The Overachievers?

September 12, 2006 1 min read

Hair loss, nail biting, bad backs, anxiety attacks—just a few of the symptoms often cited in a growing public outcry against overburdened schoolchildren in the United States. While recently published books argue against outrageous homework loads and pushy parents, some researchers are finding that all the fretting may be unfounded. Instead of being overextended, students may not be pressured enough, according to the results of a recent Pew Research Center poll.

This picture of overachieving super-students has been created and perpetuated by a small section of society, a high-powered elite who’s experiences and concerns are reflected by members of the media, say some researchers. Not only do most U.S. students have lighter homework burdens, but their schools also are easier than those in other industrialized nations, they say. It’s not high pressure, but low expectations that are bringing American students down.

What do you think? Are American students overextended, or underchallenged?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.