Although competition can often be a healthy part of life, academic pressures have given way to some parents going to extreme and even illegal measures to get their children access to college. As evidenced by recent news, parents, coaches, and even testing proctors have tried to tip the scales for certain children at the expense of others.
With increased testing by districts including state and other exams, we have created a culture where more students than ever suffer from test anxiety. Increased pressure to perform well academically has caused a whirlwind of parents trying to get the “upper hand” in education. Unfortunately, working harder and studying effectively is no longer seen by some parents as the road to success. Advocating for your children is one thing; cheating for them is another.
What message are we sending the future leaders of America when we use money, bribes, and more to get them into the country’s top colleges? In the past few years, I have seen many students leave the college from which they were initially accepted. In many cases, their parents helped them in counterproductive ways and these teens were unable to handle the workload and time management skills necessary to succeed “on their own”.
Constantly managing your child’s time is not a help; it is a hindrance. TEACHING your child how to manage tasks effectively is hard work, but it is the only way to help them succeed. The adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” has never been truer than it is today.
With myriad websites, books, and internet resources available to parents and children, there is no reason why learning new strategies and working hard can’t help family’s work together to achieve success.
Schools offer many resources as well including guidance counselors, extra help classes and more. Additionally, legitimate tutoring agencies exist to help support students and parents who need assistance in navigating the increased pressures of schools.
When this investigation is over, I hope people care less about the CEO’s, celebrities, and others who have tried to cheat the system. Our focus needs to be on repairing the mindset of all stakeholders involved. Hard work, determination, and perseverance will give our children access to the colleges that are the best fit for them—–THEM. Not their parents, friends or relatives.
*Marc Hoberman is the owner of Grade Success Education Tutoring Service and an Academic Life Coach and Best-Selling Author.