schools that institute later start times have well-rested students who are able to learn more efficiently; and schools that emphasize depth over test prep find students more attentive, inventive, and ready to thrive.
It's no secret that our education system is broken, and Beyond Measure inspires parents, educators, and students to take practical steps to fix it - starting today. In so doing, it empowers all of us to redefine learning and success, and to discover the true, untapped potential awaiting our children not just in college but in life.
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By Deborah on 01-23-17
Purpose over Performance
in the 80's, I grew up living the childhood the author describes. AP classes, SAT prep courses, every possible club that would pad my college application. Going to bed at 11 p.m. and waking up at 4 a.m. to be a student body officer, cheerleader, etc. - all in rural Idaho, where you would think a race to nowhere wouldn't prevail. It all shattered when my father was paralyzed from the neck down just prior to the spring break of my freshman year at Cal Berkeley (my parents had refused to pay for an Ivy League schooll). I've been on a journey to find more purpose ever since. Even at age 46, I still struggle with letting go of performance as an identity formed at childhood is difficult to conquer. Accolades to the author as I appreciate knowing I'm not alone in no longer buying into America's narrow vision of success. I transferred to University of Idaho for my Junior year (resulting in no Cal diploma) and while I later obtained a law degree from the U of U, I chose not to practice law as I didn't find fulfillment through traditional practice. I now have my own business development/ coaching firm, with a focus on purpose. I found a private school in Boise, Idaho for my children that supports the whoke child development the author speaks of. I absolutely love my life and do not regret the more purposeful, but seemingly risky, choices I made.