In a wonderful moment of synchronicity, I had a conversation about this right before I read this article. We are seeing what happens when a generation of people (perhaps two gens in some places) are raised under what I have come to call the tyranny of low expectations.

We loosened standards and dropped expectations in the hopes of creating a kinder/warmer/more inclusive world for youths, and it seems to have backfired spectacularly. I believe children respond positively to high expectations! They want to be challenged, they want to be shown what can be possible at the highest levels at that age, it doesn't always have to make them feel excluded/anxious or defeated.

The expectations and standards ought to stay high. What could change is how we as adults and educators talk about it with kids.

Expand full comment