Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?

Summary:  This article presents the results of research done at a California high school about the effect of the push for high achievement on students’ mental and physical health.  The study found a significant number of students suffering fro both stress and anxiety in the race to succeed on high-stakes tests.

Source:  Vicki Abeles, New York Times Sunday Review, January 2, 2016

Categories:  Mental Health, Student Achievement, Standardized Testing

Description:

STUART SLAVIN, a pediatrician and professor at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, knows something about the impact of stress. After uncovering alarming rates of anxiety and depression among his medical students, Dr. Slavin and his colleagues remade the program: implementing pass/fail grading in introductory classes, instituting a half-day off every other week, and creating small learning groups to strengthen connections among students. Over the course of six years, the students’ rates of depression and anxiety dropped considerably.

But even Dr. Slavin seemed unprepared for the results of testing he did in cooperation with Irvington High School in Fremont, Calif., a once-working-class city that is increasingly in Silicon Valley’s orbit.

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